Modding the countries files
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  1. #1
    SOH-CM-2020 Pat Pattle's Avatar
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    Modding the countries files

    I didn't want to clutter Lima33's thread so this is a quote by Daiwillelti from the ETO BoB campaign IIs' ripping yarn.

    The next thing though would be to create an entirely new country.xml where each Fighter Group is listed - so is treated like a "nationality". Then QC locations would need to be tweaked - it lists available airbases by nationality. Also cutscenes would need to be tweaked - it also lists airbases by nationality. Also UnlimitedPilots, pilotattributes.xml, and a new global_layer.csv with the "owner" column (lists by nation) listing the Fighter Groups as owners of the airbases. That aspect of CFS3 does not seem to work as intended - notice how in Era 3 or 4 campaign, you can be flying a British aircraft yet still be assigned to a USAAF base? Frustrating because if that worked better it would be easy to get the right aircraft at the right airbases.
    That's pretty much how it's done in the BoB install. The 'countries' are the RAF Groups (LW is done by the countries they were flying from) and under each group are the airfields in it. So are you saying David that it may be possible to link aircraft types to a base? That would be brilliant if so!
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    Hi Clive, it was just wishful thinking on my part! As far as I can see, putting a country in column "O" (which happily corresponds with "owner") of the global_layer has no effect. I think it was meant to but never got fully implemented.

    What instead happens is the CFS3 quirk of randomly assigning allied countries to allied facilities (same for Axis), means you can be in a campaign and end up at an airbase that flies a flag for a different "country". Hence wanting to give ETO a miss for a BoB campaign - its a bit wierd having Finnish gas trucks trundling around the airbase.

    At least with your version of Bob, the country.xml has some Groups in it, and a couple of Axis countries. Do the Groups each get given a flag in the buildings folder and the uires? What about noseart? To me, it wouldn't matter if the Groups were all given the same flag.

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    At least with your version of Bob, the country.xml has some Groups in it, and a couple of Axis countries. Do the Groups each get given a flag in the buildings folder and the uires? What about noseart? To me, it wouldn't matter if the Groups were all given the same flag.
    There are no flags for the groups, I hadn't considered it actually. I will start digging into that side of things again, I'm sure there's more that could be done, the qc_locations is a very clever little file.
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    Member greycap.raf's Avatar
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    Completely unaware of this thread I was just thinking about things some days ago. While it's nice to have all the countries in the NEK my mind began wandering a bit and from somewhere between the little grey cells came the thought, would it be possible to stop certain countries from "owning" airfields while still retaining the nationalities in the country.xml? Only assign enemy airfields to Germany when flying for the Allies, for example.

    The odd visions didn't end there though. In my wildest dreams I'd like to have Quick Combat with a fixed front line and AI aircraft spawning like the vehicles now do, in other words basically a living war theatre in QC instead of the current system in which everything outside the home airfield belongs to the enemy. Pretty sure that it can't be done though - but I've been wrong before!

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    The odd visions didn't end there though. In my wildest dreams I'd like to have Quick Combat with a fixed front line and AI aircraft spawning like the vehicles now do, in other words basically a living war theatre in QC instead of the current system in which everything outside the home airfield belongs to the enemy. Pretty sure that it can't be done though - but I've been wrong before!
    You're not the only one having odd visions! That thought has occurred to me also.
    I think it's do-able but would need a programme manager, so what you actually do in QC is run an editable mission file.
    That's beyond me though, it's sort of how WoFf and WoTR work.
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    Insert Frontline Into _mission.xml

    Well just to throw into the 'wildest dreams" department, the _mission.xml file IS editable (ie the one in the AppData pathway). I'm not adept so it takes me hours to pick up where I left off, or even work out what I did last time, but my uploaded "Campaign Mission Skill editor" is an example. I used some basic commands in Autohotkey so that, when sitting on the runway at the start of a campaign mission, I could press a couple of keys which edited the skill settings in the _mission.xml file.

    It may be possible, for example, to change the mode in the _mission.xml file from "qc" to mission mode, AFTER making the selections of airfield, aircraft, weather, etc using the QC interface. In effect, you would be using the QC interface to act like an accessible mission builder, much less clunky than the real thing. Maybe WindingMan started off playing around with this sort of process when developing OFF, as Clive says. In fact, I often suspected that the early manager that WM developed was a re-skinning of the QC interface with a few more things accessible and built in as buttons - like selecting the weather which is actually already there in the QC interface.

    It would not be hard to get the _mission.xml file to pop up in Notepad when you are in CFS3 at the start of selecting options for QC. If you had a specific frontline in mind, maybe that could be popped straight into the _mission.xml file? In that way immediate semi-historical scenarios could be played out, such as Bastogne, or Dunkirk, with an accurate frontline. And it would be much quicker and immediately satisfying than laboring over the Mission Builder for hours making one-off missions.

    There are people around who are pretty adept at the simple string of commands required to get the _mission.xml file to open. I think it could be done through a .bat file or by programs like AutoHotKey. For me, it would take hours because its so long between attempts that I have to look at old stuff I did and try to repeat it.

    So, in summary the idea would be to
    - make selections in QC interface
    - edit the _mission.xml for date, mode, frontline, etc
    - try to get the darn thing to open without a ginormous crash
    - or, another idea, close out of the _mission.xml file, rename the file as a conventional mission file, and open through the Missions tab in the UI. That would avoid the crashing perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by greycap.raf View Post
    Completely unaware of this thread I was just thinking about things some days ago. While it's nice to have all the countries in the NEK my mind began wandering a bit and from somewhere between the little grey cells came the thought, would it be possible to stop certain countries from "owning" airfields while still retaining the nationalities in the country.xml? Only assign enemy airfields to Germany when flying for the Allies, for example.

    The odd visions didn't end there though. In my wildest dreams I'd like to have Quick Combat with a fixed front line and AI aircraft spawning like the vehicles now do, in other words basically a living war theatre in QC instead of the current system in which everything outside the home airfield belongs to the enemy. Pretty sure that it can't be done though - but I've been wrong before!
    Hi Greycap, one quick thing you can do to approximate QC with a fixed front line is to greatly increase "QuickCombatFriendlyRadius" in the game.xml file. I tend to use 8000 or 10,000m, but if you put in something greater like a radius of 30km, it would effectively become the frontline.

    The only "bug" in this ointment is that ground.spawns for some mysterious reason still throws up random enemy ground formations close to your airbase - but all the facilities near your airbase within the "friendly radius" are friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Pattle View Post
    There are no flags for the groups, I hadn't considered it actually. I will start digging into that side of things again, I'm sure there's more that could be done, the qc_locations is a very clever little file.
    Hi Clive, I had a quick look and whilst you have created countries in the qc_locations file, this is not replicated in the country.xml.

    Hence all the things like getting Group-specific spawn triggers occurring in the right geographical locations still require a new country.xml, and the reassignment of British aircraft with the nationality in the aircraft xdps set as per the Groups defined in the country.xml and the qc_locations.xml (and all sorts of other sundry files like brieftxt, characters, vehicles,aircraft,uires etc etc).

    I'll PM you when I get the chance.

  9. #9
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    Please do David, this something we should explore further.
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