Operation Flashpoint: FAQ: Mission Editing
I want to be a mission maker! Where do I begin?
A reasonable place to start is the articles available on this wiki (add link here)! Another excellent resource is the forums (dead link). Almost all of them have separate discussion boardss for mission editing. Remember to search for what you're looking for before asking!
Next, there are still many sites covering OFP mission editing. Among them are:
How do I add weapons and ammunition to ammo crates, trucks and other objects?
In the "init" section of the object, you can add weapons to the object by inserting the following statement:
<name> AddWeaponCargo ["weapon",number]
Where <name> is the name of the object the weapons will be added to, "weapon" is the reserved name of the weapon you want added and number is the quantity of that weapon to be made available in the object.
For example, if you want to add 15 Mortars to a truck you named "convoy5", you would insert the following statement:
convoy5 AddWeaponCargo ["Mortar",15]
To add ammunition magazines to the object, instead of weapons, just replace the command "AddWeaponCargo" with "AddMagazineCargo".
To remove weapons and magazine previously added to an object, use the following commands:
Where <name> is the name of the object from which weapons or magazines are to be removed.
What is and how do I define "user defined actions", made available in OFP V1.10?
You can define your own actions in a player's Action menu. The format of the function is:
player addAction ["name","script.sqs"]
This will add a new item to the player's Action menu. "name" is the menu line text to be displayed for the action. When the action is selected from the menu, the script named "script.sqs" will start.
You can add these actions only to a player's unit, not to AI units. This is further improved in OFP's US release and in the OFP Ultimate Upgrade 2 patch. When you use this for multiplayer missions, use the name of the unit instead of the word "player" in the previous example. You can also remove these actions. You need to set an "ID" for the "addAction" function, as in the following example:
id = player addAction ["name","script.sqs"]
"id" is a variable, where the ID of this particular action is stored. Use the following function to remove an added action from the action menu:
player removeAction id
Unfortunately, there is a bug that limits you to removing only the first added action. This has been corrected in the US version and in the OFP Ultimate Upgrade 2 patch (dead link).
(Source: Viktor Bocan, BIS Lead Mission Designer).
How can I place customized flags on flagpoles in my missions?
As of OFP version 1.30, the previously available official Flag Pack is now contained in file FLAGS.PBO in OFP's ADDONS subdirectory.
So whether you want to use one of the country flag JPG files packed into the FLAGS.PBO file or whether you've got a customized version of the Jolly Roger you want to hoist (actually, there's one included in the FLAGS.PBO file, named PIRATES.JPG), here are the step-by-step instructions to implement displaying flags in your missions:
1. Flags must be non-progressive (zero progressive passes) 24-bit color 128x256 pixel flag JPG images, like this NATO flag, for example:
Courtesy of Codemasters
2. Customized flag's JPG files must be placed into the directory where your other mission files are located. If you're using a country flag from OFP's FLAGS.PBO file, OFP will automatically locate it in OFP's ADDONS directory.
3. In the mission, define the flag for a given flagpole with one of the following statement:
- For flags from the FLAGS.PBO file, specify:
<unit_name> SetFlagTexture "\Flags\<flag_name.jpg>"
- For flags from a customized flag image file, specify:
<unit_name> SetFlagTexture "\<flag_name.jpg>"
(NOTES: Change <unit_name> in the above examples to the name of the flag bearing object to be modified. Change <flag_name.jpg> in the above examples to the actual country or customized flag JPG image file name you want used for this flagpole).
How do I delete objects I placed on a map in OFP's Mission Editor?
To delete a single object, place the mouse cursor over it and hit you keyboard's DELETE key. To delete several objects at once, hold down the left mouse button and drag a selection box around the objects to be removed and then press the DELETE key.
After you do that, I suggest reading this FAQ item as well.
I made a great mission. Where can I publish it?
You could always create your own OFP mission download webpage somewhere and brag on the forums (dead link) about it. However, unless you're an already well known mission maker, your claims will often be ignored and few will bother downloading your missions.
So, if you're really that good, here's a better idea! Several of the sites listed in this FAQ item allow you to submit your mission files to the site's mission database for downloading, reviewing and ranking by OFP players worldwide. It is suggested that you submit your missions in compressed ZIP file format.
Is an SDK available?
Currently an SDK (Software Development Kit) is not available for OFP and there's no promise that one will be available in the future. In an August 29th interview with BIS's Marek Španěl, OFP's project leader, Marek stated:
- "We are working on the mission editing documents right now and the first version of them should be online within the next few weeks. There’s no final plans about the SDK. We will consider what tools to reveal to the community and how to best to it. Most likely, even the first tools will not be released to public in the next weeks. We still believe there’s a big potential in mission and campaign editing itself and this is our first goal. After we’ll see the first great user made campaign, we will probably give people some way to add [their] own models or even worlds to the game."
In a January 3 2002 interview with OFP.DE, Viktor Bocan, BIS' chief designer, made the following quasi-optimistic statements:
- "There is nothing like an SDK for OFP, so it could not be released. There are some programs that allow people to make models, weapons, islands, etc. They will be released slowly in near future."
- "What I said doesn't mean that an SDK or anything like that will be released in next few weeks. Not all tools will be released. Not all tools which we would like to release are ready for releasing. Not all tools will be released together. We will release them one after one over quite a long period of time."
- "You have to understand that almost no tools were intended to be released when we created them - they were for internal use only. We have no documentation. Working with some parts of them is very difficult. You have to understand that we want to help people with making mods. But there is a lot of work that must be done first on these tools if we want to release them."
One such tool is called Oxygen. Another one is called Visitor. You can read a little bit about them in this FAQ item.
What is an Editor Update and should I install one?
Gunslinger's OFP Editor Update (EU) is a huge addon to the OFP mission editor. The EU adds support for nearly 500 new objects. You can find out more about the EU by reading the EU's README file.
If you've got OFP version 1.75 and above, you'll need Kegetys' newer Editor Addon, which is a complete replacement for Gunslinger's original EU. The latest version of Kegetys' Editor Addon, 1.11, can be downloaded from here. For OFP version 1.46 and below, you'll need the Gunslinger original. The latest version, 1.02, can be downloaded from here.
Now, the big question is "is it safe"? The answer is that, using OFP version 1.75 and above with Kegetys' Editor addon, there are no reported side effects. However, that will only be true if you do not have any older EU related addon or patch files in your ADDONS subdirectory at the same time.
As for OFP version 1.46 and below with Gunslinger's EU, there were reports of various problems showing up in OFP that disappear after the EU has been uninstalled. The most common problem reported as being associated with the EU is missing tank HUD data. Does the latest Gunslinger EU version correct these problems for OFP 1.46 and below? I'm not sure. Personally I had the EU installed for quite some time back in OFP 1.46 and never experienced any noticeable problems. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Are there any mods available for OFP?
Where can I find a list of map coordinates for air bases, barracks, hospitals and special buildings on OFP's islands?
(NEEDS UPDATE) Download the "Mapmaking Coordinates Reference" document, by Mike DK, from OFPEC.
Can a Scud missile be aimed and fired?
Not easily. For example, in the official OFP campaign mission "Search And Destroy", you cannot do anything at all with the scud launcher. It was originally meant to be an aesthetic prop and not much more.
However, there is a script that allows you to target the scud anywhere on a map and launch it. It has a "SCUD CAM" that lets you follow the scud down to its target. The explosion consists of a series of smaller explosions, something like a cluster bomb. Since it is a script, you're going to have to make a mission with it or find a mission that employs it.
You can download the script from the Editor's Depot section at the OFP Editing Center. It's under Script Snippets: Weapons & Ammo and is called "Scud Launch/Trajectory Scripts".
Are there mission editing reference manuals available for the experienced mission maker?
Sure. BIS has produced an official OFP Scripting Command Reference Manual, up to date for OFP: Resistance. You can view it online (an XML supporting browser is required) or download a copy, both from BIS' OFP editing page.
For older versions of OFP, a similar guide is available from Merciless Creations in PDF format, at FilePlanet and Merciless Creations made available a 300+ pages long OFP Mission Editor Reference Manual, in PDF format, also at FilePlanet.
Does OFP have any snowy winter scenery?
As sold, no, OFP has no winter scenery whatsoever. However, there are now player-made winter versions of two of OFP's islands, Kolgujev and Everon.
Winter Kolgujev or Nogojev - which will it be?
OFP addon expert, Kegetys, has created two modified versions of Kolgujev island. The first version, "Winter Kolgujev", works with OFP versions 1.30 to 1.46. The second version, Nogojev Island, is for OFP: Resistance only.
What's the difference between them? Winter Nogojev uses higher resolution textures for terrain, foliage, structures and vehicles that are not supported by versions of OFP prior to OFP: Resistance. Not only that, Nogojev also includes all the arctic soldiers that were previously in Winter Kolgujev, as well as all of the units from Ash's Arctic Armor Pack and Kegetys' Winter Vehicles addons. Sounds good, right? Not so fast! There's a catch.
If you've got OFP: Resistance, you cannot install both Winter Kolgujev and Nogojev islands because the two addons conflict with each other and are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, if you've got existing missions that reference arctic soldier units from the old Kegetys' Winter Kolgujev, Ash's Arctic Armor Pack or Kegetys' Winter Vehicles addons and you now install Nogojev island, those missions will no longer work unless you edit them.
Kegetys' OFP site is here. You can download all of his and other's old and new winter addons from there.
If you're having problems downloading these addons from Kegetys' own site, you should be able to find and download them from one of the popular OFP editing sites instead.
If you want to convert missions you have from using Winter Kolgujev to the newer Winter Nogojev, follow these instructions.
While you're here, check out the winterized 1985 Cold War Crisis campaign for the Winter Nogojev addon or my Cold Cream Mission Pack for the Winter Kolgujev addon.
OFP addon maker, I-DOE-I, has similarly produced the "Winter Everon" island addon. Try downloading it from I-DOE-I's site, from ATWAR's addon terrain page or from OFP CZ's island download page.
While you're here, check out my Thermal Stockings Mission Pack for the Winter Everon addon.
OFP addon maker, Metal Productions (MTL), has similarly produced the "Winter Malden" island addon. Try downloading it from ATWAR's addon terrain page, from OFP Org or from OFP CZ's island download page.
For combined winter addon and mission download packs, go and have a look at WinterOFP.com's site.
Does OFP have any barren desert scenery?
OFP includes a small island, called the desert training island but it is not very impressive. The training island is completely empty of foliage and buildings and is rather a bore (though there are some good user made missions designed for the training island).
However, there are now player-made desert versions of two of OFP's islands, Everon and Malden.
Desert Everon 1 and 2
Zwadar has created two modified version of Everon island, appropriately named Desert Everon 1 and Desert Everon 2. There are no green pastures to be found on Desert Everon.
In Desert Everon 1, most foliage and all the forests have been changed to large boulders and all of Everon's towns and structures are still there.
In Desert Everon 2, the desert texture has been improved. There's a limited amount of scrub brush around and much fewer boulders than in Desert Everon 1. All of Everon's structures have been changed to desert style buildings in Desert Everon 2.
You should be able to find and download Zwadar's Desert Everon addons from one of the popular OFP editing sites.
While you're at it, check out my Powder-Dry Rollon Pack for the Desert Everon 1 addon. You can easily adapt the Powder-Dry Rollon Pack's missions for use with Desert Everon 2 by renaming the mission file suffixes from zwaeden_desert.pbo to zwa_desert_eden.pbo.
OFP Editing Center's master addon maker, SelectThis, has introduced a desert version of Malden Island. The Desert Malden Island addon includes desert camouflage uniforms for soldiers of all three sides: NATO, Russia and the resistance. Try downloading it from Kegetys' site, from ATWAR's addon terrain page, from PitViper's OFP downloads page or from OFP CZ's island download page.
When SelectThis created Desert Malden Island, he modified the town names from OFP's original name to increase the feeling of playing on a different island rather than just a revised version of the original Malden. For your reference, SelectThis provided me with the following cross reference list of old and new town names: Original Name New Name Saint Louis Arkasar Larche Kzyl-Oeli La Trinite Kurgan Goisse Aktau La Pessagne Chardabad Vigny Samar-Tash Houdan Buk Sainte Marie Bishmak Chapoi Ust-Ata Le Port Fort Kalzhsk Cancon Umba La Riviere Saran-Orda Arudy Gazd Dourdan Nova'sk
How many meters is each grid square in the island maps?
On the official islands, each minor grid box (Ea, Eb, Ec, etc.) is 128 x 128 meters, both in the in-game and mission editor maps and in the map PDF files. Each major grid box (A, B, C, D, etc.) consists of 10 minor grids square, making a major grid's size 1.28 x 1.28 kilometers. User made islands can use any map grid the island maker chooses.
Essential mission editing tools.
If all you want to do is to decompress mission PBO files, decrypt official MISSION.SQM files or compress mission file directories back into PBO files, you're at the right place! If you need more than that you'll have to browse the major OFP editing sites.
UnPBO V1.5 - both decompresses PBO files and decrypts its MISSION.SQM file in a single swoop. Supports OFP: Resistance PBO files, too!
PBOTool V1.01A - unpacks and repackages mission file directories from and to PBO files. Supports subdirectory compression, which is useful for campaign and addon makers.
Stellar Addon Compiler - Compiles your addon folders and files into ready-to-play PBO files.
DePBO - decompresses mission PBO files.
Unpack-SQM - decrypts encrypted MISSION.SQM files. If this doesn't work for you, give DeSQM a try.
MakePBO V1.1 - compresses mission file directories back into PBO files. Supports subdirectory compression for campaigns and addons.
StuffPBO - the original PBO compression utility. Does not support subdirectory compression.
CPP2BIN - converts CPP files to BIN files. Handy for you addon makers out there.
Where can I found a list of all weapon and ammo names?
You can find one right here on the wiki, updated for OFP: Resistance, version 1.85 and above. Otherwise, you can always take a look at the OFPEC's Resources page. You should find a link there for "Weapon List for 1.91".
How can I create a campaign with multiple missions?
How can I convert or decode OFP's WSS sound and voice files?
Can I zoom in and out on the map screen?
Whether you're viewing the map during game play or with the mission editor, you can zoom in and out of the map screen by pressing the numeric keypad's plus and minus keys respectively. The scroll wheel on the mouse can also be used.
(This FAQ item is dedicated to OFP player Shabadu. It took him three months of toying with OFP to discover this - poor fella).
Can I create customized terrain maps and 3D models for OFP?
(NEEDS UPDATE) In January 2002, BIS' Marek Španěl announced that BIS would eventually release two tools to help mod makers create their own objects and worlds. One tool, Oxygen, is for 3D modeling. The second, Visitor, is for landscape editing. Oxygen is capable of importing 3DS MAX files, including texture mapping information.
So, if you're interested, go to BIS' Breathe site and download Oxygen for 3D modeling and Visitor for island making.
As an island making alternative, on June 7th, 2002, Project OFP Internals released their own terrain utility, WrpEdit. You can download it from Project OFP Internals or from one of the many OFP editing sites. You should find tutorials on these sites, describing in detail how to use WrpEdit. You'll also find a WrpEdit tutorial at Comrades in Arms (CIA).
What is Kegetys' Object Files addon and should I install it?
Kegetys' Object Files addon adds support for numerous new objects that OFP mission makers can incorporate into missions they're designing. The Object Files addon consists of two files: OBJECTS1.PBO and OBJECTS2.PBO.
However, according to Kegetys himself, Gunslinger's Editor Update (and newer editor updates) are superior to his own Object Files addon, as the Editor Update includes everything and more than the Object Files addon.
Furthermore, Kegetys notes that for players using OFP version 1.30 or below, the Object Files addon can potentially cause errors, as it can override OFP's internal configuration settings in those earlier OFP versions.
Based on the above, here's my advice regarding Kegetys' Object Files addon:
For mission makers, there is no reason to use Kegetys' Object Files addon anymore. Use one of the Editor Updates instead. Even Kegetys says so!
Why are people playing my mission getting errors for addons that I previously removed from the mission?
If you designed a mission that previously used addons and later deleted those addons from the mission using the Mission Editor, other people who try playing the mission may still get error messages that the addon is required.
This is because previous references to the addon in one of the MISSION.SQM file's ADDONS or ADDONSAUTO sections are not deleted by OFP's Mission Editor when you delete all of the addon's units from a map.
You'll have to edit the MISSION.SQM file with a text editor and manually remove all references to the specific addon.
Why is the Wav2Lip utility not working?
BIS' lip synchronization utility, Wav2Lip (available from BIS' OFP editing page (dead link)), has problems with certain file and path names.
According to Ondřej Španěl, BIS' Lead Programmer, when you drop a WAV file into Wav2Lip that has either a long path name or whose path contains spaces, it will not work. Also, WAV files must be plain PCM files, no compression codecs are supported.
Also, Wav2Lip works with Windows 2000 and XP but you may experience more problems there, as default desktop path names contains spaces. It is therefore not possible to drag and drop WAV files from a Windows 2000 or XP desktop to Wav2Lip.
Can I create trenches and tunnels in OFP?
(NEEDS UPDATE) Sort of. The terrain can not be removed, but custom made objects that look like the terrain can be placed to create trenched and tunnels.
On June 1, 2002, master addon maker, GFX707, of OFP Fortress fame (the site no longer exists), came out with his Bunker Pack 3. You should be able to find this and other GFX707/OFP Fortress addons at the numerous OFP addon sites out there on the WEB.
Regarding, tunnels, master OFP addon maker Kegetys is working on it but he says the textures are not good enough yet to be released.
Why is the mission editor telling me that "only 63 groups per side supported"?
There could be two reasons.
- 1. You indeed specified more than 63 groups for one side.
- 2. You placed objects in you mission and defined them as civilian. This, too, will take up precious group slots. Make sure that you leave the SIDE field for these objects blank.
Is there a reference of all of OFP's buildings and foliage objects?
Yes. OFP guru Kegetys has an editor object reference database he compiled here. It contains pictures and the object names all of OFP's and OFP: Resistance's buildings, structures, trees, shrubs, etc.
Is the Operation Vietnam mod dead?
Most probably, now that Armed Assault has been announced and several former OPV team members now work for BIS' Australian offices. However, just for nostalgia's sake, the following is the text of this FAQ item as it appeared before OFP2's announcement:
- As of October 2002, the answer is no, although the Operation Vietnam's site has not been updated for ages.
- Here's an October 4 announcement made by Jonathan "Lansen|OpV" Lindegren
- "We are working on it as always and it will be something you have not seen before. This isn't just a mod like many others. I think many of you knew that but anyway. We will update the OpV page when we feel that it is necessary. We don't just want to show you a lot of models that we wont release before the actual release. We want to show you our product.
- Lots of people now thinks that we don't have anything to show because of the lack of updates but I can assure you that we have lots of things made and more is to come."
But don't cry! There's always SEB Nam Pack 2, reviewed on The FAQ's M.O.M. (Mission Of the Moment) pages.
Formulas used in OFP for tide levels and sun and moon positions.
In early October 2002, Ondřej Španěl, BIS' lead programmer, published some snippets of C++ code used in OFP to calculate tide levels and the position of the sun and moon. Here they are, for your reference pleasure:
const float maxTide=5; Vector3 sunDir = sun->SunDirection(); Vector3 moonDir = sun->MoonDirection(); Vector3 sunTide = sunDir*sunDir; Vector3 moonTide = moonDir*moonDir; float tide01 = (sunTide.Y()+moonTide.Y())*0.5; float tideAbs =maxTide*tide01;
Note: BI is aware that the tide formula contains an error. The correct formula should be:
BIS did not correct this, as it would make many older missions unplayable.
Sun and moon position formula:
float latitudeCoord = world ? world->GetLatitude() : -40*H_PI/180; Matrix3 moonOrbitAngle(MRotationZ,5*H_PI/180); Matrix3 earthAxis=Matrix3(MRotationX,23*H_PI/180); Matrix3 latitude(MRotationX,latitudeCoord); // -40 - Croatia, -90 - north pole const float initMoonOnOrbitPos=0.5; const float day=1.0/365; const float lunarMonth=28*day; float timeInYear = Glob.clock.GetTimeInYear(); float timeOfDay = Glob.clock.GetTimeOfDay(); float moonOnOrbitPos=initMoonOnOrbitPos+timeInYear*(1.0/lunarMonth); Matrix3 moonOnOrbit=moonOrbitAngle*Matrix3(MRotationY,moonOnOrbitPos*(H_PI*2)); Matrix3 earthOnOrbit=Matrix3(MRotationY,timeInYear*(H_PI*2)); // note - midnight is on the point furthest from the sun Matrix3 midnightToCurrent=Matrix3(MRotationY,timeOfDay*(H_PI*2)); // calculate sun and moon position relative to current postion Matrix3 cameraToCosmos=earthAxis*midnightToCurrent*earthOnOrbit*latitude; Matrix3 cosmosToCamera=cameraToCosmos.InverseRotation(); // use rotation of PI/2 to achieve this Matrix3 normalDirection(MRotationX,-H_PI/2); Matrix3 convert=normalDirection*cosmosToCamera; _direction=convert*earthOnOrbit.Direction(); _moonDirection=convert*moonOnOrbit.Direction(); // reverse N-S, W-W _direction=-_direction; _direction=-_direction; _moonDirection=-_moonDirection; _moonDirection=-_moonDirection; _direction.Normalize(); _sunDirection=_direction;
How can I convert missions that use Kegetys' Winter Kolgujev to his newer Winter Nogojev Island?
It's not too difficult. Follow theses steps:
- 1. Use a tool, such as UnPBO, to unpack the mission PBO file. You should unpack missions directly to your \OperationFlashpoint\Users\your_player_name\missions\ subdirectory.
- 2. Rename the unpacked mission directory suffix from "cain_snow" to "kegnoecain_snow".
- 3. Edit the MISSION.SQM file with any text editor and remove all addon references from all ADDONS and ADDONSAUTO class sections. There may be several such sections. Save the changes you made.
- 4. Start OFP: Resistance 1.85 or greater and open the mission with OFP's mission editor. Click SAVE and save the mission as either a single or multi player mission, whichever it is. The newly packed mission PBO file will be saved in either OFP's MISSIONS or MPMISSIONS subdirectory, depending on how you saved it.
Stop using BIS' old Official Flags Pack!
Some mission makers are still telling players that they need to get hold of BIS' old Official Flag Pack addon for their missions. All the flags that were in the Flag Pack were incorporated into file FLAGS.PBO, that comes installed in OFP's ADDONS subdirectory since version 1.30 was released at the end of 2001.
Why shouldn't I texture addons with JPEG images?
BIS' lead programmer, Ondřej Španěl, says that, while JPG textures can be used, the performance overhead when using JPGs is quite significant, as JPG decompression must be done by the CPU.
Another point is that mipmapping does not work well with JPG textures in OFP. Therefore, JPG objects viewed from greater distances may be rendered too fine, causing graphics performance overhead for using mipmaps too large for small objects.
I can't run Oxygen (O2) with the OFP GOTY edition CD!
Initially, this used to be a problem. But OFP player Baddo says you should download the latest available version of O2 from BI's Breathe site (dead link) and try again. It works now.
Where can I submit my missions for beta testing?
There are a number of sites that allow you to submit your missions for beta testing or offer mission beta testing forums. The most popular links for beta missions are:
- OFPEC Missions Beta Testing Forum
- OFP Org Beta Corner [Pretty Obsolete]
All of these sites have strict rules about beta submissions. Make sure that you adhere to them so that you don't waste their time and yours.
I highly suggest that you always include a ReadMe text file with your beta missions, documenting the minimum OFP version required and any required addons. Mentioning your email address is also a good idea, if you want to invite people to contact you privately regarding their beta testing of your mission.
One logistical problem that may be hard to resolve with beta missions is that your beta mission file(s) may exceed the maximum size allowed for submission. Here are a few suggestions to overcome such limitations:
- Host the file's download yourself or find a friend with WEB space that will do it for you. Just watch out about eating up your data transfer allocation. If a thousand people are going to download your eight megabyte mission within the span of a day or two, you'll very likely exceed limits imposed by the hosting service or site which the WEB space belongs to.
- Submit beta missions without music and sound files. If you intend to include them in your mission's final version, make sure that you tell the beta testers so in the mission's ReadMe documentation.
What audio file format supported by OFP is the most efficient?
BAS team member DeadMeatXM2 recently posted the following analysis on BIS' OFP forums:
- Don't use OGG when you don't have to. The game engine takes a long time to decompress and process OGG files and their sound can get clipped, warped or sometimes not heard at all.
- WAV files provide reliable results but have a greater file size.
- WSS files are the best. They provide clear sound that rarely warps, along with a reasonable file size footprint.