For some, it may be a mystery where the editor can be found. Go to the main menu and click on 'Editor' (see Image 1). You will then be presented with a list of islands to choose from. For this tutorial, we'll use Rahmadi as it is small and lagfree.
After selecting the island and waiting for it to load on the screen, you can move across the whole island that you've just loaded (Image 2) using the mouse. Let's explore what the editor has in store for you!
In the center you see an island, Rahmadi, one of the islands in ArmA. There is quite a lot of information displayed on the map, like roads and heights of mountains as well as other details a mission editor might need to know. After moving the island about a bit with the mouse cursor try to zoom in and out with the mouse wheel. Get comfortable with the editor and map, because this will be your field of play for the next few hours.
To the right of the editor, all the buttons are located. These buttons are the key in mission making; they enable you to place units, markers, groups, waypoints and triggers. Notice the six blocks of buttons. Later we will see a seventh joining. Let's go ahead and discuss the blocks.
The first block or list (Image 3) allows you to browse through the different parts that make a mission. The default option is "Mission". The three others are the cutscene parts: intro; outro win and outro loose. The intro cutscene is loaded before the briefing, the outro win or loose (depending on the mission outcome) will be loaded after the debriefing. We will take a deeper look at these mission parts in the chapter on Cinematics.
Next up is the intelligence and weather block (Image 4), often forgotten by mission makers. Let's discuss every field. Note: you can selected a different date/weather/time in every section of the mission (see previous block).
- Name- This will be displayed in the briefing as a title, don't forget to fill in a title or a nasty error will be displayed as briefing title.
- Description- Used in multiplayer missions, it is showed in the lobby during character selection.
- Date- With it you can select a date, used to fit in with the story you decide to write for the mission.
- Time- will be displayed on the player's watch (if enabled) and has an effect on the daylight available in the mission (day, dawn, dusk, night)
- (Forecast) Weather- Select the weathertype (or forecast, thus later in the mission). More to the right means more sun and better weather, completely to the left will produce thunder and lightning.
- (Forecast) Fog- The amount of fog in a mission, putting the slider to the right will produce a sight of no more than a few metres.
- RACS is friendly to- Set to which side RACS soldiers and civilians are friendly.
The third block contains the most important buttons, so important that these will all get a detailed explanation in their own chapters.
With the fourth, you have the option to save and load missions.
Try to save them without spaces in the name, or else your PC will convert the space into a %20 marker, looking somewhat odd. With the clear button you can remove everything on the map, watch out with this powerful button! Finally, there is the "Merge" button; you can merge two missions into one. Handy if you want the same base to be present in the next mission of a campaign for example.
To help you, the ArmA editor has two-easy-to-use buttons (Image 5). With them you can either show or hide object IDs (usable to destroy bridges etc) or show/hide textures. Which could help you in determining the perfect positioning of your base.
The sixth block has one button, "Exit". With it, you can leave the editor. Don't forget to save your mission before doing so!
That concludes Chapter 1, let's go to the real stuff!