DCS DEPLOYED! - My Lil Project

I’ve been doing the “take #” commands in case I want to grab screenshots or video clips from the replay tracks, but then I never have the motivation to go through the tracks and actually grab screenshots :crazy_face:

The one thing that bugs me about VAICOM/DCS is that the direct voice commands which bypass keystrokes don’t get recorded by the sim, thus in the replay track chocks don’t get removed, wingmen don’t follow orders, triggers don’t fire, etc.

1 Like

Dont know about the others (never use them) but when I give a “Flight, go wedge/open formation, etc” for example they do it and acknowledge.

EDIT: Oh, nevermind, you mean the replay is hosed. Understand now.

Yeah the replay. The way VAICOM interacts is funny. On the supercarrier if I use the launch command instead of a keybind, I do launch but the shooter is stuck in the runup signal because the voice command didn’t get recorded into the replay track :joy:

I might switch over to the Mudhen or wait until the Tomcat gets added to fly more. The Viper is starting to…annoy me with the way DCS modeled it. The “breakout force,” refuses to add missing HOTAS functions because of their biases on documentation/SMEs, etc. Not having to worry about which documentation is public, and not having arbitrary statute of limitations on when documentation was published allowed BMS to create a better Viper sim.

1 Like

My 30 minutes (total) of stick time in a Viper doesn’t count for much of course (and only 5 minutes of that was ‘putting G’ on the thing) but I’m not sure what this break out thing you refer to is.

On an unrelated note: The Tomcat and Hog are going into DEPLOYED - RAQQA_EAST as soon as I can get a spare hour. The only unknown is the number of waypoints (Tomcat) you spoke of.

Also, I created a ‘system’ to generate ‘stuff’ on-the-fly (some of, but not all of); the other aircraft you see flying about are using this. It’s only partially populated as that’s another day or so just adding routes…

Then it dawned on me: this system will work for ground objects too. It just slipped my mind while trying to iron out the comms system. First test has gone ok. The tricky part isn’t spawning the objects it’s keeping track of them - there are, or can be, thousands of them too. I figure if it streams them in ok on my dinosaur dev PC then it should be fine for something more modern.

Any-who, thanks a million as always,
Jeff

1 Like

The breakout force is something to do with the force-sensing stick in the Viper. For whatever reason ED saw fit to model it as if everyone who flies it has an FFB with no option to turn it off. The best way I can describe it is that for me, I can’t get any precision and my stick inputs result in very inconsistent maneuvers. As opposed to just about every other module where I have a lot of room for precision and I know exactly where to put the stick to do a certain maneuver because the response is consistent. In the Viper, I can’t build any muscle memory because the FLCS seems to interpret my stick movement differently every time.

1 Like

An update from testing side, snippet of the convo.

Alrighty…

As I mentioned I’m waiting for the Phantom to drop (though I may not wait much longer) to upload next version. Actually a couple of version number jumps.

The RAQQA_EAST campaign: I thought this one up a ways back. Think of it as a radical insurgent group is taking over an area. They don’t have many SAMS but they did…err… ‘commandeer’ some leftovers, especially a lot of AAA guns. With that…

Before I was only really generating ‘stuff’ on the ground near the ‘action area’ (where the target is). The bulk will still be about that spot -BUT- the new method for populating thins will disperse ground units all OVER the AOR (for RAQQA_EAST) this is all along the Euphrates river, mostly.

An analogy (for those in the USA):
If the target is in St. Louis and you depart from New Orleans, before you’d only get targets in St. Louis and the surrounding suburbs. Now you will get them all the way up the Mississippi river - on the RedFor side of the FLOT that is.

What this means: you can’t just go sight-seeing at low-ish altitude into the target area cus thee guns could be anywhere now. I just did a test and it was mildly exciting. Note I purposely went in below ~5000 AGL just see what happens.

Had to have my head on a swivel.

At night, with NVG’s, (and VR) my first, immediate, thought was, “I don’t really want to do down there” :grimacing:

And at night esp. the limits DCS seems to be placing on me aren’t ‘visually’ as bad as I thought: a half-dozen streams of AAA, within your FOV, still make an impression.

DCS still doesn’t “see” in the dark - like there’s a hard cutoff at dawn/dusk (somewhere around EENT/EMNT) << link

While I could NOT generate as many ‘shooters’ as I want it still left an impression[1]. You see, I’m only assigning a portion of the guns to ‘barrage fire’ (OTW they don’t shoot at all in the dark), if you will, the remaining are left to target you (during daylight) as you are detected. There were a a few, 'WHOA, look out" moments during these tests; you think you can just go around the streams (that are un-aimed) but then all a sudden one or more surprise you and get you in their sights.

Added a setting for you to adjust how many ground objects can be allowed around you at any one moment. This is still being tweaked on my end but the defaults should run on any modestly-recent PC

With my System: VR + AMD 5900X + nVidia 3080TI I noticed some degradation when all of them were firing but it wasn’t too bad (lowest FPS I saw was mid-60’s). This was a dawn/dusk/night which always seems to be the worst time for FPS anyway. .

Many other tweaks have been input that I’ll cover in the next release readme.
All this ‘streaming’ business doesn’t just mean REDFOR targets - it means BLUEFOR objects as well. So, did you ID your target?
Thanks,

PS: And this is all with everything else that DEPLOYED has going on too.

2 Likes

DISCOVERY - Getting your AI wingman to attack an arbitrary ground target.

In summary, there IS A WAY to get this to work! Seems obvious now[1] that I’ve dug this up (shouldn’t be so difficult to find this information but it is what it is). My bad I guess .

Edited the DEPLOYED Quick Start to note the requirements - it is the ‘Padlock’ setting. Here’s the process:

First, the DEPLOYED mission will enable “Padlock” so don’t override this.

  1. Find/Center in your view a unit then Padlock it - default key: number pad ‘.’ You will see a red ‘bracket’ superimposed on that unit and your view will of course stay padlocked on it.

  2. F10 Menu | Flight | Engage | “My Target” | - VAICOM users I think you just say, “Flight Engage My Target” (I’ve only tested on my keyboard + mouse dev PC so far).

  3. Un-padlock (optional) - default key: number pad [toggle]

You might map these keys to your HOTAS to make this sequence more efficient.

Your wingman should (it’s worked every time, so far), reposition themselves (can take a couple of minutes, which makes sense as I’m sure getting into a ‘good’ position to make your attack run is a IRL thing); you do NOT need to keep the target padlocked once you tell them to engage.

Ran a test in DEPLOYED where a Troops in Contact (TIC) happened and my wingman was finally useful for something. Yay! He got bagged eventually but, hey, he soaked up a few rounds for me :slight_smile:

[1] As I haven’t used any kind of Padlock in a long, long time, it just didn’t occur to me to try this (I assumed padlock only applied to me) - the Cockpit Visual Recon mode seemed to advertise what I wanted but didn’t work. At least not on its own and I spent some time down that rabbit hole. So, I found a reply, to a reply, from an old thread that simply said, “you must use padlock for this to work…”. It was buried in my [growing] document on “How To Get DCS To Do Things!” (working title :slight_smile: )

3 Likes

Spoke too soon :angry:

The above worked 3 times in a row (F-5 and and I think A-4, I swap out regularly). But TODAY it doesn’t want to work; same mission; setup; settings; switches; etc.

IMO it shouldn’t be this hard.

Not much in the ED forums about Padlock really beyond the usual childish comments festooned upon ones manhood if you use it [or not], but I digress…

Several reports going back YEARS about it randomly locking [empty in my case] places on the ground.

So, still have my ‘backup’ method where DEPLOYED will sick your wingman on the target that triggered the TIC situation (if that unit/group is dead by the time you get there either it won’t allow you or your Bot will reply, “Unable” or something similar).

2 Likes

Taking a break for a couple days. Have guests staying over. But, I have about 3 hours to play with before they arrive so…

Somewhere on my task list is: make a YT video showing a typical mission while you are DEPLOYED. But I need a script. Thus here we are…

[And I did not record this mission as my play PC has nothing on it but DCS]

Fade the lights…
Campaign was on day 1-ish (or was it 2?). Was fragged for a “Firebase Patrol”. These can happen anytime (with the Syria campaign) but are more likely before things go ‘hot’ (whenever that is).

You see, the grunts get lonely out there in the middle of nowhere; it’s nice to show them they are not forgotten. And nothing says “we care” like a low, high-speed pass (with aileron roll), in full-burner, over their heads. Hoo Rah!. So me an “Bot” set out to it.

Chose the Hornet off the Roosevelt. Morning launch, wx is about 9,000 BKN, tops estimated at FL210 (need to work a PIREP into the code :thinking: ) wind calm.

Loadout: TGP + a couple of those little robot, laser bomb things.

Briefed a standard VFR departure: running join up (I keep my IAS below 300Kts so ‘Bot’ can join up quicker) AOB 500’ AGL until 7 DME, then build up some speed and expedite to the cleared altitude (FL250).

Cat shot went as expected. ‘Bot’ joined up smartly to my left. Checked in with Approach: “climb and maintain FL 250”. Up we go (at 7 DME). On the way I kept it as smooth as I could, with slight adjustments to avoid the white puffy things (no need to make -2 go ‘blind’ if we don’t need to).

Flight plan was pretty long so I planned on FL290 enroute, then briefed the game plan:

  • About 30 DME from each fire base go “off frequency” with K-MART and say hello to the guys on the ground (the frequencys are all on the kneeboard and usually programmed in - platform dependent).

  • Switch back to KMART and cruise to the next one. The fire bases visited are, in this order:

@WarPig
@Clutch
@fearlessfrog

  • The leg between WarPig and Fearless takes us near near the FLOT (or the intel folks best guess - this is a COIN-like campaign). We do NOT want to be low near Raqqa!

  • Fuel plan: if needed run down to Anchor Track Bravo after Fearless. Else press to Anchor Charlie to top off the tanks.

  • Go visit the Alpha Bombing range to rid ourselves of the bombs.

  • RTB to a Case 1

On the way to our first waypoint SKATE ( @SkateZilla ) I asked for higher from the Center, “approved as requested”. Nice chap.

Once leveled off I thought a status check would be in order:

Me: “Fuel State Check”,
Bot": “two, 12.1”.

It really helps to keep him in mind concerning fuel usage. I had about the same, maybe even a 100 pounds less.

Crossing the ‘fence’ Center switched us to KMART. Warpig was only a few minutes away and when the gizmo rolled over to 30 DME I asked for and got clearance to go off freq to call WarPig. Seems they had everything under control, replying with a curt, “Nothing for you”. This would repeat for all subsequent visits - nobody wanted an air show, at least at this time. Boo. :slightly_frowning_face: (this is situationally dependent BTW)

Used the time between Warpig and Clutch to eat my ham sandwich - @wagmatt would approve :slight_smile: I wanted be alert during that Clutch → Fearless leg, just in case.

Since each turn was more than 90-degrees I made sure to tell George early enough (fly-by, not fly-over). As we approached Raqqa a brace of Vipers went underneath us - there was a fair amount of traffic moving about along the edges of the AOR today (the traffic call code is mostly done, just not tested yet).

Had this been a night mission (I had volunteered to be on the “Night Shift”) a small fireworks show would have been seen below us over Raqqa - unguided (unless I was dumb enough to drop down low that is!) barrage fire.

I know they were firing cus I cheated here: had the code running in debug mode that tells me these things).

Night missions, especially in VR, are a hoot, more so now that I have the Full World Population (FWP) thingy working - you could be fired upon anywhere in Bad Guy country by people with guns, not just near the target. There could be hundreds of them (this is adjustable to taste) but I ‘feed’ them in only when necessary. But I digress…

So off we went, to Fearless. Sadly, they had no ‘trade’ for us either. Here’s where I made a little navigation error: There is no “Magic Map” in DEPLOYED - you have what the jet gives you. AND I had to admit I didn’t really spend enough time looking at the route.

You see, the leg after Fearless took us, not to the Charlie Anchor Track but direct to the RTB (‘Home’) point - Mother. And THAT went right through the No Fly zone!

I had a [virtual] conversation with 'Bot", "hmmm, we’re on course but the RHAW gear is showing hits on two PAC flights on our nose (PAC is the belligerent third party in this fracas and you CANT GO THERE, into their airspace). Either they have strayed or I’m messed up. hint: it was me.

Blind luck would prevail here - my plan to visit the Alpha Bombing range came back to me about this time; it required looking at the map! Duh. This clued me in to what was really going on (a line drawn from the Bravo Anchor → Home goes right through the No Fly zone!). So, off to the tanker we go.

It wasn’t a ‘by the book’ rejoin as I have a technique that greatly expedites the process for ‘Bot’ to get gas (fly him up to about 1/2 mile astern, echelon left, then “goto tanker” takes a lot less time).

I’ve gotten really rusty since most of my flying for the last 2 years (while writing all this code) is in 1-5 minutes bursts doing nothing more than testing code paths. This is my excuse for missing the basket on the first stab. It got worse later. Bot actually topped off about 30 seconds before me. Time to rid ourselves of some weight. Back to the map.

Since the visit to the Alpha Bombing range wasn’t scheduled there was no steerpoint in the flight plan (an no navaid there either). Silly me - just dawned on me that I have actually put the geo coordinates for each bombing range into the (programatically generated) knee board. But I forgot abou this (was a new addition). What to do. Back to the map.

Ok, “…there’s a SW-NE running valley that goes by Alpha…I could find that pretty easily with my eyeballs (once I got under the bottom cloud layer)…oh, there’s a large-ish lake about 20 NM SW of the shallow canyon that points to the range…ok, lets do this”. Drawing a line on the map (range/bearing) I decided a 310-degree heading would have us intersecting that valley a bit SW of the the lake. Time to get lower…

Me, back on KMART’s frequency: “Request lower”.
KMART: “Approved as requested”. Guy’s a real pro.

Made sure again not to put Bot into the clouds on the way down and soon enough there it was. A gentle turn to follow the eastern edge of the valley…

  • Call up A2G mode
  • Warm up the FLIR
  • Get the HMD into that mode-that-lets-you-look-at-something-to-designate it. Yeah, too much coding, not enough practice time.
  • Call Center (we were back in their space), ME: “Request off freq”…
  • Call Range Alpha, Me: “With your”. + “Request Tasking”

Range Controller: “airspace is yours, maintain VFR…yadda, yadda, yadda”.

We are now free to rein havoc upon beat up, broken down tanks and such. Tally Ho! There it is; designate; push some buttons; enter some settings (laser code, etc). Move out to about a 8NM IP and run in. Shack!

This is when it would be nice to be able to look at a spot on the ground and have Bot attack it (I promised not to go there again…but witness that the math is the same as what I just did with the HMD!); all my breath was wasted with several “Attack My Target” calls. Bot just shrugged. (I’ve written code that works except for arbitrary scenarios like this).

That was easy. Time to RTB. My observations as to the lack of proficiency are about to be proven…

So, we climb up/out over the Med’, enjoying the scenery: I have shipping traffic moving about too (same FWP mentioned above) - off to my right there’s a BIG tanker ship moving out of the port SE of Incirlick. Can just make it out through the haze.

Something is off with me or the TACAN here. It worked as advertised on the way out but on the way back it was showing 200+ NM to the task force - but those big blobs on my SEA search RADAR didn’t jive with that. So, after getting switched to Approach (CV) I jumped over to to Marshal as I saw the CV going by off to my left - but the TACAN still said 200+ NM!?

I’m not going to talk about the trap (attempts) Took 4 tries…but the last one was pretty good, right Jello? He wasn’t happy with me. Note the “Kiss Off” command worked here (it hasn’t before but I was probably doing it wrong).

So, even though the above was not a hair-on-fire, repetitive take off, dogfight, die, lather rinse repeat, action-packed, instant-action scenario ya know what? I felt like I accomplished something - and learned a few lessons (got just a little bit better at doing Pilot Sheet).

And I only had to make about 5 mouse clicks (reading the briefing and studying the map better would have scored me more points too, I guess).

G’day

PS: The link to the lastest D/L is still up on the first post if anyone wants to give it a go.

PSS: Or it WAS.

Here it is again (it wont let me edit that post?)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1M9TuTv-o0qdnnIr23OkMn1JUBn9WQTxI?usp=sharing

3 Likes

Nice write-up Jeff.

Thanks - needed.

I could be wrong, but 200 NM seems a long way for TACAN. Did you happen to ID the station?

I think that there is a lot of satisfaction in doing things as procedurally correct as the sim allows, especially if it’s not “scripted”. It also sounds like you are single-handedly solving the dearth of ATC interaction in creative ways.

1 Like

Well, once this version - the basics - are consistent I plan to add a bit more, but only that which takes place outside the tower area as I think ED is going to do something here; the local traffic area is the obvious choice.

I assume they are working on it. I don’t want to write a ground & local control AI just to watch it become meaningless in the near? future.

It may all be a waste of time in the end but I’m learning new things. Useful things? Maybe not, but it’s the process that counts - the mental exercise I guess.

Yeah, double-checked it. In the Hornet its pretty simple; channel 71 was selected and ON.

I’ve had issues with the TACAN in the Hornet before too, and I think all have been on the Syria map. It was showing a TACAN symbol waaay down, when I zoomed the MFD out, near the SW corner of the map (empty ocean). Don’t think it was spinning either.

Same with the route display; pressing the button to display the route won’t work after some time until I ‘play’ with it; cycling it and the WAYPT button(s) on/off. This is usually 45 or more minutes into the mission. Course, I could have gotten into some other mode that was causing the problem but I’m ignorant of what it might be.

For those of you following along at home version 0.89 is up (see above post for link)

Had to perform ‘other duties’ last several days so not much more than some minor code refactors. Did move the Strike Eagle to “Muwaffaq Salti” (‘Salti’) AFB. I’d intended to base platforms here before as it is historically accurate - but the base didn’t exist until the last update.

As there is already a lot of ‘stuff’ at this base (thank you) it only took about 30 minutes. All the Marine jets remain at previous locations. The route from ‘Salti’ will add about 200 NM to your trip but, hey, it’s more accurate (the Typhoon was based, at least for some amount of time, at Akrotiri, Cyprus - even further away; when we ever get the Typhoon it will be put there too.)

Supporting Multiple Modules
As long as I own the platform, and it can be reasonably expected to exist during the given campaign timeframe, I try to put them in. Have the process down to about 45 minutes to add a new one. Note this doesn’t include a lot of flight testing but shouldn’t matter as DEPLOYED cares about the ROLE (think ‘Task’ in the mission editor) of the platform and the primary mission of the squadron. DEPLOYED can adjust: if, as in the case of the Viper at Incirlik, it is a SEAD squadron but there’s no SAMS (they have all been killed) it will adjust and task for bomb dropping.

Nice Surprises
My method of populating the map served up a startling surprise this AM when I performed a quick test of the F15E (moving it to a new base)…

First: what a complex beast to use the SE is! The Hornet, Viper, and Harrier I can jump into and figure out (dig through my dim memory) somewhat quickly. Not so with the Mud Hen. It’s like the dudes that designed the UI for the Viper/Hornet/Harrier all kind of worked from the same sheet of music; the Mud Hen people…not so much. I was lost.

So, DEPLOYED gave me my first Surface Attack mission with the SE - kill a weapons storage building (the campaign had progressed while I was using the Hornet). But even though I’ve owned the SE for at least a year it dawned on me - I’ve never flown this thing (I’ve been busy writing DEPLOYED). How hard could it be? Same, more-or-less, generation as the others mentioned above. Why not, lets do this!

Long story short: by the time I entered the AOR about all I’d figured out how to do was raise the gear, tune the radios, and set the AP to ALT HOLD. I couldn’t figure out the bomb dropping parts and gave up.

Sent Bot back home and decided to go low-level, alone towards the target (why scare Bot unnecessarily - he’s young and has his entire virtual life ahead of him) - just kind of poke my nose in there a little to test the newest DCS updates for performance and such while I was here[1].

DEPLOYED makes this risky - buzz around low-down without a clue. Started to enter a more populated area and saw tracer fire on the horizon (it was daytime and still visible). Let’s go faster, that should help, right?

As I overflew a small hamlet on the suburbs of some un-pronounceable place, 'WHAM, WHAM!",
coincident with some red-ish streaks coming at me from my 10 o’clock. Plugged in the burners and zoomed up to FL310 (this SE thing is powerful!). Looked around, didn’t see any damage; no annoying noises; George seemed calm. Then I did an F2 looksee (was in DEBUG mode) - those AAA guns gave me a [bad] nose job. Lot of little holes in me too.

It actually startled me. Love it! The Bad Guys (BG’s) occupy (at this stage) about an 80X50 mile area and flying near populated places - anywhere within here - can’t be taken lightly. My scheme to populate the entire AOR and stream it all in seems to be working fine; I could populate the entire map - with thousands of groups - but it takes time to place these things no matter how well I streamline the process.

[1] I suspect the SE is more performance hungry than the Viper or Hornet but the FPS remained pretty good. However, there was a constant, what I call, “chug, chug, chug” every few seconds (FPS was never below 60, in VR); like it was having a hard time loading scenery. I have this map (Syria) on an M.2 drive. Just seemed worse than ever in this regard. Dropped my preload radius to about 60k (was at 100K) and seemed to make a slight difference. Not sure. I have 64GB o RAM too.

Thanks for playing.

4 Likes

PS: DEPLOYED is closing in on Version 1 of what I call “Phase 1”. The engine is settling down and I’m comfortable working with it - I don’t scream at my PC as much anymore.

Barring any oddities with DCS (don’t get me started on this) the comms system (text to speech engine built in) are pretty much working at the fundamental level. It’s so much nicer being able to just say a few words and have it respond [as planned], not hunting for the mouse and squinting at the menu text…

Just added ATC “traffic calls” which opened up a larger can of worms than I thought it would; the math ain’t the problem; the issue is having traffic calls that aren’t, well, stupid. WIP.

The issue now is: CONTENT! Audio, text (the narrative), things to blow up, approach procedures (and accompanying phraseology audio), etc. So, as is it’s a bit of a ‘mash up’, without a lot of continuity cus I wanted to exercise all the possible paths (the Air-To-Air is in its infancy but does occur, sparsely, in the WS7201 campaign on the NTTR) before spending, literally, hundreds of hours on ‘gas’ for the engine, if you will.

5 Likes