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Armored Brigade - Upcoming Update will feature the Mission Editor

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Armored Brigade - Upcoming Update will feature the Miss... - 7/23/2019 12:16:47 PM   


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Hello everyone,

Armored Brigade developers have no intention of resting on their laurels! They are working on a coming update that would bring many improvements to both the base game and its Italy - Yugoslavia DLC.

One of the new features that would be implemented is the Scenario or Mission Editor. Curious about what it is and how it will work?
Read below the full explanation and stay tuned for further information! The scenario editor will come sooner than you might think!

One of the core features of Armored Brigade is the Battle Generator, that can be used to generate an infinite amount of replayable content. The generated scenarios, or 'missions', can be saved and then shared with others. Excluding the friendly unit placement that was editable in the earlier 'developer mode', so far the only way to make further changes to the saved missions has been to use external text editors and paint programs to edit the XML and BMP files that contained the mission data. The process was not particularly user-friendly. Now the system is about to change radically, as we introduce a new feature, that is an in-game editor where almost everything in the saved missions can be modified easily without exiting the game. The editor is an inherent part of the standard game UI. The user can load the mission in several different modes and then adjust parameters, remove and add formations, edit briefings, objectives and deployment zones and so on.

This article takes a look at the first iteration of the Mission Editor. As everything in Armored Brigade, it will be improved and more features will be added in the future. We hope that the system will inspire players to create and share their scenarios with others, as it will help in creating a vibrant community.

In Armored Brigade, the scenarios are called 'missions'. For showcase purposes, I have copied the official missions to the 'user' folder. The official missions are normally not editable.

In the main screen there is the list of all user missions. After selecting the mission from the list you can choose the side which you want to modify. If you want to edit the mission ID, name, or briefings then you click the 'EDIT' button below the briefing text. Bottom-right there are buttons for entering the other modes of the editor. Below the mission list is the 'DELETE MISSION' button for permanently removing a mission.

Now we will inspect the different editor screens and modes. In every editor screen you must click 'SAVE' after you have finished making changes, so the mission files are updated. Note that if you have selected to edit the opponent side the factions and many other options will be reversed.

You enter this screen by clicking the 'EDIT' button below the briefing. You see the briefing for the side that was chosen in the main screen. The mission ID must be unique, and the briefing length is currently limited to 3000 characters. The standard keyboard and mouse cut-copy-paste scheme works, and you can copy-paste text from other applications.

This screen is mostly identical to the Battle Generator screen. The main differences are that some options are disabled, and there is the new 'Force B playable' option. You can use this parameter to prevent the player from selecting the opponent side, if you want only the force A to be playable. The 'Air superiority' option is important, because it affects which sides can select aircraft in the force selection screen.

In the objectives screen you can adjust victory points and deployment zones, create and delete objectives, edit 'dummy objective' parameters, and change the water type between varied, fordable, impassable and frozen. All this is familiar from the old Battle Generator, but the new groundbreaking feature is the 'PAINT ZONES' mode.

In the new Battle Generator and Mission Editor you can easily paint 'no-go' and 'destruction' zones and 'water crossing points' in the game UI. Left-click to paint, right-click to erase, and use the mouse wheel to adjust the brush size. The system validates the map after the user has completed the changes, taking into account the deployment zones, objectives, water, painted zones, etc. and ensures that the mission is playable before allowing the user to save it.

This editor mode reruns the force selection phase from the Battle Generator. The purchase points are maxed out, so the user can select what he wants, even if the engine's maximum point, unit, and formation limits still apply. Artillery and air support can be selected, if the faction and mission parameters allow it. The defending side may be allowed to have minefields, wire obstacles, anti-tank obstacles, and pillboxes.

In the future it can be possible to rename formations in this screen.

In the deployment mode you can move the player formations to their default positions and change the formation orientation, shape, spacing, and pathfinding. A mechanized formation can start with its units mounted or dismounted. In the right-click menu you can 'LOCK' a formation or individual pillbox, so the player cannot change its starting position in the battle setup phase. Pillbox locking is a new feature that is introduced in this editor update.

As another new feature, obstacles can be pre-placed to their default positions, in the same way as in the standard game mode. Now it is possible to build defensive fortification lines for the scenario. Minefields, anti-tank obstacles, and wire obstacles placed in the Mission Editor will be locked and cannot be moved by the player. Pillboxes must be locked manually, as was described earlier.

Click the 'OBJECTIVES' button to create, rename, move, or delete objectives. Left-click on the objective to select it, and left-click again to move it. If the location rectangle is red then the new position is not valid due to water, impassable terrain, or other reasons. Right-click on the objective to edit it. You can enter the new name or delete the objective by pressing the 'ESC' key. If there is only one objective remaining then it cannot be deleted.

Right-click on the map to create a new objective. Note that depending on the mission type, the objectives can be located in the player deployment zone, in the opponent deployment zone, or in the 'no-man's-land', but not in all of them.

Click the 'SETUP ZONES' button to adjust the deployment zones. A left-click on the map moves the player side edge, and a right-click moves the opponent side edge.

The deployment zones and objectives are easier to fine-tune in this on-map editor mode than in the Battle Generator view. In the future it may be possible to paint 'no-go' and other zones in the on-map view.

If the 'Player character' option was enabled in the main screen then the player can be assigned to a different unit in the deployment mode.

When you are done, click the 'SAVE SCENARIO' button.

Currently the pre-placed formations and obstacles work for the human player side only. In the future they will affect the defending AI opponent side too.

< Message edited by Daniele -- 7/23/2019 1:43:11 PM >
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