The previous chapter was the first step towards mastering the powerful Armed Assault Editor. Let us begin with the example mission. However, before we start with placing units and stuff, I find it important to plan the mission.
Planning is important as it prevents mistakes. Use markers to plan the mission in the Editor, or use a piece of paper to write the mission plan down. If only to have something to fall back to, in case things don't go as planned.
Before planning the mission, you need to know what a marker is. So press F6 or click the Markers button on the right side and doubleclick somewhere on the map.
The marker dialog (Image 1) helps you to create a marker on the map. Markers are used to help the player with positions of the enemy, friendly forces and possible objectives. So it is important to have a basic understanding of them in order to include them in your mission.
- Name- Gives the marker a name, you can use this name to move the position of the marker with a command. The engine uses this to help distinguish the different markers.
- Icon - Rectangle - Ellipse- Determine the shape of the marker. With the first, an icon will be displayed. With the latter two, you can mark entire fields on the map.
- Color- Select the marker color.
- Icon-list- Allows you to display an array of different markers on the map. Each with their own meaning used to distinguish elements on the map.
- Fill-list- Used with Rectangle or Ellipse, determines the fill of the fields. For example a solid or grid type marker.
- Axis- Determines the size of a marker.
- Angle- Sets the angle of the marker.
- Text- Enter text which is to be displayed next to the marker on the map.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the elements available in the marker dialog, let's start with planning the mission. What do I have in mind for this tutorial based mission? A Special Forces (SF) mission in which you will have to destroy a shilka, assassinate an officer as bonus and finally escape.
We're now going to use markers to plan the mission, note that we can use these markers later to help the player find his objectives. We can also link to markers in the briefing - something which will be covered later in Ch. 9.
The fishing village is held by the SLA, the enemy. We, United States SF will move in allow from the north. That is the story, to store the info, we make a marker (Image 2). Give it a proper name, the "Name" field has to be unique - the others don't. As there is a special Insertion Icon, named "Start" we will use that one. Thus select "Icons" and "Start", use color "Green" as we are the good guys! Every marker points to the north when placed, in order to change that. Change the angle to 180, it will now point south. Finally, add a text: "Insertion". This will be displayed next to the marker, first to help us and later to help any players.
Next up: the Shilka marker (Image 3). As we are moving in to destroy an enemy Shilka, we place a marker at its future position. Find a good location and place the marker. There is an "Objective" marker which we use, so select "Icon" and "Objective". As color, use "Red", after all the Shilka is not friendly. Finally, add a short informative text.
We are going to place some enemy soldiers in the fishing village. Therefore, let's place a grid marker (Image 4)! Give it a proper name and select "ellipse". Next make it "Red Transparant" to be able to see the Shilka marker, select "Grid" as fill. Play with the size, try to get a feeling for different values in the Axis a and b boxes.
To complete the planning, place the final two markers yourself. Create an "Icon", type "Marker" named "officermarker". And another named "extraction", a blue rectangle filled with horizontal lines.
Now, we see the basic outlines for our tutorial based mission (Image 5). However, the mission is still empty. We can't play it as we haven't placed any units, there is no ending etc. So let's go to the next chapter!