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Online AnKor85
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This is going to be a long read. I'm posting it in General Discussions with a hope that more people will see it here. I'm not a native English speaker but I hope that my writings are not too hard to read.

I'm new here and you don't know me but I love early aviation since childhood and want to do something to make this game even better.

So I've tried the official mission editor (ME) and found it to be a quite interesting and powerful tool, although it has some quirks and a bit difficult to get started with.
At the same time I see that some community members show interest in getting an easy to use tool to build mission. I'm also assuming that right now devs do not have the resources to improve ME.
Of course, as the simplest tool we have Quick Mission mode which is good as it is, but serves mostly for basic training.

One thing that is important to understand when speaking of simplified editor is that it will most likely become simplified not only in the usage but in supported features too. Of course you will still be able to use the fully featured official ME for fine-tuning your missions.

I've researched Mission file format and found it relatively easy to read and write (there are already mission generators that prove the same). Right now I already made a partially working parser that allows me to load mission data. This is not much so far and I've initially wanted to write this post later when I have something working to offer, but I've became hesitant because I may not fully understand what this community needs and do not want to waste my time on useless things.

Now what kind of features I can propose.

1. Advanced Quick Mission builder (QMB).
This one is relatively easy.
If you played the old Red Baron from 1990 you may remember how Scenarios were set up there. Here's an example of "Dogfight a Squadron" scenario setup screen:
"Your flight of [four] will fly [Sopwith Camel] fighters against [three] German [regular pilots], led by [Manfred von Richthofen], flying [Fokker Dr.I] fighters. Your flight will start over [the front], at [the same altitude] as the enemy. The sun is at [no one's back]. The winds are [light]. The sky is [partly cloudy]."
The words in [] are customizable options.
I always liked this text based setup, it gives lots of immersion. Current QMB has almost all of those options and much more but what if we can extend it further using RB's approach?
What I'm thinking about is a set of phrases that describe a mission that you select and put together to generate a mission. These phrases can describe some bombers attacking a factory protected by some scouts, a convoy moving from a town to airfield, friendly flight coming to help in 5 minutes or what else you can imagine.

2. Simplified visual editor
This approach is more similar to the current ME but with lots of simplifications.
First of all, there is a technical issue: I have no way to render the game world and objects in 3D in a way that current ME does. Furthermore I don't really want to bother with it. All I can offer is the image of the map available to download in Useful Materials which is basically the same as ingame minimap. Maybe if the project is successful and has enough support the developers will be kind to provide a better map to use here but it is not essential.

With such limitation you won't be able to precisely place objects in the world, but at least you will be able to add planes to airfields, tanks and balloons to the front line and set corresponding waypoints and conditions. There's a problem with roads that require precise placement but I think we can do something about it.
One important thing here that this editor should automatically handle the creation of special objects like MCU and their links that are manually created in current editor. I think this is the one of the most difficult thing for non-programmers to learn in the editor.

3. Internet support
This "feature" can be divided into two parts.
The first one is the online mission storage with easy access, downloads, search, ratings and stuff. Nothing really special but useful, because right now I'm not sure where to get the user made missions.
The second part is something really fancy that has a lot of issues to think of and solve, but I still want to share the idea even if it is too far from reality.
What if we can edit missions for a "shared" world?
I'm not sure about the correct term here, but it is something like wikipedia or openstreetmap where users collaborate to edit the same contents. Technically it is something that can be described as smart merge of mission files. The combined result is stored on the server and can be accessed and edited by those who want to contribute.

There are tons of issues from editing point of view, like the possibility of conflicts when more than one contributor edits the same place and time. Most likely we need to have separate historical and some fictional worlds to satisfy various players. Of course, this idea requires a huge amount of goodwill and input from the community to be useful and interesting.
From player's (as opposed to editor's) perspective this is going to be the place where you can select desired region and period of time and them download the contents that are extracted from the world made by contributing editors. This could be something interesting.

Speaking of Internet, with enough luck there can be opportunities to use such community made world for multiplayer missions as well as singleplayer.


That's all. Thank you for reading thus far. It took me more than two hours to write.
Now, I would be really happy if you share some opinions on my ideas.
And the main question is in the subject: does the community has enough interest for any of the features described above?
:S!:
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#1 Post Sat 11 Feb 2012, 22:02

Online SYN_Vander
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Hi AnKor, those are some very interesting features you are proposing!

I know there are several people that would be very happy with 2. since the current ME s not very intuitive. However, feature 1. would be my favourite, because it will add a lot of gameplay. I aways loved how this was done in Red Baron and would be happy to assist in making the templates for this.
About 3. It's a good idea, but we need more missions first. There are already places to upload missions.
www.syndicatesquadron.net

St. Mihiel campaign: http://riseofflight.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=278&t=26226
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#2 Post Sat 11 Feb 2012, 22:59

Offline -bbob
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Short answer: Yes!
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#3 Post Sat 11 Feb 2012, 23:06

RoF Team Jason_Williams
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AnKor,

This is of course a great idea if you have the skills, which it looks like you may have.

What the community wants is a simpler to understand interface that offers all of the best features of our ME. In short, Option #2 is what I think the community really wants. Our ME is awesome in so many ways, but it is not for the layman. Unfortunately, my guys will never be able to truly make what I know a lot of you guys want due to many factors beyond my control.

So, if you want to devote your time and skills go for it. We're not going to stop you, but all we can lend is moral support.

I highly suggest you talk to SYN_Vander to make a list of what the most critical actions a new simpler ME would need. i.e. add airplanes to airbase, make waypoints, assign targets, add media elements etc. Vander is an expert on our current system.

P.S. I'm moving this to the Mission Making section of the forum so it doesn't get gummed up in General Discussion.

Jason
www.ilyamuromets.net
www.il2sturmovik.com
www.riseofflight.com
www.rofmods.com/en
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#4 Post Sat 11 Feb 2012, 23:32

Online 89
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Number 2 would be awesome!!!!

The biggest problem in ROF is the problem of lack of variety in missions/campaigns. Where as (say) Il2 had hundreds of user created campaigns with dozens of absolute masterpieces, ROF only has its beta campaign that is like watching the same movie all over and over again and 3 static campaigns that are once again not that varied. There is little point to buy planes (apart from supporting 777) because there is next to nowhere to use them.

Mission editor that would open the flood gates of custom made campaigns would complete this awesome game and make it as near to perfect as is p[possible.
The Blue Max... its a piece of scrap worth 5 marks... I did it for flying!(c)
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#5 Post Sat 11 Feb 2012, 23:56

Offline PB4Tazman
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YES!

I love to make missions! A "simpler" editor would really be appreciated! I think it would benefit the whole ROF community.
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#6 Post Sun 12 Feb 2012, 00:35

Online cichlidfan
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Posts: 295
Indeed. Having pored over both the ME manual and the lessons. I would give anything for a simpler interface.

P.S. I would also be very happy if the .mission files for the free flight and other in game missions were made available. With those as a starting point I could do a few things that I have managed to get a handle on.
---
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#7 Post Sun 12 Feb 2012, 04:35

Online W1ndy
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Sounding very promising. If you two make it, maybe 777 could sell it as payware ?
Yes I fly BoS as well
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#8 Post Sun 12 Feb 2012, 05:17

Online elephant
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Yes, please!
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#9 Post Sun 12 Feb 2012, 12:15

Online WW1EAF_Paf
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No2 would be great!
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#10 Post Sun 12 Feb 2012, 12:28

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