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Using the Tribes 2 Mission Editor
Note: This is a work in progress.
  1. Creating A New Mission
  2. Using the Terraformer
  3. Using the World Editor
  4. Using the Terrain Editor
  5. Finishing Touches
  1. Creating A New Mission
  2. Before you begin creating or editing a mission, you need to first disable the mission timer.  To do so, open the autoexec.cs file in the /base folder and change the value in the missionTimer field to 10000.

    To create a new mission, bring up the console by pressing the tilde (~) key and entering:

    "createNewMission();" (note: this feature is presently disabled--the only way to currently create missions is to copy existing missions and change the names in the appropriate place).

    The Mission Editor uses the W, A, S and D keys to move up, down, left and right.  E is up, X is down, and the mouse rotates the camera.  You can use the Tab button to toggle views, and the "togglecamera(1);" function allows you to swap the camera between player and editor views.

    There are eight types of missions: Capture the Flag (CTF), Capture and Hold (CnH), Hunters, Team Hunters, Bounty, Rabbit, Siege and Deathmatch.  To select a mission type for your mission, you will need to open the .mis file using a program such as Codewright or Notepad and at the very top of the file, enter the mission type or types.

    "// MissionTypes = CnH Hunters", for example.  Don't forget the double backslash.

    You can have a single mission be playable as different types of missions, for example, Dust to Dust has CTF, Hunters and Team Hunters variants.  In multiple mission type instances, you would put all the mission types in opening line.  Any object that must be present in one mission type (such as a Hunters nexus) but not in any others must be specifically commented.  Again, in the .mis file, append each object that needs to be associated with a specific object with "missionTypesList = "mission types";" Look at the .mis file of Dust for Dust for more examples.

  3. Using the Terraformer
  4. Once you have created a new mission, the first order of business will be to create the landscape using the Terraformer. The Terraformer consists of two separate parts, the Heightfield Editor, which sets the height and features of the terrain, and the Texture Editor, which sets the textures on that terrain.

    A:  Using the Heightfield Editor
    To access the Heightfield Editor, click on the Terraformer button at the top of the screen.

    To create a terrain, you will select multiple operations to be performed upon the terrain.  Click on the Operations button in the lower left hand box to access the various operations available to you.  Once you select an operation to perform, you can adjust the settings of that operation in the upper left hand, or Settings screen.  The upper right hand screen shows you a top-down 2-D view of what the changes that specific operation will perform.  The red wedge shows the direction your camera is facing in the lower right hand screen.

    You have many options to choose from when creating a terrain, and you can use any combination of operations as well.  At any time, you can see how your terrain will look once created by clicking on the Apply button.

    General: This is the default terrain operation; you must at the very least have one General operation to create a terrain.  Select the minimum terrain height, height range (maximum height) and water level.  You should include a water level even if you are not going to include a water volume in the mission you are creating and this value can be used with the Texture Editor.  As you use the slider bar to adjust the water level, you can see how high the water level will be in the upper right hand screen.

    fBm Fractal: This is the "default" fractal setting and can be used to create lots of sloping hills.  In the Settings screen, you can adjust the hill frequency (number of hills), the roughness of the terrain and the overall detail of the terrain.  You can reset your work at any time by selecting a new "seed" (random generation) by clicking on the Seed button.

    Canyon Fractal: This function creates canyons.  In the Settings screen, you can adjust the canyon frequency, "chaos" (akin to roughness) and you can create a new canyon set by clicking on the Seed button.

    Rigid Multifractal: The Rigid Multifractal operation will create steep pinnacles and hills.  You can set the number of hills/peaks you want, and the number of valleys that will be created.

    Sinus: This function allows you to "customize" a terrain set.  By increasing or decreasing the number of control points and adjusting them within the Settings screen, you can create almost any kind of terrain.  The Sinus feature is the most versatile but also the most difficult to master.

    Bitmap:  You can create a bitmap (.bmp file) and load it directly into the editor to create a terrain, usually done using a program such as Adobe Photoshop.

    Turbulence:  Turbulence controls the overall "chaos" of a terrain.  The higher the value selected in the Settings screen, the roughter the terrain will be.

    Smoothing:  Smoothing will decrease the roughness and "jaggedness" of a terrain.  In the Settings screen, you can control how many iterations (smoothing passes) you want the editor to perform and how aggressively it smoothes the terrain.  Smoothing can also be done by hand in the Terrain Editor, discussed later.

    Smooth Water:  This will create a smoothed, shoreline effect anywhere along you have created a water level in the General setting.

    Smooth Ridges/Valleys:  This will smooth the ridges and valleys you have created.

    Filter:  We're not sure what this does, either.

    Thermal Erosion:  Creates a thermal (sun/wind) erosion effect on the terrain you have created.

    Hydraulic Erosion:  Creates a water-based erosion effect upon the terrain you have created.

    Blend:  When creating complex terrains, the Blend operation is your best friend.  It allows you to combine two disparate operations into one.  For example, if you want to combine an fBm and Canyon Fractal, you would use the Blend operation.

    The six buttons in the upper center of the screen control the default textures for the terrain you are creating.  If you click on Lush, then lush textures will be chosen for the terrain.  These can be adjusted in the Texture Editor.

    To save a specific heightfield you are working on, click on the Save button.  You will be prompted to give your heighfield a name.  It is recommended to use the "missionname_heightfield.cs" format.  If you think you will want to leave the mission editor and then return later to continue to manipulate the terrain, it is highly recommended to save a mission's specific heightfield, otherwise you will have to recreate it from scratch if you want to edit it on a global scale.

    At any time, you can toggle between the Heightfield and Texture Editors by clicking on the Texture or Heightfield buttons.

    B:  Using the Texture Editor

    The Texture Editor consists of five screens.  The upper right and lower right screens fuction identically to their counterparts in the Heightfield Editor.

    The middle left screen contains the Materials (textures) you can apply to your terrain.  There are over 20 in-game textures you can choose from, however, it is not recommended that you apply more than four to any one terrain.  You can click on the Delete button to remove any textures you select from the Materials menu.

    In the lower left hand corner of the screen is the Placement Operations screen.  Once you select a Material, you then select Placement Operations to determine how that material will be layered over the terrain.  There are four specific operations, Place by Fractal, Place by Height, Place by Slope and Place by Water Level.

    With any Placement Operation, you can adjust how the texture is applied in the upper left hand window by adjusting the control points.

    Place By Fractal: Fractal placement is more chaotic and random and creates a (surprise!) fractal pattern.

    Place by Height: Applies textures according to terrain height.

    Place by Slope Level: Applies textures according the the steepness of the terrain.

    Place by Water Level: Applies texture according to the water level, if a water level was set using the General function in the Heightfield Editor.

    To create the most realistic terrain, you will probably want to combine operations, just as you do in the Heightfield Editor.  At any time, you can change your terrain by adjusting any values of the operations you have selected and clicking on the Apply button.

    Texture sets can be saved just like heightfields, and you should use the recommended "missionname_texture.cs" format.

  5. Using the World Editor
  6. Once you have created a terrain you are happy with, you can begin populating it with buildings, organics and the necessary equipment needed to create a fully operational Tribes 2 mission.  Click on the World Editor button at the top of the screen to go into the World Editor.

    There are four buttons at the upper right of the screen: Creator, Tree, Mission and Inspector.  Clicking on these buttons will bring up the windows associated with their functions to the right of the screen.

    Creator: Contains a list of all selectable items that can be placed in a mission.  To drop an object in a mission, simply select it from the available folders.

    Tree: Displays a list of all specific objects placed in a mission and what folders they are placed in.

    Mission:  Shows an overhead view of the mission area.  The red border shows the mission area.  Objects placed in the mission show up as green dots.  The red wedge indicates what direction the camera is facing.

    Inspector:  Shows a current object selected and its attributes, such as height and ambient states.

    If you want to manipulate the mission area, click on the Edit Area button in the Mission window on the right of the screen.  But selecting any of the eight squares that now ring the red border that represents the mission area, you can adjust the size of the mission.  Pressing the Center button will re-center the mission area to the center of the red boundary.  The Mirror button allows you to create "balanced" maps that are identical on both sides in the direction that the arrow that appears is facing.

    Objects placed in the game can be selected by either clicking on them from the Tree window or in the main display window.  You can select an object or objects by clicking on them with the mouse while holding down the Shift button or by creating a bounding box around all the objects.  Creating a bounding box is done by left-clicking the mouse and holding and dragging it until the box created on the screen encompasses all the objects you want to select.

    Objects can be manipulated in a number of ways by clicking on the Mode button at the bottom of the screen.  The three options are Move, Rotate and Scale.  Selecting Move allows you to move the object along the x, y and z axes.  Once an object is selected, three lines will appear at the object center showing these axes. Hold the cursor over the axis you want to move an object along until it turns yellow, at which time you can move it.  If Rotate is selected, you can then rotate the object along the selected axis.  Scale changes the size and shape of an object.  Instead of selecting an axis, you select a side, and then either "stretch" or "scrunch" the object.

    To toggle between the three modes, press the space bar or click on the Mode button until you come to the option you want.

    The buttons to the left of the screen are your menu options.  Some are self explanatory; Save, Copy, Paste, Delete, Undo and Redo should be familiar to anyone who has used a computer before.  Import and Export have to do with "macros."  Save, for example, you have created a base, complete with generators, stations and turrets, and you would like to use that base in other missions.  You would select all the objects you want to save and click on Export.  This will create a macro that you will name something unique, such as "my_base."  At any time, you can put this macro into another mission by clicking on Import.

    The Drop button controls how objects are placed in the mission.  By default, it is set to "at Camera."  It is recommended that you use the default.

    The Relight button allows you to relight the mission on the fly.  The Settings button (Eric, what the hell do these buttons do?)

    The Camera slider bar controls how fast the camera moves in the editor.  Slide the bar to the left, the camera moves slowly.  Slide the bar to the right, the camera moves quickly.

    First Steps
    When creating a mission, you must first create the team groups.  While holding down the Shift key, right-click on the Teams folder to select it.  Then, from the Create folder, go to the  folder and select "SimGroup."  You will want to name it "Team1."  You will also want to add two more SimGroups to the Teams folder called "Team2" and "Team0."  Team0 should is only for capturable objectives that have no team associated with them upon mission start, such as control switches.  If you are making a CTF map, you should leave Team0 blank, but it still needs to be there.

    Control-right-click on the Team1 folder.  Add another SimGroup called "Spawnspheres."  A spawn sphere is what controls where players spawn within the mission.  You will put spawn spheres in this folder and this folder only.  You can create as many spawn spheres as you want.  There are three values that must be assigned to all spawnspheres: sphereWeight, which controls the frequency that that spawn sphere is called upon spawning, indoorWeight, the chance that a player will spawn indoors and outdoorWeight, the chance that a player will spawn outdoors.  Indoor and outdoor weights should equal 100.  The sphere weight can be any value from 1 to 1,000,000.  The higher the number, the more likely that sphere will be called upon spawning.  Generating spawn spheres is discussed further in Section V.

    Create another folder in Team1 called "Base."  All other items that belong on Team1 should go in this folder.  You can create additional subfolders as desired.  Repeat the process for Team2.

    Some tips to remember:

  7. Using the Terrain Editor

    The boxes to the left of the screen allow you to use the versatile features of the terrain editor.  Raise and Lower allow you to adjust the height of the terrain.  Set Height allows you to adjust the height of terrain to a specific value (selected by pressing the O key or the Settings button) and entering a height value in the menu presented).  Set Empty will "cut out" a piece of terrain, useful for when placing a building that is both above and below ground.  Clear Empty undoes a Set Empty operation.  Flatten will take the selected terrain and, obviously, flatten it.  Smooth will act as sandpaper on terrain, smoothing out rough edges.  Set Material allows you to hand-apply textures to a terrain, and Adjust Height will uniformly raise selected terrain a selected value from the O key menu.

    Before manipulating terrain, select first a Brush Type (box or circle) and Brush Size.  You generally won't need anything larger than a Size 3 brush.

    Click on the Mission Area button in the upper right hand corner to view a topdown image of the mission similar to what appears in the World Editor.  This allows you to see where you are in the mission when editing terrain.

    The soft brush feature allows you, when using a larger (size two and above) brush, to "feather" terrain.  For example, if you were to select a piece of terrain to raise, the effect would be harder at the center of the brush, softer at the edges, creating a more natural effect.

    The Select, Paint and Adjust Sel buttons allow you direct manipulation of terrain, and can be tricky to use.  For example, if you wanted to use the Raise terrain operation, you should press Select, then Raise.  Right click on the terrain tiles you want to manipulate; they will become obviously selected.  Then press Adjust Sel to actually manipulate the tiles.  If you were to just press the Paint button, the tiles would automatically set themselves and you couldn't manipulate them.  These features take practice to get used to.  At any time, you can press Undo to revert back to your original terrain set.

    Whenever you are completed with an operation, you should always press the Clear Sel button to be certain you don't accidently re-manipulate that section of terrain with your next operation.

  8. Finishing Touches
  9.             //---MISSION STRING BEGIN---
                // Mission description goes here
                //---MISSION STRING END---

            You will also need to add a score limit depending upon the mission type.  You can open any .mis file for examples of these.