Author Topic: RELEASE: Windmills  (Read 49552 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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This is not how you train an officer.
You are quite right.

This is pretty much exactly the kind of reaction I was terrified of while I was working on this. It's a misinterpretation of the project's intent, but the fact it's happened demonstrates my failure here. I apologise for that.

RANSOM NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

You did not fail. What happened here is exactly that: NGTM-1R misunderstood the project's intent.

I'm going to say I didn't enjoy it all.

This was probably inevitable. Harpoon Classic IN SPACE it was not. But what really, really sunk it was something Mongoose tried to explain earlier, making some wrong assumptions.

It preached the wrong things. This is not how you train an officer.

This is a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional GTVA military created as a proganda tool by the NTF. If this is how Command was trained, or operates, I have every right as a pilot to complain about him.

Did you ever play Portal? Yes? That's not how you run an autonomous wormhole research facility, is it?

Did you ever see Dr. Strangelove? That's not how it would work in real life, is it?

The point of Windmillls is to make you question everything you take for granted as a Freespace 2 pilot. Why am I blowing up this cargo depot? Why are there eight wings of Hercs jumping in to guard this ship? Aren't there people over there flying those bombers I'm mercilessly vaporizing?

Officer training is in no small part aimed to make sure you're appropriately brainwashed (just like any other kind of training.) Windmills...isn't. But come on. You read Ender's Game, right? The Giant's Drink? Psychological assessment?

I think what probably bothers you is that this isn't a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional GTVA military. The simulation voice certainly is. But the choices you make in the simulation are totally accurate to what Command does in nearly every mission. The 'Simulation' character just draws your attention to that.

And I think it's painful to examine those choices and realize exactly how amoral Command has to be.

Windmills adds a kind of realistic moral weight and complexity to the Freespace 2 experience that can be downright uncomfortable. It can be frightening. How many of us weren't shocked by that brief flash of the desperate pilot yelling for Command? We've all heard it a hundred times in other missions...but here it meant something.

 

Offline Rhymes

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It may not be how you train an officer, but who the **** cares?  It's still creepy as hell, and still awesome.  Besides, there's always somebody who doesn't like a campaign, but when you consider how many people there are that enjoyed it vs. how many people there are that didn't, Windmills is not a failure, at all.  Bottom line: people like it, therefore it's a success.  Besides, Ransom, you're one of the best campaign-makers in existence, and hats off to you.
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Offline Commander Zane

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This style of training would certianly weed out the weaker persons a lot more efficently.

Look at military Basic Combat Training, it's supposed to be a test of mental and psychological strength as well as physical, but it's piss-poor on the first two, just about ANY person can handle being yelled at for days-on-end, I can easily handle being yelled at constantly. What the style Windmills introduces is PURELY mental and psychological, it would decide who was better at making choices and taking chances and who wouldn't be capable of taking that kind of position without breaking down at first conflict.

 

Offline General Battuta

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For all we know the GTVA wants thoughtful, morally nuanced commanders who can nonetheless make the hard decisions.

 
What GB said.  This is most emphatically not a failure.  You can't please everyone.

Me, I didn't really try to dig too deep into analyzing every word, every statement, every action.  The overall experience was highly unique and thought provoking.  That alone is worth something.  On top of that, I found it entertaining.  I kind of doubt it is going to have nearly as much replay value since surprise factors in a big way to how you experience this campaign, but for me, the experience was a very good one.  Kudos.
"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day to day living that wears you out." – Anton Chekhov

 

Offline Goober5000

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What happened here is exactly that: NGTM-1R misunderstood the project's intent.
One can understand a project's intent without agreeing that the project achieved that intent.

 

Offline Snail

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NGTM-1R is a harsh critic though.

Don't hurt me.

 

Offline General Battuta

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What happened here is exactly that: NGTM-1R misunderstood the project's intent.
One can understand a project's intent without agreeing that the project achieved that intent.

Fair enough.

This is the most adventurous project we've seen in FRED for a very long time. It amazes me that it was -- in addition to having experimental merit -- a great deal of fun. I think NGTM-1R's criticism was unfounded and unsubstantial.

 

Offline MC_Kejml

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I had to download it, seems interesting. It's 0:23 here and I'm giving it a shot...

Edit: Omg at the
Spoiler:
Second mission, contact lost
- 0:25

Edit 2: The
Spoiler:
Big red Orion was supposed to scare too, right? My camera was pinned somewhere else, although I made it at 0:02. Hehe
The total font concept is interesting and original too.

I also like the psychological part. It seems that I'm not even a Terran commander but some Man behind the curtain.  :shaking:
Omg.
:/

-0:31

Edit 3: What a butterfly effect on mission 4!
Spoiler:
I couldnt even target the transport, duh.

Anyway. I've been planning to write the scifi book... and you definitely inspired me a tad bit. Hey, thanks for the experience.

-0:54

About the achievment, well, it's some, but I never fredded and,... you know. I've read some of the responses and yes, Don Quixote definitely came to my mind, although I don't know the metaphor for Windmills in the mod.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 05:58:13 pm by MC_Kejml »

 

Offline Commander Zane

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Nor do I know the meaning of the music on the fourth mission.
Someone PM it?

 

Offline IronBeer

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Allow me to be the latest to offer my praise to Ransom. Though the "tactical" aspect probably isn't quite the way it was originally intended, owing to the rather limited AI, the "campaign" brings into sharp focus the moral issues commanders have to face. It only took about an hour for me to play through, but I probably won't be able to look at RTS's in the same way anymore.  One thing I particularly enjoyed was how choices you had made prior to the last mission had an impact, and though my heart wasn't particularly warmed by any of the possible endings for the last mission (cough, cough), I feel it paints a convincingly bleak picture of a military operation. In the heat of a dogfight, it may be easy for any of us to assign our wingmen to a suicidal directive- we're trying to save ourselves and possibly the mission. However, as a commander, from the safety of... well, wherever GTVA CO's operate from, we have to choose who gets to live and who must die before shots are even exchanged. Furthermore, I'll add that the simplistic graphics (for the simulation, at least) contribute to making the experience more dehumanizing. Questions such as "why are we fighting?", "who are we fighting?", and the like are irrelevant- as a commander, you have directives, and they must be accomplished. 
Also, props for the Ender's Game reference.
Spoiler:
Despite what the simulation repeats on several occasions, the battles are for real.
Or so I think. On the other hand, I'm second-guessing the master of mind games.
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Offline Mobius

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About the achievment, well, it's some, but I never fredded and,... you know. I've read some of the responses and yes, Don Quixote definitely came to my mind, although I don't know the metaphor for Windmills in the mod.

Do you remember any references to windmills in that work? They're quite common. :)
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Did you ever play Portal? Yes? That's not how you run an autonomous wormhole research facility, is it?

Did you ever see Dr. Strangelove? That's not how it would work in real life, is it?

The point of Windmillls is to make you question everything you take for granted as a Freespace 2 pilot. Why am I blowing up this cargo depot? Why are there eight wings of Hercs jumping in to guard this ship? Aren't there people over there flying those bombers I'm mercilessly vaporizing?

Officer training is in no small part aimed to make sure you're appropriately brainwashed (just like any other kind of training.) Windmills...isn't. But come on. You read Ender's Game, right? The Giant's Drink? Psychological assessment?

I think what probably bothers you is that this isn't a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional GTVA military. The simulation voice certainly is. But the choices you make in the simulation are totally accurate to what Command does in nearly every mission. The 'Simulation' character just draws your attention to that.

And I think it's painful to examine those choices and realize exactly how amoral Command has to be.

Windmills adds a kind of realistic moral weight and complexity to the Freespace 2 experience that can be downright uncomfortable. It can be frightening. How many of us weren't shocked by that brief flash of the desperate pilot yelling for Command? We've all heard it a hundred times in other missions...but here it meant something.

Oh, now you had to bring up Ender's Game. It's on.

That, too, is a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional military, in the business of turning out pyschotics and sociopaths. The book is horrible. Ender is deeply delusional or not actually human, if you accept the authorial fiat to, as an essay I'm fond of put it, "Create the innocent killer."

And that's the problem. As I observed, it doesn't really matter whether this is an accurate depiction of Command or not. If it is, then there is no mystery as to why the GTVA loses wars. Many people struggle, it seems, to cast the GTVA as composed of competent, able officers. This is "timeframe not specified" so I can't necessarily point out that in the wake of the Second Shivan Invasion there would undoubtedly be massive shakeups in the GTVA's military culture, producing a leaner, more effective officer corps. But at the same time, I can point out that we are not experiencing a peacetime GTVA military in FS2. They have eighteen months of wartime operations under their belts. They would know exactly how dangerous this sort of officer is. They have experience during the T-V War and the Great War too. GTVA forces have always demonstrated relatively high morale and a willingness to engage the enemy consistant with that. If they were being commanded by people like this, that would not be the case.

The purest example of this is the frequently-repeated "choose who lives and who dies" thing in this thread. No. That's not how it works. A service academy will drill this into your head; a good commander never knowingly sends men to their deaths. As for the enemy, that's another issue. If they wanted to survive, they should have stayed home.

Now, given what we know of the NTF and its taste for summary courtmartials and other symptoms of a force with poor discipline, this is perhaps an effective training tool for those attempting to gain entry into Aken Bosch's inner circle. It teaches Magnificent Bastardy well enough...
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Offline General Battuta

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Good commanders knowingly send men to their deaths all the time. It's called sending them into combat. You just don't send them to certain death. Past that, it's a matter of convincing yourself of the probabilities.

And this is what I mean by you missing the point: this campaign is not in any way meant to be a simulation of GTVA officer training.

Get past that fact and see what it's really about.

And there was nothing insane or dysfunctional about the military in Ender's Game. Only, perhaps, Colonel Graff -- who made the right decisions to preserve humanity.

Also, if it's horrible, why is it required reading for US Marines...?

 

Offline Ransom

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One can understand a project's intent without agreeing that the project achieved that intent.
NGTM-1R keeps arguing on the basis that this would be a terrible and crazy way to train officers, which is entirely correct but it is most certainly a misunderstanding of what I was trying to do. No part of me believes this might have been how the GTVA trained anybody.

But that's fine - what I meant earlier was that, like a joke that has to be explained, any reasonable misinterpretation can only be the fault of the author. I'm not trying to defend my own work here. NGTM-1R's opinion is one I respect and though I can't apply his arguments directly the fact they exist is as good as any criticism.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the context of the NTF thing. It really does seem like the sort of thing the NTF would throw at you. And it definitely fits the context of Aken Bosch' worldview.

As for Ender's Game: perhaps because it is horrible. Like I said, creating the innocent killer. Or perhaps his ability to divorce himself from his feelings. These are useful things to believe/practice (and Graff is a standin for every Marine drill instructor you'll ever have the displeasure of displeasing?) to a degree. But in the end, I still believe that Ender's life was calculated to create sociopath, a pyschotic. This is not a reasonable goal, and while I tend to err on the side of the survival of the species I also think that Ender's game was horrible novel for another reason. Ender wasn't necessary. Someone else would have seen what he did; someone else would have (should have, at that, considering he threw away humanity's entire military might, which was a decision that in the end would have to be taken by a politician) given the order.

Ender was pointless. Speaker for the Dead was a joke. Ender is not capable of feeling. He's already shown that off before.
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Offline General Battuta

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Actually, Ender was a careful balance between psychosis and emotion. His brother Peter was rejected as too ruthless, unlikely to earn the loyalty of his men, and his sister Valentine was considered too soft and emotional.

Ender never threw away humanity's entire military might. He won every battle he ever fought, and only in the final battle at the Bugger homeworld did he sacrifice an entire fleet. But the fleets he'd commanded in every other battle went on to found colonies on the worlds they'd conquered.

If Ender isn't capable of feeling, why did he have such an enormous breakdown when he finally acknowledged the reality of what he'd done? Why did he agonize over his likeness to his brother? The novel makes it clear that he struggles with everything he does, and very nearly fails in Graff's eyes as a result.

ANYWAY!

You seem to be having some kind of trouble thinking about this campaign. The important thing here is the questions being asked. It doesn't have to fit into the universe as some kind of GTVA or NTF training simulation. Did the Transcendent belong to the NTF or the GTVA? Nooooo.

I just find it really odd that you can't acknowledge the value of the questions this campaign is asking. Because Allied Command does makes these choices daily.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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I just find it really odd that you can't acknowledge the value of the questions this campaign is asking. Because Allied Command does makes these choices daily.


Yes, but with less of the "OMG! LOOK WHAT YOU DID YOU LITTLE SH*T!" They make their decisions and get over them, no matter what the outcome is, like most modern military leaders. The more you dwell on the shortcomings the less of an effective leader you become in the present. Assessing your failures is essential, but emphasizing them and their negative results in such a way as to scare the Commander works in a mindf*ck campaign like this one, but notso much in the real world. Because Allied Leadership crapping its pants just isn't cool :)

 

Offline General Battuta

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Reread my post, please.

This campaign points out those decisions.

 
Absolutely awesome. The final simulation is also a great idea - jumping groups between battles for offense or defense. Considering the lore and number of ships and stuff already available in the FS2 game, I think it'd be really interesting and impressive to see a large-scale RTS game based on the franchise. Of course, I think I'm like, 3 years too late in saying this.

Windmills was jaw-dropping. I set a new password and logged in just to say this.