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TheGeneral2899

TheGen's Guide to Mission / Campaign Making

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So you wanna make some campaigns or missions?   Hopefully this concise guide will help you streamline the process and save you some time.   This is the standard process that I tend to follow when creating campaigns or individual missions.

 

  1. Mission / Campaign Concept

 

It's always important to have the basic concept in your head of what you want to do.   Whether it's a full on tank battle single mission, or a 7 part campaign based on real world events, it's good to have the ideas flowing in your head.  Write them down but be ready for things to change.  Here's an example of one I recently wrote:

 

Quote

 

 

Having been disillusioned by world events and geopolitical unrest, a small band of VIKING squad have left the U.S. Marines and recently founded a private military contracting (PMC) firm known as Amarus.    Having years of experience in the military, the boys decided it's time to cash in and become a formidable army for hire.

 

There are now 4,000 corporations in the world whose activities cross national boundaries; these firms ply overseas markets through some 250,000 foreign affiliates.   

 

Amarus is now part of that number.   

 

With newly discovered deposits of Rhodium in the country of N'Ziwasogo (Southern Africa), there has been a so called gold rush, which is being spearheaded by a prominent Russian corporation known as Dobycha United.   

 

Amarus has recently been taken under contract by the US government to disrupt mining operations and work with a local militia in overthrowing the local government which is being backed heavily by Russia.

 

 

As you can see, this is a very very broad description, however it outlines some key things such as the basic terrain concept, good guys or bad guys, be an official army or guerilla, have top level equipment gear or scavenged etc.  

 

Let's start building this campaign out!

 

  1. Choosing a Terrain

 

Now comes the fun part of finding a terrain that works for the concept you have in your mind.   Thanks to the huge modding community, players are constantly making custom made terrains for Arma.   You can find a huge list from either within the Steam Workshop under the Terrain filter or here:

 

http://www.armaholic.com/list.php?c=arma3_files_addons_islands

http://cup-arma3.org/

https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=107410&requiredtags[]=Terrain

 

Download any and all terrains that might meet your criteria (jungle, water, snow, desert, industrial, rural etc).   The more you download and test out, the more ideas and concepts will pop into your idea allowing you to expand on your initial idea.

 

  1. Areas of Interest

 

Once you narrow the terrain choices to 1 or 2, open it up via the Eden 3D Editor and start "flying" around and marking off areas that could be fun to utilize.   For example, see a cool compound that you could somehow fit into a mission?  Mark it.  Mark it with whatever "Cool Compound", "Badass HVT Capture Compound", "Military Base" etc.   Do this for the entire map.   I will often create a single playable soldier and walk around areas planning out ambush points, areas for roadblocks / checkpoints.   It will take a good hour or so, but trust me, it saves you plenty of time in the long run.   This also ties into planning a steady "flow" in terms of building out a campaign.   Jumping around to opposite sides of the map for each mission is unrealistic.

 

Now you have a basic template for lets say Chernarus Winter with a bank of over 60 areas or villages or even specific buildings that could be used to create some depth for your mission.     Here is a screenshot of what I mean.

 

 

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  1. Tutorials

 

If you ever get stuck, you can find a multitude of video tutorials on youtube that are priceless for helping get a step by step visual understanding of how things are done.   From simple task creation to complex triggers.  I've compiled a list of some of the ones that helped me tremendously when first starting out.

 

  1. Jester814 Video Tutorials - Aside from his incredible recordings of milsim events, Jester has a long list of tutorials on how to achieve just about anything in the Arma Editor.   Highly highly recommended.

  2. Armaidiot Video Tutorials - Another great collection of how to do some basics such as camera scripting.

  3. Feuerex Video Tutorials - I personally used his voice scripting, dialogue and lip syncing tutorials which helped me immensely in creating some top-notch mission dialogues with voice overs.

  4. Kylania's Scripts - A random collection of scripts coded for Arma2, however with a little tweaking many of them (some don't need any at all) they will work for Arma3.

 

  1. Scripting

 

Scripting is often the difference between making a basic mission, to creating a masterpiece.   I have little to no knowledge of coding, but luckily I’ve been able to understand the majority of scripts from looking at the BIS Wiki or even downloading some of the community made scripts and opening em up.   

I would highly recommend taking a look at this sticky thread on "Scripting introduction for new scripters".   It has a boat load of good information including links to some amazing sites (that I don't have listed here).

 

Another great method to find out how somebody did something you like in a mission is to "reverse engineer" it.   A great tutorial found here explains how to extract the .pbo mission file.   From there you will be able to open the mission in the Arma editor and also gain access to all the custom scripts used in the mission.    This is invaluable when it comes to learning the Arma3 coding syntax.  What better way to learn than from looking at other's source code!

 

  1. Conclusion

 

This is a very broad guide that touches on many things, however being a new mission creator myself to the Arma community, I thought I should contribute a bit for those intimidated by mission making.   There is nothing better than knowing your squad is approaching an IED on the road, which is followed by a trigger that sends 10 guys charging over a hill to ambush the convoy while they are still in shock.   Had to mute my mic to stop myself from giggling like a child.  Get down, make missions and fuck with your friends.   

 

For some shameless self-promotion, feel free to check out my first attempt at mission making on my 8 part campaign.   More to come so keep an eye on my steam workshop.

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A very good and to the point guide.i may use it myself as I starting to get into mission making. Thanks :)

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Hey ineptaphid!  Would love to get this stickied if possible.  Made it just to benefit the community and help people breach the fear of delving into mission making.  Cheers!

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Good post dude.

 

Once you narrow the terrain choices to 1 or 2, open it up via the Eden 3D Editor and start “flying†around and marking off areas that could be fun to utilize.   For example, see a cool compound that you could somehow fit into a mission?  Mark it.  Mark it with whatever “Cool Compound 1â€, “Badass HVT Capture Compoundâ€, “Military Base†etc.   Do this for the entire map.   I will often create a single playable soldier and walk around areas planning out ambush points, areas for roadblocks / checkpoints.   It will take a good hour or so, but trust me, it saves you plenty of time in the long run.

That's exactly what I do when a new terrain is introduced.  I look for a unique location, and that is what usually triggers a mission idea.  My Property of Mabunga idea originated from me liking Lake Limini on Altis, and trying to navigate it with zodiacs.  Once I got zodiacs cruising the swamp, the rest of the mission concept just grew from there.

 

Maybe your post will inspire some more people to give editing a try. 

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Hey ineptaphid!  Would love to get this stickied if possible.  Made it just to benefit the community and help people breach the fear of delving into mission making.  Cheers!

I'll see what I can do. 

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I have one question. (Don't know if this is the right topic to ask it but I can't make my own)
I'm busy with making a campaign. I want that the player to start with the same gear, ammo, outfits, etc as the previous mission. So the player gets to keep the gear he found in the previous mission. 
Can someone help me with this?

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I have one question. (Don't know if this is the right topic to ask it but I can't make my own)

I'm busy with making a campaign. I want that the player to start with the same gear, ammo, outfits, etc as the previous mission. So the player gets to keep the gear he found in the previous mission. 

Can someone help me with this?

 

Here is a Demo Campaign to look at.  At the end of a mission we'll use getUnitLoadout to capture the current equipment and at the start of the next we'll use setUnitLoadout to rearm them.  We'll use the saveVar system to keep track of the actual loadout between missions.

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^ This system is flawed, by the way. If you replay a mission, the loadout will be overwritten at the end, which can become problematic for future missions (depending on how important this feature is for you).

 

Couldn't figure out a solution when I've worked with it (you can't check if a mission is being played for the first time or not - as far as I am aware), so I ended up making variables for each mission, and loading the one from the last mission in the next mission, etc. This way you could replay a mission, which then would only overwrite the variable for the next following one, but wouldn't influence the variable of the other missions (unless you replay them too, duh). If you get what I mean.

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I'm having an issue. I watched a youtube video

 

inserted an enemy survivor named it "target"

 

created a trigger around "target"

opened trigger attributes set to End #1

on activate !alive target next line endMission "End1"

 

clicked ok.

 

tested mission and killed "target" and mission did NOT end?

 

I heard that for a MP versions of missions require a different !alive syntax to get it to function on all players games. Does anyone have the proper syntax for killing a target, "General Octar"  and having the mission end with victory?

 

thanks,

-Papa6

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@TheGeneral2899 Hi, loved the guide. I use Nitrado to host my Arma 3 server, but when I upload the mission as a .pbo (for an addon) it is automatically converted back into a text document. I have tried changing the server.cfg file to read from Altis_Life.Altis.pbo but no luck, it just says that it can't find it.

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Super nice, i started playing ARMA 3 a week ago and have already made a couple of missions.
I want to make them a bit more intresting with intros and such, this was really helpful.

Now i just need to feed this info into my headjack and ill be a pro i no time, enjoy to make missions more than playing atm...

 

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