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Knight of the Cross

The Three Most Confusing Parts of the Editor--Explained

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I'm a mapper, not a modder. I don't create new vehicles and such. I just want to use the existing tools and objects to create fun maps to play on.

As I've stumbled through making my first BF2 map, I've figured out what I thought were the three most confusing or problematic parts of the editor, and I'd like to explain what I've learned--to hopefully save you some grief.

But let me first say that I love this editor. I think it's amazing and I love what I can create with it. I'm just hoping that when this goes from Beta to release, these things will be fixed.

The three are:

  • 1. How to place and utilize arty, UAV trailer, and satellite trailer

2. How to not have to start from scratch if you get a crash

3. How to understand and use ambient events and triggers

Artillery, UAV Trailer, and Satellite Trailer

This is probably the most needlessly confusing part of the editor. I could place arty all day long, but couldn't make it work as commander. And I couldn't even find the UAV or Sat trailers to place on the map.

The first secret is that they're all object spawner weapons. The second secret is that all three of these items must be placed on the map as arty. Strange, I know, but bear with me.

For actual artillery, go to the control point where you want to place arty, and create an objectspawner. Choose artillery from the list that appears. Select the arty piece you've just placed and make sure to check TeamOnVehicle. I have no clue what that means, but it's the key to making the arty work. Go through that sequence for as many arty pieces as you want to place.

Then for the UAV trailer and Sat trailer you do the same thing to begin with. Place arty and choose TeamOnVehicle. Then select the arty piece and in the middle button bar (not the right click option "Change vehicle type") click on the box beside VehicleTeam1, which will bring up a slightly different dropdown list. Choose one of the mobileradar objects from the list. That changes the artillery to a UAV trailer. Do the same for VechileTeam2. Then go through the same sequence on another arty piece that you convert to the Sat trailer (choose one of the aircontroltower objects for this). Be sure to check TeamOnVehicle for all of these.

That should do it! I don't know why this process is so backwards for these commonly placed items, but there it is.

How not to start from scratch if you get a crash

One of the most maddening aspects of this otherwise awesome editor is how long it takes to paint your terrain. Why there isn't some fill tool--at least for the surrounding tiles--or default "desert" or "water" tiles I have no idea. A free program called eleblend is supposed to make this much faster, but I haven't done more than download the zip.

When I was first painting my map, I would have the occasional crash. This made the map unplayable. All that work of handpainting my entire map would be lost! It was so bad I almost didn't keep with the effort. The SaveAs function is a joke, I'm sorry to say.

I finally developed a simple Windows workaround that has saved me no end of grief. I've had about 4 catastrophic crashes along the way, each of which would have killed my map if I hadn't had this way of making backups. Please do this or something like it.

When I reach a point in my map editing when I want to save and go test it in the game, I do this: I save it. Duh. then I test it. Double duh. If it works, I immediately exit the game and go into Windows Explorer. I select my map/level and choose copy. Then I paste it into the Levels directory. This creates a full backup of my level, which is now titled Copy_of_My_Level. Then rename it something. Mine are all named It Works, as in "It Works 06--All terrain painted." I give it a sequential number and a little note to remind me what's new about that file. Then I go back into the editor and load up My_Level (or whatever you've called the original file that you've just made a copy of) and go from there.

This way, if you have a crash all you have to do is load up a previous backup of your map. All you've lost is the changes in the latest version.

If you do have a crash, go into Windows Explorer again. Delete My_Level, make a copy of your latest backup, then name that copy My_Level--and you're good to go. Get back into the editor and start up where you'd left off.

Ambient Events

This is another thing that is needlessly confusing in the editor. For some things (like birds) you can right-click on the map and use the Create AmbientTrigger function. You'll place a trigger, then you'll place the event that is activated by that trigger.

First place the trigger where you want it. Like if you want birds to fly up when someone is sneaking up the back way of a base, you'd put the trigger somewhere around the place where the bad guy would be when you want the birds to go up. Give it a name. Then select the blue ball.

Four things to adjust here. First, change radius from 0. This expands your trigger area. Choose 10 or 20 or so. You can see the blue circle showing where the tripwire will be now. Second, click beside TriggerType and choose Move. Third (and most important) make sure you change CHANCE from 0 to 1. Zero means it won't work. (Now, I ask you, why would you put a trigger on the map that you didn't want to work?) If you change it to 1, you give it a 100% chance of activating if someone trips the circle. Finally, play with MinimumTimeBetweenTriggering. If you leave it at 1 or some small number, an endless stream of birds will erupt from your spot so long as someone is in the trigger zone. These are seconds we're talking about. I change mine to 60 so that I get birds only every 60 seconds.

For things like the OnlySmoke ambient event or the fire or OilRigFire, or whatever, don't use the create ambient trigger or create ambient event options on your right-click menu. This is a total red herring. It doesn't work! To place these things, you need to put them down on the map just like you do with tanks. Find them in your left panel under Objects/StaticObjects/AmbientEvents. Place them on the map and you're done. They even animate right in the editor.

Okay, I'm sure there are other confusing or aggravating things in the editor, but those are the ones that stand out to me as the most confusing.

Hope this helps you!

Knight of the Cross

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what if you dont hav a middle button i tried click ing the scroll wheel and it doesnt work

_|_

/ |-| (the |-| is the scroll wheel while the / or ar the right/left mousebutton

| |

_/

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Then for the UAV trailer and Sat trailer you do the same thing to begin with. Place arty and choose TeamOnVehicle. Then select the arty piece and in the middle button bar (not the right click option "Change vehicle type") click on the box beside VehicleTeam1, which will bring up a slightly different dropdown list. Choose one of the mobileradar objects from the list. That changes the artillery to a UAV trailer. Do the same for VechileTeam2. Then go through the same sequence on another arty piece that you convert to the Sat trailer (choose one of the aircontroltower objects for this). Be sure to check TeamOnVehicle for all of these.

wut if i just placed the objectspawner as uav, but still selected "teamonvehicle"? also, teamonvehicle means it's only usable by the team it spawns for

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Echo, that's exactly what I hoped would happen! Glad it helped you.

Rubba, I'm not sure I understand your question. When you place the UAV or Sat trailers you DO have to choose TeamOnVehicle. I don't know what happens if you don't, but I assume you wouldn't be able to use it in commander mode.

Knight of the Cross

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hehe wow nice but how do you choose birds for the trigger I dont see anywhere to chose the effect itself... :? or do I place it in the same layer? i am lost on this one...

updated: Nevermind I found out how

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Guest
hehe wow nice but how do you choose birds for the trigger I dont see anywhere to chose the effect itself...  :? or do I place it in the same layer? i am lost on this one...

Yeah thats where im stuck too now lol.

What are the files (like the birds) needed to be put in to use in the editor?

I do know where the sounds are in, objects_client.

but cant find the triggers, like flying birds.

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Guest

Ok i think i found it...

First extract Objects_client from the Mods/BF2 directory.

To: Mods/Bf2/Objects.

In editor, look left, press the blue + button.

Then Load resource, and click Effects-ambient-dynamicfx.

There you find those birds, and all others.

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Ok i think i found it...

First extract Objects_client from the Mods/BF2 directory.

To: Mods/Bf2/Objects.

In editor, look left, press the blue + button.

Then Load resource, and click Effects-ambient-dynamicfx.

There you find those birds, and all others.

But still...how you use it? lmao

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Sorry, guys. I should've included that step.

Place the trigger, then place the connected event. Select the event. Now in the Tweaker bar (which is what I meant above by the middle button panel), the bottom item is LinkedEffectContainer. Click in the box to the right of that, and a new window pops up.

For birds, use either e_damb_bird or e_damb_bird2. Select it, and you're good to go.

Knight of the Cross

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Okay let me explain this better I guess...

its a matter of creating the trigger then creating a what effects ..

So, right click Create Ambient Trigger and select it..set everything stated above:Radius=10, TriggerType = Move (a window will pop up for this then chose Move then click OK, I had to move that window up to see the OK and Cancel Buttons), Chance= 1. Also make sure your Trigger ID is set to 1, you will see why in a minute....

Now its time to create an effect for the trigger...Right click Create AmbientEffect [Your Trigger Name] (this will set both your Trigger ID and Effect ID to the same Value which in this case is 1, told you see why)..Next select the Red Bubble and look on the left side pane in the tweak for LinkedEffectContainer (this is where you chose the effect). Choose the e_damb_bird..

Save and test it in the game... :wink:

Now here is my problem, I cannot get any sounds to work can someone explain to me the steps for this...?

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Echo, that's exactly what I hoped would happen! Glad it helped you.

Rubba, I'm not sure I understand your question. When you place the UAV or Sat trailers you DO have to choose TeamOnVehicle. I don't know what happens if you don't, but I assume you wouldn't be able to use it in commander mode.

Knight of the Cross

i mean like, you say to place artillery, set teamonvehicle, then change the templates from artillery to uav or aircontroltower. i just placed an aircontroltower template right away, but still set TOV. that still works, right?

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Now here is my problem, I cannot get any sounds to work can someone explain to me the steps for this...?

I'm not really sure where to put all sound files but anyway:

As far as i know the sounds are "packed' in these files:

EA GamesModsBf2

Objects_Client

Common_Client

I'll let you know if i know where to put these files in.

Not sure either.

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I found all the LevelAmbient ogg sounds (all sounds for each BF2 map) but where to place them so the Editor can see them is the problem. I have done a search in these forums, found a couple of posts that shows where to place them but each post shows a different directory. I have tried every posts but no luck on getting any of the sounds to show up in the left pane under any of the objects, even when I tried to Load Resources....Once you Load Resources windows pop up the sounds folder is there but not expandable so that means there empty...

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I found all the LevelAmbient ogg sounds (all sounds for each BF2 map) but where to place them so the Editor can see them is the problem. I have done a search in these forums, found a couple of posts that shows where to place them but each post shows a different directory. I have tried every posts but no luck on getting any of the sounds to show up in the left pane under any of the objects, even when I tried to Load Resources....Once you Load Resources windows pop up the sounds folder is there but not expandable so that means there empty...

maybe when you extracted the sound files (like the bird sounds) to a specific directory in your level map, it will automatic play the sound when you are ingame? so you dont need to put sound in the editor..

but yes..where to extract :?

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no you have to load it into the editor...I tested the ones on the BF2 maps and hear them fine but in my map I cannot even get the sounds to show up...all of them not the 2-3 you see in another directory but the ones in the LevelAmbients directory in the zip file..

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not sure if im doing something wrong here but im placing the arty UAV and radar the way you said but when i actually go in to the map in not seeing them nor am i able to use them as commander.

unless the game actually has to start in order to use/see them :?:

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Sniff, I don't think the game should have to start before you can use them.

However, if you want to see, call down the console (by pressing ~) and type this:

sv.numPlayersNeededToStart 1

That will restart the game and let you take flags and such with only one player on the map.

Are you sure you have at least one control point for each side? And you're sure you placed them exactly as I said? You're sure you clicked TeamOnVehicle? The only times I ever had disappearing objects was when I placed them as standalone objects, not as objectspawners.

Also be sure you placed an item for Team1 and its corresponding item for Team2. You need to assign a mobileradar for each team and a controltower for each team.

Hope this helps.

Knight of the Cross

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yes i was able to get them to work just replaced them all. must have done something odd.

also didnt know about that command will have to use it more :lol: :twisted:

thank you

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How not to start from scratch if you get a crash

<snip>

I select my map/level and choose copy. Then I paste it into the Levels directory. This creates a full backup of my level, which is now titled Copy_of_My_Level. Then rename it something. Mine are all named It Works, as in "It Works 06--All terrain painted." I give it a sequential number and a little note to remind me what's new about that file. Then I go back into the editor and load up My_Level (or whatever you've called the original file that you've just made a copy of) and go from there.

This way, if you have a crash all you have to do is load up a previous backup of your map. All you've lost is the changes in the latest version.  

<snip>

I've always done a similar thinig though rather than duplicate the level folders uncompressed I just right-click the folder and select "Add to archive..." or "Add to <foldername>.rar", both being WinRAR commands (obviously ya need WinRAR or similar installed to do this).

Nowt amazing about doing that though I prefer it as it creates smaller files in a single bundle.

I usually just rename the RAR archives like so;

levelname 1024x2 #1 reference.rar

levelname 1024x2 #2 post-full lighting.rar

levelname 1024x2 #3 pre-heightmap to colormap.rar

levelname 1024x2 #4 post-heightmap to colormap.rar

etc.

Sniff, I don't think the game should have to start before you can use them.

However, if you want to see, call down the console (by pressing ~) and type this:

sv.numPlayersNeededToStart 1

That will restart the game and let you take flags and such with only one player on the map.

Another way to do it is to modify the "ServerSettings.con" file located in the modsbf2Settings directory and set the "sv.numPlayersNeededToStart" cvar to "1". You can also change all the other options as well if you want.

Saves typing it into console everytime. ;)

hth.

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Ok I added artillery the way you mentioned and whenever I test UAV in game I get ctd.

Is there another step thats missing?

Does it make a difference if I have artillery connected to capturable flags?

There is an option for TEAM in the tweak for each artillery object which is set to 0 by default, am I supposed to change this?

I have read that you dont need both spawn objects for each teams Artillery is this correct?

Help me before I throw my computer out the window lol.

I tried deleting all of them and starting over but no help...

Thanks

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