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Making your Own missions

Steve "the taxman"

treed49@shaw.ca


Note: See Corrections at bottom

QUICK START --- CLICK HERE

Make your own missions.

The Game Description, Map Editor, and Mission Editor available
for print out at xoperations.narod.ru (*Note to readers, the map and mission editor guides are available in a print friendly version in the guides section of the site - Dylan Mather)
are all required for creating your
own missions of this game. The last two are done through translation
and have a few unclear points.


Map or Block Editor

Note: Death at center of map should read death at 2X leg length of center
marker below center.

F3 - toggle zoom 250%
F6 - De-select all vertex selections.
F9 - Texture modify (see separate post on this)


Mission or Point Editor

The hotkeys 1-7 are a fine idea, just the use is tricky. You must decide how many points you want to reserve, starting at 0 for the player.
Then set parameter 4 at the next label (see below) before using. Watch the parameter advance the correct amount. The function is hard programmed and does not check to see if a point already exists. Best to do all clusters in one go. It should be noted the points are labeled right to left, bottom to top, and counterclockwise. Except 7, where it is bottom to top/left to right. Go figure.

(see separate post on random path points)

The paragraph starting “Parameter 4 ...” needs clarifying as the tables are unclear. Every point has it’s own unique label! There are 18 different types of points but they are all points and each needs it’s own address.
That is why there is never a parameter 4 in the tables.

ID 0 is the player. ID’s -100, -110, -120 are simultaneous event points,
should that be needed.

In Table 1, if the Human Information category was written first instead of
second, the process would be easier to understand.

In Table 8, the note for 18, “A message is ” one “line...” is clearer.

F3 - toggle zoom 250%

Insert - insert a point in sequence after the selected point. Automatic
re-labeling.


MIF Editor

The file must be saved in the directory preceding your mission, usually the ADDON directory.

Random Path Points

I rarely if ever see the random path option used in point layouts for character movements. Also I rarely see walk/run changes. Or random weapon selections. That is, in non Japanese layouts. The conclusion is that first, the explanation of point movements becomes unclear in the translation to English, and second, the explanation or program has a bug in it. The following has been observed.

In brief, in this program, when a character reaches a point (label 4 - F/V), it then reads its next destination (label 3 - D/C). It reads all the information at that destination before it’s next action. It finds the destination, which is label 4 of that point, and then reads, in order, label 1, 2, 3 of that point. Then the confusion starts.

The character takes on the designations of the next point before it begins moving to it. This is contrary to practical thinking, as in, “You cannot read a sign until you get to it.”. However, this computer character has bionic vision, and can see as far as necessary.

Make the next point a run point, and the character runs to it, not from it. The most bizarre example of this is the random path option. Make the next point a random path and the character does not even go to it. Instead, it chooses either label 2 or label 3, of that point, and goes there.

Here is a 3 point random setup to illustrate. {(3,0,4,1)(3,0,5,2)(3,0,6,3)} - three walk points with references to random points - {(8,2,3,4)(8,3,1,5)(8,1,2,6)}. The character will walk randomly between points 1,2,3 and never go near points 4,5,6.


Block Editor F9


To aid in understanding what the F9 key in the Block Editor does, start the block editor and turn off the side view. Imagine the empty quadrant as a desktop. From the top/left corner as (0,0), count right (1,0), (2,0) etc.. Again from the corner (0,0), count down (0,1), (0,2) etc.. From (0,0) count right one, down one => (1,1) ... (column,row) , (x,y).
Following this method then, a position out of the quadrant would have some negative value. Notice the cross formed by the four quadrants. From (0,0) count left into the front view quadrant (-1,0), (-2,0) etc.. From (0,0), count up into the 3D quadrant (0,-1), (0,-2) etc.. From (0,0) count left one, up one into the top view quadrant => (-1,-1)... etc..

You now understand computer graphics positioning. It differs from print screen positioning. Notice the cross in the two left quadrants. That is (0,0). Remember that the front view is looking from South to North in the top view, the same way as the quadrants are positioned. Turn the side view on. Remember the side view looks East to West, again the same.
Create a new block at (0,0). Use view in 3D, find the block and go inside it. This puts you at (0,0). If you only use left mouse button in 3D view, you will stay there. Select all vertices of the block and move it so it is in top right quadrant of all three views. Use left button in 3D view to find the 3D cube. Use left/right arrow keys to put cross on front face, top/right to you. It is helpful to imagine you are at the lower/left/front corner of a cube workspace (0,0,0).

Hit F9. Notice the indented texture square has numbers at all four corners. Notice your selected cube face has four corners. Think. Where is the front face in relation to you in graphic co-ordinates?
Hit cancel. The right arrow selects faces in this order - FS (front side), RS (right side), BS, LS, T, B. Select RS. You can just see the lower edge. Hit F9. Imagine you grab the tex. card and carry it around the corner and look at the face and look at the card and look at (0,0,0).
Hit cancel. Select BS. Hit F9. Here it gets tricky. You imagine the same procedure but now (0,0,0) is not lower/left! Not only that, your x co-ordinates are positive? I like to say two wrongs make a right. (0,0,0) has not moved. Only your view of it has. Besides, these are relative co-ordinates to (0,0,0), not to put too fine a point on it.
Hit cancel. Select LS and F9. That one is easy, making up for the last one. The T looks easy at first, but then you realize you should see some negative values. It is helpful to do the B first. Remember, relative.


OK. So now you sort of understand what the F9 means. But what the heck is the good of it? What can you do with it? Well, try this. Save some blocks in a directory with some bold textures. Select a block, select a face, hit F9. Change a number or two and hit OK. Have fun! Invent another use for it.
 

Tips in designing your own mission

Block Editor tricks and tips

F1 - Copy, then Paste and move select
F2 - Block count
F3 - zoom 250%
F4 - 2D whole block select from partial select
TAB - 2D de-select to whole block from excessive select
F5 - transfer 2D select to 3D
F6 - unselect 2D
F7 - rotate select
F8 - rotate select
F9 - alter texture

1) A character can descend to a surface less than 2X the length of the
centering cross leg below centre without dying. At 2X he dies.

2) A character can climb a slope up to about 50 degrees. The factor is
20H x 17W.

3) Using Kaidan texture as a measuring stick and falling down with little
forward motion, a fall of 9 layers plus the 40% low strip, on the fifth
fall the character sustains 1 increment of injury. At 11 layers, the
second fall results in 1 increment. The physical strength of the
character has no bearing on the result.

4) A Character can see below its position at a factor of 25Hx44W+, no
lower than approx 30 degrees. I assume the same is for above.

5) A character can see 40 initial size blocks distance on a level plane.

Random Path Points

Now, by programming standards, this is a waste of resources, using 6 of your allotted points on a 3 point setup. However, the forward attribute acquisition quirk (I call it bug) in this software makes this necessary if you want to use the random function. Besides, in this square-ish micro-world, a 4 point setup is much more useful. As expected, you need 8 points, with a random point referring to the pair of walk points adjacent to the walk point referring to the random point. Talking in circles ...er ... squares. For a 6 point circuit, you need 12 points.

Changing a 6 point circuit (or circle walk) into 2 - 4 point random walks sharing a common side is possible. Unfortunately, this, and any larger setups are no longer truly equally random because of the need for 3 way intersections. The odd number of choices to be selected by an even number of parameters (2) means you must factor in bias in your layout. The function will select 1 direction 50% of the time and 25% each for the other 2 directions, the bias direction being determined by your parameter choices.

To create a 2 - 4 RND common side walk, hotkey 4 for 6 connected points. Add 4 RND points on the 4 corners (1,3,4,6) as in your 4 point setup. Add 3 RND points above (2), with one referring to the other two. Direct (2) to the lead RND point. Direct the two follow RND points to the 3 possible direction choices, the one direction with two leads to it will be the bias direction. Do the same below (5). You have 14 points.

A walk that has an interior vertical/horizontal crossing pattern will have 4 - 3way intersections and 4 corners. Your point count is climbing some more.

If you want a RND selection at the 4 way intersection in the center of this walk, your looking at 6 RND points and more bias.

This is making my head hurt. Good luck.


(UPDATE)

Misc. Block Editor Tips

When making buildings, think like real life construction. Do not butt floors to walls as that leaves an invisible crack to fall into. Also, do not full overlap floors into walls as that makes a texture problem on the other side. Solve both problems by pushing floor 1/2 way into wall.
Another problem spot is outside corners. I like to extend end walls 1/2 (1/4?) block into street compared to front/rear walls. It solves problem, makes a nice look, but shows interior wall texture on small exposed strip.
Using the snap to grid feature as much as possible solves problem of floor seams. However, care must be used when zooming in or out. Turn the feature off ... or ... zoom to select vertex, then go directly back to the same resolution before doing anything else. Another option is to build on resolution multiples of 1 or 2. You can then zoom to 2,3/ 4,6 and nothing snaps out of shape.
When building a ramp, select the 2 top vertexes and lift, rather than the 2 side vertexes. It makes texturing that side strip a lot easier.


Misc. Other Tips

Block Editor


A wall of the standard block thickness (about a meter) will stop every weapons bullet.

A wall of 3/4 standard will allow - PSG1 , Famas

A wall of 1/2 standard will allow - Aug & all of the above

A wall of 1/4 standard will allow - P90 , M4 , AK47 , M249 and all of the above.


Point Editor

When designing your game, think in modular terms, like a programmer. The most common mistake is having too much happening, thus slowing down gameplay.

e.g. Your mission overall is shaped like a figure 8, with your character entering a the bottom of the eight. The player has to work through the lower area before going through the pinch point in the middle. It makes no sense to have characters in the upper area walking around on patrol, using up computing power, until the pinch point is reached. Use one of the wait event points with event point 14 to start them off.

Also, if characters are placed with no function except to come alive when they see the player, don't assign them movement points. This causes the program to cycle check them unnecessarily. Just plant the character with 1,?,x,x

You can cause characters to follow the player two ways. You can make their third parameter 0. They will constantly follow the player but jostle him, trying to stand on his feet. Or you can use the follow movement point. The characters will give some personal space but this causes the program to update times the number of characters involved. The first is handy if execution is slow.

NEW - 03.04.2007

OK. You've built all your buildings and now you want to texture everything. Do this...

Load a texture in your directory with the .bd1/.pd1 files. With your project in the block editor, hit load texture. Type your texture name in any slot but the top one. The top one is the default texture and you have been unknowingly texturing all your project with it all along. Find the first object to texture in the perspective view. Use the up/down arrow keys to get it highlighted. Use the left/right arrow keys to get the purple X on your surface. Use the Z/X keys to make your texture the current texture.
Hit Enter.

Wow! But it's all screwed up! Right. Hit F9. Eight weird numbers. Blank them all. Type 0,1,1,1/0,0,1,0. Hit Enter.

Think x,y,x,y/x,y,x,y (x = horizontal, y = vertical). The eight numbers make the four corners of a box. The difference of 1 between 0 and 1 is one texture wide or high. If it's backwards use negative numbers or switch a 1 for a 0. Use decimals to precisely place your texture.

Now you've got it.




QUICK START





!
CORRECTIONS!

(Because I, [Dylan Mather] Am to lazy to go in and find/fix these)

Map or Block editor

functions - move vertex - "incorrect" shape or form - a better technical term would be "unsupported" and a better overall term would be "phantom". As long as a character does not have to walk on these, they can be used.


Mission or Point editor

Table 1 - "...up to 24 characters..." should read "...up to 24" types of "characters..." - have counted over 80 so far.

Table 1 - "...up to 10 human..." should read "...up to" {unknown} "human..." - have counted 11 so far.



Copyright the_taxman