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Universal Mission Script Template

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Note that this is going to be a bit of a spoiler, nonetheless I think it makes sense to start talking about it in advance of the Heroes Unleashed beta 9 release.

I've spent an insane amount of time to create a universal mission script that can be used as a framework for basically any kind of mission imaginable. As a matter of fact, I've used this same template for all campaign missions in GRHU beta 9. My reasoning for constructing such a template is the repetitiveness of adding essentially identical features to new missions again and again; e.g. queuing of on-screen message boxes, dynamic weather changes, AI detection and alertness routines, AT and demo charge counters, objective triggers, mission failure and completion queries, intro and outro cinematics, etc. are part of all GRHU missions, and it would not only have been quite a pain to add the exact same script blocks over and over again, boring repetition also increases the danger of making mistakes, so a reusable template both serves comfort as well as helps to avoid scripting errors.

The concept is quite easy, most if not all building blocks for any kind of mission are already present in the template, so to build a new mission from scratch, basically all you have to do is pick a map, import the script template as mission script, connect map properties with corresponding script variables (serving as placeholders for map-specific attributes), edit appropriate objective descriptions and enable their script groups, and voila... mission complete.

Admittedly, due to script engine limitations I've had to fall back to an extremely nondescript naming convention for script components to save space (IGOR's compiler can only handle script source code with a maximum length of 64kb). As a result, at first sight the script may look like very complex and indecipherable gibberish, but there is a very simple structure underneath the myriad of script tags, and I've started to write a (preliminary) documentation to make usage of the template easier.

The template is still somewhat of a work-in-progress, but it works well and already offers the following features:

  • Limited IGOR editing required (yet fully customizable)
  • 18 full objectives (with X-option) incl. triggers
  • Automatic game saves
  • Boosted enemy AI
  • Comprehensive score system (objectives / survival / stealth)
  • Dedicated server compatible
  • Demolition charge and antitank weapon counters
  • Difficulty tiers
  • Easily customizable
  • Elaborate exfil / end condition triggers
  • End movie options (for campaign use)
  • Enemy contact feedback
  • Hero unlocking option (for campaign use)
  • Infil chatter options
  • Intricate stealth / detection / enemy alertness system
  • Intro and outro cinematic options (incl. vehicle infil / exfil)
  • Medal awarding option
  • Messages / dialog boxes with message queueing
  • Mission abort upon failing main / key objective
  • Nonlinear play (any objective order, exfil anytime)
  • Perfect score message
  • Player respawn alert
  • Random "kill confirmed" messages
  • Realistic dynamic weather incl. complete weather change
  • Single player and co-op multiplayer compatible
  • Support for (temporarily) invincible platoons
  • Support for hidden reinforcement platoons and vehicles
  • Support for non-combatants / civilians
  • Support for random actor locations and plans
  • Support for random insertion detection
  • Win / loss condition triggers

In conclusion, I wanted to bring this up as I hope the template script can serve as a foundation to be used by other modders / scripters to much more easily create new missions or even entire campaigns in the future. The template can be found among the many goodies contained in the XTRAS folder of the Heroes Unleashed beta 9 release, which is due shortly.

I hope this thread will spark some discussion about the template, and I'll be providing support here for anyone willing to give it a try.

 

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Already started work on upgrading the script template. Especially mission infil and exfil options need to allow much more variety, e.g. to more comprehensively tackle vehicles with NPC drivers. Also want to implement some new ideas regarding captive and hostage handling. In fact I have so many new ideas for an update, I have no idea where I can find the additional space required. If only IGOR allowed the script source to be larger than 64kb, that would open up a myriad of possibilities!

If anyone at RSE is listening, could you please anonymously leak the IGOR and Ghost Recon source codes? Thank you. :)

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How about to create some kind of GR community SDK with template maps, models, documentation, import/export tools, etc? 

Edited by AlexKimov
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I actually try to do just that with the Heroes Unleashed mod. All the mod tools and documentation needed can be found in the mod's XTRAS folder. 

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I mean a little bit more complete (SDK) in one big archive. Like original "Extras" archive. All in one to help complete beginner to modding get started with.

It must consist of:

1. Export/import plugins that actually works, GR 3d files viewer and other.

2. Documentation. ...a little bit more complete... For example GR file formats information.

3. Template files.

Perhaps it'll bring fresh blood to GR modding community.

Edited by AlexKimov
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Yes, you are absolutely right. We need one compact archive of all required tools with comprehensive documentation and easy-to-use templates.

Quite an undertaking to put everything together, but should be a worthwhile investment of time and effort. Any volunteers? Alex? :)

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