Campaign Description.ext

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this page is about Campaign Description.ext. For the mission version, please go to Description.ext.

Description

A campaign description.ext is the entry point to load campaign informations. It must not be confused with mission Description.ext. The campaign title, author and overview picture, the missions tree, everything displayed from the Campaigns screen will be loaded from it.

It must be well written to ensure a good campaign experience, as the flow of missions is defined in this file (aka which mission should be played on which ending). This config file can be accessed through campaignConfigFile.

A campaign file (myCampaign.pbo) should need no other file to work (beside base game files and required mods)!

A wrongly formatted Campaign Description.ext can crash your game!


Directory structure

A campaign structure is the following:

myCampaignMainDirectory
myCampaignMainDirectory\description.ext
myCampaignMainDirectory\missions
myCampaignMainDirectory\missions\mission01.VR
myCampaignMainDirectory\missions\mission02.VR
(…)

Other files may appear at the root of myCampaignMainDirectory for sharing resources between missions, or storing the campaign overview image for example. No files should appear in myCampaignMainDirectory\missions , only mission directories Mission names don't matter nor impact the missions flow. Zmission.VR will not load after Amission.VR for example. The order is, again, defined in description.ext.

You may have to manually create arma3rootDir\Campaigns

Missions flow

Missions flow structure is defined as follows:

  • The parent class is Campaign, nothing else.
  • Campaign is filled with chapters
  • Chapters are filled with missions and defined endings
  • Missions are filled with endings.
Campaign class cannot contain mission classes directly!

A campaign contains one to many chapters, and must define a parameter named firstBattle pointing to its first chapter. A chapter contains one to many missions, and must define a parameter named firstMission pointing to its first mission. A mission must define its endings. A mission with an empty defined ending will follow its chapter ending.


Campaign

This is the main class for missions flow definition. It is defined as follows:

class Campaign // this is a reference class and the name cannot be customised
{
	firstBattle	= Chapter1;			// which chapter should be loaded first. MUST be declared!

	name		= "my great campaign";		// before Arma 3
	briefingName	= "my Arma 3 campaign";		// since Arma 3 - if undefined, an error popup will appear
	author		= "Username";			// since Arma 3 - if undefined, "by unknown community author" will replace author's name
	overviewPicture	= "overview.paa";
	overviewText	= $STR_A3_StageAOverview;
	disableMP	= 1;				// since Arma 2 - if set to 1, forces the campaign as SinglePlayer
	enableHub	= 1;				// TBD - has to do with coming back to a "base"
	(…)
};


Chapters

A chapter is defined inside Campaign block. Multiple chapters can exist inside Campaign block. A chapter is defined as follows:

class Chapter1 // name can be customised here - it will be used as reference, in firstBattle for example
{
	firstMission	= Mission1;		// which mission should be loaded first. MUST be declared!
	name		= "My first chapter";	// chapter name. Has no in-game impact
	cutscene	= Chapter1Cutscene.VR;	// missions sub-directory. A cutscene is of course optional but the parameter MUST be declared (cutscene = ;)
	end1		= ;
	(…)
};

There can be multiple chapters in a campaign, but this is optional. Campaign missions can very well be contained within a single chapter. Chapters are used for campaign organisation as well as adding some transition cutscenes.


Missions

A mission is defined inside a chapter and must target one of the missions sub-directories. Multiple missions can be inside a chapter. A Chapter is defined as follows:

class myMission1 // name, such as chapter one, can be customised
{
	end1 = myMission2;
	end2 = myMission3a;
	end3 = myMission3b;
	end4 = myMission2;
	end5 = ;
	end6 = ;
	lost = myMission1;

	template = myMissionDirectory.VR; // missions sub-directory
};
Mission directories that are not declared anywhere in description.ext (as mission or cutscene) are simply ignored.
Introduced with Operation Flashpoint version 1.00
cutscene

Define a cutscene mission directory that will be played before the mission. The cutscene won't appear in missions list in the campaign screen.

Introduced with Operation Flashpoint version 1.00
end1-6, lost

These end% and lost parameters are used to define which mission is next. An empty ending (No code added!) will end the current chapter.

''end1-6 and lost are optional in Arma 3.

Since custom ending names can be used in Arma 3 now ("myCustomEnd" call BIS_fnc_endMission for example) you can use your own custom name here (e.g No code added!)

Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.00
endDefault

Fallback value in case an undefined ending is used, avoiding the game to crash.

endDefault = ; // valid
Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.00
repeat

Allow mission to repeat?

repeat = 1; {{codecomment|// 0: disabled - 1: enabled. Default: 0
Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.00
isHub

Define a mission to be hub. May have to do with CfgHubs.

isHub = 1; // 0: disabled - 1: enabled. Default: 0


Root parameters

Additional root parameters must be placed outside the Campaign class to be effective!
Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.00

directory

Define the campaign directory, used when campaign is part of an addon.

directory = "A3\Missions_F_EPA\Campaign";
Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.00

filterGroup

Usage unknown.

filterGroup = 3;
Introduced with Operation Flashpoint: Resistance version 1.75

weaponPool

A campaign automatically enables weapon pool. This parameter allows equipment transferred from one campaign mission to the next to be available during the briefing in the gear menu.

weaponPool = 1; // 0: disabled - 1: enabled. Default: 0


Full example

/*
	MissionDefault, NoEndings etc. are arbitrary class names. MissionDefault is Bohemia standard name for missions parent class.
	Left to itself, simply inheriting the mission default means you will exit the game at the end of mission/chapter (and will be done on last(s) mission(s).
	An end that is used but not defined (e.g "end6") will crash the game.
*/
class NoEndings
{
	end1 = ;
	end2 = ;
	end3 = ;
	end4 = ;
	end5 = ;
	end6 = ;
	lost = ;
};

class MissionDefault : NoEndings
{ 
	lives		= -1; // this sets your "lives" to none - old OFP setting where you would lose a "life" every time you retried the mission, never used
	noAward		=  1; // TBD
	cutscene	= ;   // mandatory definition
};

// additional parameters go here
weaponPool		= 1;

class Campaign
{
 	name		= "My Great Campaign"; // before Arma 3
 	briefingName	= "My Great Campaign"; // since Arma 3
	author		= "John Doe";
	overviewText	= "You are a soldier on an island. Try killing the enemies and not dying to survive.";

	firstBattle	= Chapter1;
	disableMP	= 0; // this campaign is multiplayer-compatible

	class Chapter1 : NoEndings
	{
		firstMission = Chapter1_Mission1;
		end1 = Chapter2; // other endings are defined by inheritance from NoEndings

		class Chapter1_Mission1 : MissionDefault
		{
			end1 = Chapter1_Mission2; // other endings are defined by inheritance from MissionDefault, inheriting from NoEndings
			end2 = ; // end2 will end Chapter 1, therefore going to Chapter 2
			template = C1M1.VR;
		};
		class Chapter1_Mission2 : MissionDefault
		{
			end1 = ; // not defining the ending will use the Chapter ending corresponding to end1: Chapter2 here

			template = C1M2.VR;
		};
	};

	class Chapter2 : NoEndings
	{
		firstMission = Chapter2_Mission1;
		end1 = LastChapter;

		// this mission is named Chapter2_Mission1 for clarity purpose,
		// but both Chapter1_Mission1 and Chapter2_Mission1 could have been named Mission1 as game engine respects Chapter hierarchy.
		// do not, however, name two missions the same in the same chapter
		class Chapter2_Mission1 : MissionDefault
		{
			end1 = ; // not defining the ending will use the Chapter ending corresponding to end1: LastChapter here

			template = C2M1.VR;
		};
	};

	class LastChapter : NoEndings
	{
		firstMission = Chapter3_Mission1;
		// no endings provided: because of NoEndings inheritence this is the same as writing
		// end1 = ;
		// end2 = ;
		// end3 = ;
		// end4 = ;
		// end5 = ;
		// end6 = ;
		// lost = ;
		class Chapter3_Mission1
		{
			// not defining the ending will use the Chapter ending corresponding to end1: NOTHING here, closing the campaign
			template = C3M1.VR;
		};
	};
};


Recommendations

If you don't know for sure what you are doing, follow these advices:

  • try and make all the missions work stand-alone, then place them all in the Missions directory
  • don't force yourself to use many chapters. They are useful to organise properly a lot of missions, but if your campaign doesn't have many, don't oversplit it.
  • you can test your campaign structure by allowing file patching (in Arma 3 launcher, or arma3.exe -filePatching) and placing your campaign in the campaigns directory