McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World
(with additional notes by TB3)

Tutorial: A Panzer Elite mission made from Scratch
(Version 1.00, June, 2000)

Click here to send an e-mail message to Mr. McDrum
Click here to send an e-mail message to Webmeister

Index
Adding, of combat groups click
Adding, of blanks to a group click
Adding, of buildings to a group click
Adding, of bushes to a group click
Adding, of houses to a group click
Adding, of objects to a group click
Adding, of trees to a group click
Address, snail-mail, of Wings click
AI, and roads, interactive effects of click
AI, notes, additional click
AI, settings, window showing click
Area, non-existant, when script references, error displayed click
Areas, deleting of click
Areas, objects in, erasing ofclick
Areas, tactical, defining of click
Artillery, defined using a global script click
Artillery, script-conrolled, usage not deducted click
Artillery, setting of click
Auto-linked nodes, defining of click
AutoLnk checkbox click
Backing up, of .BMP and .DAT files click
Backing up, of .DFP, .MGS, .OBS, .SCN, .SCP, etc. files click
Blanks, adding to a group click
.BMP and .DAT files, backing up of click
Border Ownership, setting of click
Briefing Commands, .WAV files for click
Briefing map, generation of click
Briefing map, like those that come with the game, generating of click
Briefing map, making a draft of click
Briefing map, name for click
Buildings, adding to a group click
Bushes, adding to a group click
Button, line click
Button, rect(angle) click
Campaigns, selection of: Desert, Italy, or Normandy click
Campaigns, custom, setting up of click
Caveats click
Checkbox, AutoLnk click
Combat groups, adding of click
Combat groups, other, defining of click
Combat groups, as reinforcement unit, defining of click
Combat groups, deleting of click
Combat scripts, preparation of click
Choice, of language click
Contour lines, drawing of click
Controls, for zooming click
Converting scanned battle map to grayscale click
Cornfields, creating of click
Creating, of cornfields, farm fields click
Custom campaigns, setting up of click
.DAT and .BMP files, backing up of click
Data, final, making of click, click, click
Defining, of auto-linked nodes click
Defining, of artillery, using a global script click
Defining, of groups of objects click
Defining, of other Combat Groups click
Defining, of objects in groups click
Defining, of nodes, auto-linked click
Defining, of reinforcement unit click
Defining, of tactical areas click
Deleting, of areas click
Deleting, of combat scripts click
Desert theater, of war, selection of click
.DFP file, saving using click
Diagonal roads, drawing of click
Displaying, of grid click
Downloading, of original scenario files click
Drawing, of contour lines click
Drawing, with a group click
Drawing, in a rectangular area click
Drawing, of roads click
Drawing, of roads, on a diagonal click
Drawing, at a single spot click
Drawing, of streams click
Driving around the landscape click, click
Editing, of nodesclick, click
Editing, of pathsclick, click
Editing, of roadsclick, click
Effects, interactive, of roads and AI click
Erasing, of ground textures click
Erasing, of objects click, click
Erasing, of objects, in an area click
Erasing, of roads click
Erasing, of railroads click
Erasing, of streams click
Error, too-many-scenarios, hang when loading menu click
Error, due to bad Mission Names click
Error, while loading single scenario menu, too-many-scenarios click
Error, when maximum number of units is exceeded click
Error, when missing Object Blocks click
Error, when reinforcement unit is used as player click
Error, when script references a non-existant area click
Error, when trying to open Scenario Editor click
Error, 32, when trying to open Scenario Editor click
Events, that trigger messages, preparation of messages for click
Farm fields, creating of click
Files, backing up of, .DFP, .MGS, .OBS, .SCN, .SCP, etc. click
Files, .BMP and .DAT, backing up of click
Files, made and used by the game click
Files, containing ground textures click
Files, made and used by the Scenario Editor click
Files, Object.Blocks (OBS), loading of click
Files, saving using .DFPclick
Final Data, making of click, click, click
Game, files made and used by click
Generating, of briefing map click
Generating, of ground textures click
Generating, of the surface map click
Generating, of the terrain surface click
Goals, mission, displayed during testing click
Golas, mission, preparation of click
Global script, used to define artillery click
Global settings, menu, opening of click
Global settings, and mission text click, click
Grid, displaying of click
Ground textures, erasing of click
Ground textures files containing click
Groups, combat, adding of click
Groups, combat, other, defining of click
Groups, combat, reinforcement unit as, defining of click
Groups, of objects, defining click
Heightlines, for Heightmap-preparation map click
Heightmaps, loading of click
Heightmaps, making of, notes on, by Sidi Siedlaczek click
Heightmaps, preliminary heightline picture for click, fig click
Heightmaps, putting in the final folder click
Heightmaps, pixels in , precise location of click
Heights, stretch of, warning about click
Houses, adding to a group click
How Objects actually look, desert click
Illegal combination textures click
Interactive Effects, of Roads and AI click
I/O Error 32, when trying to open Scenario Editor click
Italy theater of war, selection of click
Landscape, driving around on click, click
Landscape tab, selecting click
Landscape texturing click
Language, choice of click
Language menu, opening of click
Last Words click
Line button click
Lines, countour, drawing of click
Loading, of heightmap click
Loading, of Object.Blocks file click
Locations, precise, of heightmap pixels click
Locations, precise, of Textures click
Looking at, of objects click
Loss of screen settings, error when detected click
Lost nodes, detection and repair of click
Making, of final data click, click, click
Map, briefing, generating of, like those that come with the game click
Map, briefing, making a draft of click
Map, briefing, name for click
Map, original battle, resizing of click
Map, orignal battle, scanning of click
Map, roughness, creation click
Map, scan, using to draw roads click
Map generator window, placing of texture in click
Map pixels, location of, versus X,Y coordinates, discussion of click
MapGenForm menu, opening of click
Making, of briefing map draft click
Marking, of player platoon click
Maximum number of units, error when exceeded click
Menu, Global Settings, opening of click
Menu, Language, opening of click
Menu, SelectTextures, opening of click, click, click
Messages, triggered by events, preparation of click
Mission goals, displayed during testing click
Mission goals, preparation of click
Mission names, erroneous, error given when found click
Mission text, and global settings click
Mission text, preparation of click
Missions, remaking of, by McDrum and Peticazes click, click, click, click, click, click, click
MKMAP, running the program, to make the final heightmap click
Modifying, of ObjTexComb menu click
Name, for Briefing map click
Nodes, auto-linked, defining of click
Nodes, editing of click, click
Nodes, lost, detection and repair of click
Normandy theater of war, selection of click
Object blocks, error when missing click
Object.Blocks (OBS) file, loading of click
Objects, adding to a group click
Objects, in an area, appearance in game click
Objects, desert, looking at click
Objects, erasing of click click
Objects, groups of, defining click
Objects, looking at click
Objects, with shadows or texture parts click
ObjTexComb menu click
OBS files, description click, click
OBS files, multiple objects in click, click
Opening, of Global Setting menu click
Opening, of Language menu click
Opening, of MapGenForm menu click
Opening, of objects-setting form click
Opening, of SelectTexture menu click, click, click
Original scenario files, downloading of click
Panzer Elite, files made and used by click
Panzer Elite, hang while loading single-scenario menu, too-many-scenarios error click
Paths, editing of click, click
Paths, selecting of click
Pixels, in heightmap, precise location of click
Placing, of buildings click
Placing, of player platoon click
Placing, of roads click
Placing, of tactical areas click
Placing, of woods click
Platoon, player, marking of click
Platoon, player, placing of click
Player platoon, marking of click
Player platoon, placing of click
Player unit, reinforcement used as, error displayed when click
Players, used during testing click
Preparation, of combat scripts click
Preparation, of messages triggered by events click
Preparation, of mission goals click
Preparation, of mission texts click
Preparation, of scenario, for playing in the game click
Project, saving of click
Project, (see also) Scenario
Railroads, erasing of click
Rect(angle) button click
Reinforcement unit click
Reinforcement unit, used as player, error displayed when click
Remaking missions, by McDrum and Peticazes click, click, click, click, click, click, click
Replacing, of Illegal Combination textures click
Resizing, of original battle map click
Right-clicking, on a terrain square click
Roads, and AI, interactive effects of click
Roads, diagonal, drawing of click
Roads, drawing of click
Roads, drawing of, diagonally click
Roads, editing of click, click
Roads, erasing of click
Roads, using scan map to draw click
Roads, selecting of click
Saving, of project (scenario) click
Saving, of scenario, using file .DFP click
Saving, of scenario (project) click
Scan map, using to draw roads click
Scanning in, of original battlemap click
Scenario, preparation of, for playing in the game click
Scenario, saving of click
Scenario, saving of, using file .DFP click
Scenario, testing of click
Scenario, (see also) Project
Scenario, definition click
Scenario, error 32, when trying to open click
Scenario, files made and used by click
Scenario, starting of click
Scenario files, original, downloading of click
Screen settings, loss of, error when detected click
Screen settings, for video screen click
Script, global, used to define artillery click
Script, referencing a non-existant Area, error displayed click
Scripts, combat, deleting of click
Scripts, combat, preparation of click
Script-controlled artillery, usage not deducted click
Selecting, of buildings, to add to a group click
Selecting, of bushes, to add to a group click
Selecting, of houses, to add to a group click
Selecting, of landscape tab click
Selecting, of objects, to add to a group click
Selecting, of path click
Selecting, of road click
Selecting, of trees, to add to a group click
SelectTexture menu, opening of click, click, click
Setting, of artillery click
Setting, of border ownership click
Setting, of town signs click
Setting, of weather click
Settings, AI, window showing click
Setting up, of custom campaigns click
Sicily theater of war, selection of click
Sidi Siedlaczek, notes on making heightmaps click
Siedlaczek, Sidi, notes on making heightmaps click
Square, terrain, right-clicking on click
Streams, drawing of click
Streams, erasing of click
Stretch, of heights, warning about click
Tab, landscape, selecting click
Tactical areas, defining of click
Testing, players used during click
Testing, of scenario click
Terrain square, right-clicking on click
Test running the game click, click
Textures, ground, erasing of click
Textures, ground, files containing click
Textures, placing of, in the Map Generator window click
Textures, precise location of click
Textures, selection of click
Theaters, of war, selection of: Desert, Italy, or Normandy click
Too-many-scenarios error, hang while loading single-scenario menu click
Town signs, setting of click
Trees, adding to group click
Using scan map to draw roads click
Video screen, screen settings for click
Warning, about height stretch click
Warning, about precise location of Textures click
.WAV files, for briefing commands click
Weather, setting of click
Window, showing AI settings click
Wings' Snail-mail Address click
X,Y coordinates, versus map pixel location, discussion of click
Zooming, controls for click

Wings's snail-mail adddress (in December, 2000): Wings Simulations GmbH, Teut Weidemann, Werkstrasse 15, 45527 Hattingen, Germany
Some details about the Wings development team can be found here.
A very brief history of what went wrong with the distribution of the game when it first came out can be found here.

  Basic tools and documents

In May 2001, you could download the four .ZIP files that contain everything you need for all of the scenarios in the three original campaigns. They were available here:
desert.zip, italy.zip, normandyt.zip, heightmp.zip.
They have all the .DFP, .MGS, .OBS, .SCP, SCN, Heightmap, Scan maps, English.TXT, and German.TXT files.
The fact that the files were posted for downloading means that you will be able to get copies from someone in the user community even if JoWood no longer has them on their web site.

When you run PE as a game, you can use whatever screen settings your video-graphics system permits. However, when you run the Game under the Scenario Editor, you may want other screen settings. Typically, when running the Scenario Editor on a 1024x768 screen, a game setting of 640x480 results in the whole playing screen showing in its window and, at the same time, permits you to watch most of the monitoring map. If you use a game setting of 800x600, you will not see the whole playing screen unless you enlarge the playing window. Then it is hard to see much of the monitoring map.

When you run PE as a game, a file named ..\Desert\Bitmaps\Campaign\GDESERTBackground.bmp (or GITALY- or GNORMANDY, or US-) is used to make the background against which the ADC performs. The dimensions of the picture is 1056x480. You can replace this file with another. There are a number of very nice replacements available. Keep in mind that, unless you make extensive modifications to the various control files, the 'Briefing' click-on area and the people ('sprites') and unit vehicles will appear in the same locations as with the original backgrounds.
Certain moving features may need to be removed. Examples are: the waves lapping on the USDesert shore, the smoke rising in the right rear of GDesert, and the dog and the water fountain in USItaly.

To remove unwanted features: Go to folder ..\Desert\Campaigns\ (there is no Italy or Normandy folder).
Find the CMP file: G (or US) + Desert (or Italy or Normandy) + .CMP and open it with your favorite text editor (WordPad).
Go almost to the bottom of the page to [DRAWORDER] to remove (or change the spelling of) the names of the 'sprites' you do not want. The waves lapping in the USDesert shore are called 'sea'. The sitting man on the shore is called 'sitting-guy'. The smoke in GDesert is called 'smoke'. Similarly, you can find the items in other campaigns.

An alternative is: Go to folder ..\Campaign\GDesert\ (or GItaly or GNormandy or US-).
Within that folder go to sub-folder \Animations\.
Look for the name of the RAW files you do not want. The waves lapping in the USDesert shore are called 'sea0001.RAW' to 'sea0020.RAW'. The sitting man on the shore is called 'sitting-guy0001.RAW' to 'sitting-guy0010.RAW'. The smoke in GDesert is called 'smoke0000.RAW' to 'smoke0020.RAW'. Similarly, you can find the items in other campaigns. Rename each file to something the game does not look for. Simply putting an 'x' in the front of each filename seems to work just fine.

To become a Panzer Elite mission maker, you will need the tools of the trade. All of them can be downloaded from Panzer Elite  home page. The basic tools are:

        The Scenario Editor, aka Scenario Editor, a Windows program.
        The MapGenerator, a command line program which needs the DOS4GW.EXE extender - included in the download file.
        The Scenario Editor Manual, and thePanzer Elite Script AI Documentation.
        The Creating landscapes document (click here), from Wing's indepth documents, a series about Panzer Elite internals.
        The How to generate Heightmaps for Panzer Elite document, found with the Map generator download.

     •   The tutorial online about the Remaking of missions: a Step by Step Guide , is also available at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World. Our first tutorial will be mentioned often, because in it we have described the AI and the scripting part of mission making.
It will be quite useful to have printed copies of all these documents while building scenarios.

Overview

The making of a Panzer Elite scenario from scratch can be considered a 4 phase project:

I) Themaking of the height lines picture, and landscape height data from a printed or digital map of scale 1:25,000 or 1:50,000. Higher scales are less likely to use in Panzer Elite, because the landscape machinery in the game needs a very detailed background to work properly.

II) The landscape texturing and scenario definition, made with the map generator in the Scenario Editor and the Global Settings.

III) The placing of  layouts:  woods,  roads, buildings, and tactical areas (e.g.: minefields, target areas, defensive spots)

IV) The Combat Groups, and the Scripting of the Artificial Intelligence to implement the tactical part of the mission.

Three of the original Panzer Elite scenarios come with the Scenario Editor program. They are: Breakthrough (desert), Agrigento (Italy), and Marigny (Normandy). You can learn a great deal by picking them up with the Scenario Editor and examining how they do everything.

Click here for more information on the files used and created by the Scenario Editor.

Click here for more information on how to set up the three 'Custom' campaigns available to the Scenario Editor.

I. The making of the height lines picture and the landscape height data

In order to build a mission, you usually start by some tank battle having taken place in a specific environment. You have available a map of the area where the battle is to be fought, showing the terrain features, villages, hills, valleys and other landscape elements that are so important in a real ground battle.

The Panzer Elite Scenario Editor needs a terrain, in the form of height data, and a ground landscape. These are the steps to get it:


Matthias 'Sidi' Siedlaczek has prepared some instructions for making heightmaps. They can be found here.

1) Scan your battle map if possible. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have some US, German, British, or Soviet WWII map, or perhaps you have a map of a region of your interest. PE landscape's guru, "Sidi" Siedlaczeck, recommends that one not exceed the limit of 36 square kilometers. But master Paul, in his Kursk scenario seems to have used a larger area. In the How to generate Heightmaps doc   "Sidi" explains how to scan, crop, and resize the images.

2) After scanning, you have  to resize : To represent a 5x7-km area, you have to resize the image to a 500x700-pixel image. To represent a 6x6-km area, you have to resize to 600x600 pixels.   DO NOT confuse the size of this map with the size of the Briefing map. Briefing maps are twice as big.

3) Grayscale the image, as preparation to

4) Draw the height lines. Your scanned picture will have a lot of details. You need a paint program able to work with layers. Create a new white layer over the scanned-resized-greyscaled image, and draw the height lines in it. You have to investigate what is the range of heights in your area of interest. The Scenario Editor can work only with a 256-meter range, the greyscale range of values. Select the lowest height line, say, 720 m. Assign that height to the 0 grey scale value in the color selection. Draw it in the layer. Then pick the next height, say, 725 m; assign to it the 725-720= 5 gray scale value in the color selection. Draw it in the layer. Pick the next, 730-m value of height; assign to it the 730-720=10 gray scale value, and so on. If base_color is the lowest height-representing color, lowerheight_value is the lowest height value in the map, heightline_value is any height line in your map, then

heightline_color=base_color+(heightline_value-lowerheight_value)

Don't worry, it is easier to do it than to describe the equation. After drawing all the lines, save your layer as *.bmp file. In our tutorial mission, called cerro (hill), the file will be cerroh.bmp, the added h is for height.

What if your range of map heights is more than 256? "Sidi" told the world: Fake it; nobody will care about that hill being 270 or 240 meters high. Take a look at your copy of the How to generate Heightmaps .

If you are curious, perhaps you will try some of the programs available on the net, which are able to automatically draw the height lines from the scanned image. Well, feel free to innovate. Here we will only describe the more direct hands-on method.

 The height lines for the cerro mission.Please note the poor quality of the  drawing in some areas. But even this works OK

The cerro mission will take place in the surrounding area near my home, an interesting fictional tank battlefield, where a smooth plain with some rivers is bordered on the east and west by some hilly terrain.

5) Create the roughness map . In order to build the landscape, the map generator needs to know how rough the terrain is. This is achieved by making  (with the paint program) a gray-scale picture of the same dimensions as the scanned image, cerroscan.bmp, or the heightlines image, cerroh.bmp, filled completely with a unique gray scale value, from 0 to 255. A 0 value means smooth, and 255 means extremely rough. Even the 0 value will give you more than enough  roughness. You can use it

        Creating a new image of the same dimensions of cerroh.bmp
        using the paintbucket to give the uniform greyscale value to the whole picture (a value of 0 is recommended).
Save the roughness map as cerror.bmp; the r stands for roughness.

Now you have 3 grayscale files of the same size: cerroscan.bmp, the scanned image; cerroh.bmp , the height lines image; andcerror.bmp, the roughness file.

  6) Place the files in the map-generator folder - the map generator that was downloaded from the PEDG web site - and then open a DOS box. The syntax to build the height data is:

mkmap cerroh.bmp cerror.bmp cerroheight.bmp

where mkmap is the executable program and cerroheight.bmp is the final height data for Panzer Elinte's Scenario Editor.

TIP: important for further steps: you need the cerroscan.bmp (to help you populate the map with the roads, buildings, trees, etc. that are in the actual landscape) and the cerroheight.bmp (to enable the Scenario Editor to display and run the scenario during preparation) files to work with the Scenario Editor. In general, you will need a xxxscan.bmp and a xxxheight.bmp file to work with. The height line picture and the roughness picture are no longer needed.

The program stretches your vertical dimensions. The usual setting is at 125%. This shows up in a strange way. Whatever your Heightmap gives as a height in its actual pixel value is multiplied by 1.25 and then truncated. For example, a 1 becomes 1 (1.25 truncates to 1), 7 becomes 8 (8.75 truncates to 8), etc.

 The cerroheight.bmp file (warning, this actual image you see is a *.gif version)

In the zip files containing the tutorial files, you will find the height and the scan files for cerro mission. A few words are worth about the scan file: it is a pretty abstract  image, with no detail at all. It was obtained not by scanning an actual map sheet, but from a demo height file, in a proccess rather different from the standard one here described.

 The cerroscan.bmp image (warning, this actual file you see is a *.gif one)

This scan image is very simple and a good start for learning purposes, but is insufficient for building a realistic and historically accurate mission. There are no clues about rivers, houses, orchards, lanes, and ground features that are represented in military maps. This is the bad news. The good news is that we will be able to build our tutorial even without this info.

Each pixel on the heightmap represents a 10-meter square on the landscape. Therefore a bump, hill, ditch, or cliff that is to be on the scenario map at, say, x = 1000 and y = 1200, will have to have its height-controlling pixels on the heightmap, but not at pixel 100, 120. Click here for more details.

If you are being very careful about just where things are on your map, you will notice another annoying feature. Each square on the Scenario-Editor map represents a 10-meter square on the landscape. Therefore an object, road, or whatnot will be placed within a 10-m x 10-m square. All is well for objects. They appear in the game landscape where you place them on the map. However all is not well for Textures. Click here for more details.

7) As a last step in this phase, place both files, cerroscan.bmp and cerroheight.bmp in the ..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Editdirs\ScenEdDat\Heightmp\ folder. This folder is created as default when installing the Scenario Editor, and doing so, your mission will be managed in the same way as the Wings' missions that come with the editor.

Note: You can also use the Paint program that comes with Windows to modify heightmaps. You just pick up an existing Heightmap and edit it and save it.
If you use Paint to make a new heightmap file from scratch, it will not have the 256 colors that the Editor wishes, namely 00 through FF. It will also not have 8-bits/pixel, but 24. The Scenario Editor will complain.
The file must, in addition, have Height as the last part of its name, for example CerroFakeHeight.bmp to avoid complaint.
You can easily stretch, shrink, and crop existing maps. Central France offers a good example. The countryside is flat or very gently rolling, so that the underlying heightmaps are much the same. Stretching one such heightmap to another size will not be noticed.
You will note that in the Cerro example just given, only a dozen contours (heights) are used. In a real-life map, contour lines (height lines) are evenly spaced. When using a 10-m interval, on one side of a 40-m line will be a 30-m line and on the other side will be a 50-m line. This means that any one color will only touch TWO others. The only way to explain the various colors touching each other in the Cerro example map is to say that different height lines are used in different parts of the map, say 35-m and 45-m lines.

II. The landscape texturing and scenario definition

Step 6) above was to obtain the heightmap Scenario Editor needs to create the landscape. Now we run the Scenario Editor, and look for the tools to texture the landscape.

8) Activate the windows icon for Scenario Editor.


If you get this error when trying to open the Scenario Editor, it means the Scenario Editor is already open. You cannot run two sessions at one time.

First, the 'CampaignSelect' toolbar will appear on the screen desktop.


'CampaignSelect' toolbar

Each Campaign has its own associated objects: trees, buildings, roads, and textures. We will suppose you are happy with predefined objects and textures, and no discussion will be made about how to change these important graphic data of PE. That is the subject of another huge tutorial.

8a) Because my country is like Italy, click on the Italy button

The Landscape and Scenario Tool bar is already in the left side of the screen


Landscape and Scenario toolbar

After a while the Scenario Editor toolbar will appear at the top of the screen.


The Scenario Editor toolbar

and also the Combat Group window, empty, because no units have been defined yet, and the map window, with a black square in the middle (the default height map).


If you get this error trying to open an existing scenario, it means that the scenario wants some object which it does not find in the list of objects. As you can see from the example, they are vehicles. [My GUESS as of October 2000 is that those vehicles were in the Objects list when the .SCP landscape file was made, but were not used in the Scenario.]
In the case of the desert scenario SWFurna, there are over 100 complaints. However, I couldn't find anything missing.
In the case of the desert scenario Breakthrough, which comes with the Scenario Editor, there are over 50 complaints. Again, nothing seems to be missing.
Unless you want to find out what all their names are, press the Cancel button and ignore them.

9) Click on the Load button. A standard Windows-9x load/opening dialog box will appear. Choose as type of file heightmap (*.bmp). Climb the folder tree, and load:

..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Editdirs\Scenario EditorDat\Heightmp\CerroHeight.bmp


To see the height data, check in the Landscape tool bar the mark for Heightm.

Now all is ready for the important task of texturing the landscape.

10) Double click over the black square at the lower part of the Landscape toolbar . The Textures and Objects window (just below) will appear.


(Desert)

(Italy)

(Normandy)

When you open the Scenario Editor, the ground textures displayed in the main map come from file 'Default_cmb16.bmp', 'ItalyS_cmb16.bmp', or 'NormandyS-cmb16.bmp'. These squares have already been shifted half a square up and left and the quarters combined.
If you have changed a ground texture or unchecked the checkbox in the 'Disp' column and 'Gnd:' row of the 'Landscape' tab of the 'Tools' menu, then the squares you will see come from 'Default_16.bmp', 'ItalyS_16.bmp', or 'NormandyS_16.bmp'. These are the same texture files that show in the 'Textures' tab of the 'SelectTexture' menu shown above.

The three default 'Textures and Objects' windows

By default, the first texture (in fact a black no-texture) will be selected. Click on whatever top row texture you want, and note how it is reproduced in the lower square in the Landscape tool bar. The first row are the basic landscape textures. The next two rows have shadows and smudges which lie on the ground. The round ones are shadows that go under trees. The oblong smudges are used under houses to represent the sooty debris left over from the destruction of the house. Other squares are used for the surface of bridges or for railroad crossings. The others are different families of roads, paths, railroads, and streams.

11) Click over the Window>Map Generator item in the Scenario Editor Bar. The Map Generator window will pop.


The Map Generator window

Your Map Generator window will not look like the one shown above. This is our particular selection. The next two steps explain how to get the particular texture set you like in the 6x6 grid:

12) Click on the texture you want on the Textures and Objects window This selects a texture

13) Click on the desired square in the Map Generator's window grid. This  places the texture in the Map Generator window. Easy!

But what does this arrangement of textures and numbers in the Map Generator window mean?

This is a good time to read the Landscape Editor Manual. All the official information is there. The abstract is:

        The textures will be distributed over the landscape as indicated by the sliderheight number. In the picture shown here, 115 m(eters).
        The upper three rows will be distributed over heights LOWER than the slider mark.
        The botton three rows will be distributed over heights HIGHER than the slider mark.
        Each row has associated the number next to it in the number colum(10,20,30), (10,20,30) in the picture shown here. Textures of the first row in each three-row set will be assigned in proportional way to slopes ranging: from 0 to10 degrees for the first row, from 10 to 20 degrees for the second, and from 20 to 30 degrees for the third one. You can change the numeric boxes and the distribution will be switched to the one you choose. The default works well, but you can do your own trial and error exploration.
        The filter values aren't explained, and we will mantain our guess about their meaning.
Now you have the textures loaded into the Map Generator window. What next?

You have to generate the textured landscape.

14) Activate the checkmark to enable variations in the texturing. Then click on the Generate map button.

After a while, measured by a progress bar, you will get the textured landscape. If you do not see it, uncheck the Heightm checkmark in the Landscape  Tool bar. Your landscape will appear with the textures as you chose them in the previous steps.

Is it all that easy? No, certainly not. The textures generated in (14) are well distributed because the slider is in the adequate 115 meter value. But if you put the slider in, let's say, 125 meters - do it, please - a warning message will tell you that in the map are 5 illegal combinations. These are texture squares where the algorithm of the map generator has trouble assigning a texture due to conflicts in the height and slope values of the sourroundings. This demonstrates plainly that texturing a landscape is a trial and error process, where intuition and experience will help you to get the optimal value for the slider. It took us some seven trials to get the correct value.

What if you get illegal combinations? Inmediately, in the Landscape  Tool bar  the illegal combinations finder button is activated (the single button under the 'Rect' button) , whose icon is a circle embedded in a square, with the two diagonals crossing it). Clicking on it, you will jump to the next illegal combination in the map. After  locating it - be advised, that can be difficult - you have to

15) double click over the black square at the lower part of the Landscape tool bar . This will open the Textures and Objects window. Then  pick a texture.

16) Select the Rect button in the Landscape  Tool bar.

17) Click on the wrong texture in the map. The choosen texture will replace the wrong one.

Repeat steps 15 to 17 until all the wrong textures are corrected. Obviously, the best is having all legal combinations, by an educated guess about the slider value.

It is time to save the work.

18) Click on the Save button in theScenario Editor bar . In the save standard dialog box, choose "Desert Fox Project" (*.DFP) and give the file the name cerro-ger . This will generate and save a project file and other related files, in the defaultScenario Editor  folders. You can see some of the resulting file destinations by clicking on the Windows>Project menu item. Every time you make a signifcant change in your mission, you should repeat this step.

It will be very wise from now on to schedule a backup protocol. This is to say, you have to prepare a backup folder, where you save the last interesting version of your scenario and mission. In the future steps, grave errors can occur, having as a consequence the loss of all your data - usually preceded by an awful"Access violation error". Please, make a cerro folder, with a scapes subfolder, to save all the cerro*.* files associated with your project.

19) Save in ..\cerro
        The cerro*.txt files (briefings)
        The height and scan cerro*.bmp files, and the briefingmap, cerro.bmp file.
        The cerro*.scp, cerro*.dfp, cerro *.obs , cerro*.mgs and cerro *.scn files.

20) Save in ..\cerro\scapes
        The cerro.bmp and cerro.dat files, whose originals are in the folder
..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Scenario\Scapes

Some of these files in (19) and (20) are to be created in the next steps.

Now you are editing the German side version of the mission.

Now, we will set some properties of this mission. This the so called Scenario definition.

21) Go to the Scenario Editor bar and click on the Global>Settings menu item. The Global Settings window will open.


Global Settings Window

The variations are 3 random value possibilities for your mission, mainly linked to units appearing or to scripts taking place. In the default values, variation A is 30% probable, B is 40% and C, 30%.

22) Write Cerro as the name of your mission,   Write as Filename BriefingMap, Cerro.bmp. Choose a Date and a Time (the start hour) and a Duration for the mission.

23) Click on the Save Language button. The Language chooser will open.


Language Chooser

24) Choose your language - here English - and click OK. This will make your language be English. So, your briefing will be baptized as cerro-gerEnglish.txt. Of course you can choose German, and the briefing's filename will change to cerro-gerGerman.txt.

25) Click on any of the 6 Text buttons to display the briefing's texts:

        Mission Description

        Mission Goals Text

        Mission Briefing Text

        Mission Aid Text

        Mission Success Text

        Mission Failures Text


More instructions on global settings and mission text material can be found here

More instructions on briefing text material and associated .WAV files can be found here

Each makes the portion of the mission text described in the name. Be careful. All the text introduced must be enclosed by quotes, like this mission description text below: "Test mission Cerro, [...] ".


Mission Description text. The whole text is enclosed by the quotes: "Test mission....."

26) Then you can edit the Messages triggered by events in the mission and issued by the Combat Groups. This message's editing , and all the  briefing editing described in (25) can be made at any time. To edit messages, click on the Edit Messages button.


Message Editing panel

You can choose when the messages will be posted in the game (on enter/on exit) related to the game events, and the destination (who will receive them) of the messages (both Sides/German Units/US units).

To add a message, click on the Add Message button. To change a message, click on the desired message, write the text in the GroupBox1 edit area, and then click on the Change Message button.

27) To save this work, save the project as described in (18) . This will save the files and the Cerro-gerEnglish.txt briefing in (in our case) the projects/Italy folder.

28) To save this work and put the briefing and scenario files in their locations, first check the GenMapDat mark and then click the Final data button, both on the Scenario Editor bar. This will save the Scenario files and the Scapes data.

   Just after clicking the Final data button, a 'Save as' dialog box (just below) will appear.


'Save as' dialog after Final data click


   On the above dialog, change cerro-ger to cerro.dat, and click on the Scapes folder, to save the file there, as shown in the,

Final *.DAT save dialog

This important operation will save the cerro.dat and cerro.bmp (not to be confused with the cerro.bmp file for the briefing map, to be saved in the ../Scenario folder) files in the ../Scenario/Scapes subfolder, but also will save in the ../Scenario the briefings cerro-gerEnglish.txt, cerro-usEnglish.txt  and the cerro.scn file.


The Game permits a maximum of 41 scenarios. If you have more, when you play PE itself (not under the Scenario Editor), and you press the 'Single Scenario' button, the program will hang. You will have to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to shut down the program. You will have to remove some .SCN files. Even a 'Copy of cerro-ger.scn' can cause trouble.

29) We have talked about the cerro.bmp briefing map file, but gave no clue about how to create it. Let's create this file: Click on the Map>GenerateBMP item in the Scenario Editor bar, This will open the MapBMPForm menu


 MapBMPForm

Here you can choose the pixel definition (here is 1x1), and check or uncheck options. The Zugs and CGs are the combat groups in the mission (to be defined later). As you can see, one of us is a fervent admirer of classic John Ford characters. This snapshot was obtained after the making of the mission, but if yours is made before having any Combat Groups defined, no problem. After all, in the briefing it is desirable not to have all the enemy info displayed, this would kill the surprise.


The Briefing maps which come with Panzer Elite are very different from those generated by the 'Map' 'GenerateBMP' command. Typical differences include: objects appear as 4x4 squares, roads are colored brown and red, the background is white, the various ground-texture colors show as a faint watermark-like pattern. Click here for more detailed instructions on generating a Briefmap like those that come with the game

Click on the create button, and you will be prompted by a saveas dialog box. Choose as name cerro.bmp
and save the bitmap file in the folder you want, usually the ..\scenario one, to get the briefing working as standard ones.

When you test the scenario using the Scenario Editor, and use the F-12 function key to view the map, the program will look into ..\Scenario\ for your briefing map. If it does not find it, it will display the briefing book with a tiny little vehicle figure in the middle at the fold where the briefing map should be, probably with the town names showing. None of the tabs will work. The return box will not function. To continue with the game, you will have to press the escape key. The sooner you get a draft of a briefing map in the proper place, the better things will be.

The cerro.bmp briefing file will not be as good looking as the original PE ones, but will do the job. Nicer ones can be built from scanned maps of the area.

The next steps deal mainly with the mission definition. Almost all the needed information can be found in the Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World. Also, read carefully the Scenario Editor Manual, and the  Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation .

30) The next steps about the scenario definition would be:

        Setting the borders ownership


 borders setting window

This can be useful to make withdraw movements with the Combat Groups. In the borders setting window you have to checkmark to assign the border to the the German side, and and no mark will set the associated border to the US side.

   Establish the weather


Weather form settings

You can set (in principle): Wind, Rain, Snow, Hail, and Thunderstorm. The Start and Stop boxes are the start and stop times for the weather phenomenon, and Param1 and Param2 are the parameters (numbers) needed (e.g.: Rain need Intensity and Thickness).

   Define the Artillery strikes available to the German and US/allied side in the mission

When an artillery selection is chosen for use as a scripted artillery strike, the strikes consumed by the Scripts do not deduct from the number of strikes you have defined for player use during the scenario.


Artillery Strikes

Again, check our web site's tutorial on the Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World. and  read carefully the Scenario Editor Manual, and the  Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation.

   The only remaining item in the Global menu entry is the Mission Goals. But this task if better accomplished after defining the Combat Groups, and for this reason will not be discussed here.

  III. The placing of layouts: woods, roads, buildings, and tactical areas

Now it is time to enrich our scenario by placing woods (to give variety to the landscape), hideouts, roads to connect areas, buildings, houses, and the placing of areas for tactical and logistical purposes.


If you have a scan map, you can use it to position your roads and other terrain features very precisely.
On the Landscape Tab of the Tools Toolbar you will see a checkbox near the bottom labeled 'Scan:'. If you click on that button, your scan map will replace your terrain as the backgound field on which you do your work.
Click here to see an example.
Then you can shift to the Scenario Tab of the Tools Toolbar and place your roads as close as you wish to the real locations.
Once you have the roads placed as pink scenario lines, you can return to your regular terrain (by turning off the check marks in the 'Scan:' and 'Heightm' boxes). Then you can draw the road segments under the pink scenario lines.

The roads and paths do not need to be placed over a textured road in the landscape, but in this tutorial we will choose to put all the roads and paths for the AI (artificial intelligence) over textured roads. Remember you can even define an AI path or road over the landscape alone, without further enhancement.


There are many interactions between roads drawn on the landscape, roads drawn in the scenario, and bridges with the actual performance of vehicles operating under AI. Click here for more details on these effects.

In a historic mission, you should have a historically accurate map with roads and paths on it. Because this is a tutorial mission, we shall put the roads at our own will. Care will be taken so that we do not place the roads over too much rough terrain, but no problems about accuracy will worry us.

Because the roads and paths will require precise ground exploration to see if they are well placed, you first need to have available a player platoon which can go to the places you want to look at. Let's define a player platoon.


Note: To make a test run of a scenario, you press the German button or the US button. Which platoon is actually played changes as follows:
Button pressed Designated US player Designated German player Unit played
US none none Top of German list
US A US player any US player
German none none Top of German list
German any A German player German player

Note on which mission goals are diplayed: When you are building your scenario, you build only one side. That means that you will have, for the moment, one set of mission goals, namely those for the side you are working on.
To make the scenario function properly, you have to create all the opposing platoons and their scripts as well as your own platoons and their scripts, but not the opposing mission goals. If you create a script for your player platoon also, you will be able to play either side. (When one side is played, the script for that player platoon is not used.)
Then, when you have finished testing for both sides, you can take the original scenario, replace the mission goals with the goals for the other side, and save the scenario for the other side. You can even do this with WordPad by editing the .SCN file.
To facilitate testing for both sides, it is usual to have both player platoons marked as player platoons.
This causes a slight idiosyncracy in the program to come to light. Panzer Elite does not know whose side you are editing. (It does NOT look at the names of the files for -ger or -us.)
If both sides have player platoons marked, and you are playing German, the German mission goals will be displayed when you press the button.
If both sides have player platoons marked, and you are playing US, then no mission goals will be displayed when you press the button. To get the US mission goals to display, you must unmark the German player platoon.
This is true for the Game itself as well as playing under the Scenario Editor.

31) Right click on the german army icon in the Combat Group window. This will pop a hint saying 'New Combat group'. Click on it to open the Combat Group settings window


 Combat Group settings window

Define the Zug Falke as Player Platoon, and give it some tanks, as explained in the tutorial on Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World. and  revisit again the Scenario Editor Manual, and the Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation.

We also will need a set of objects (buildings, trees, bridges, fences etc) to place in the scenario. This is not automatically provided and we have to pick them.

32) Click on the Load button in the Scenario Editor bar. In the open dialog, choose as type of archive Objects.blocks (*.OBS), and then search in the folders (sure you have it in the screen) the Agrigento-ger.OBS. The making of .OBS files is a subject beyond our expertise and will not be covered here.

Each Scenario has its own collection of objects. They are surprisingly different. Houses are rotated. Trees are moved from the centers of their squares. Objects are put together as one. The best method of preparing an .OBS file is to start with an existing .OBS file and modify it to suit the requirements of your new scenario. More information on .OBS files and objects can be found here

33) Double click on the black square at the lower part of the Landscape tool bar . This will open the Textures and Objects window. But now, click on the Objects tab. The objects repertory will pop in all its power!


Objects repertory

Change the zoom level to see the objects. There are houses, official buildings, churches, trees, bushes, etc.


It is not easy to tell from the menu what the objects look like. Once you have a player, you can do what was done to obtain these example pictures. They are from the Desert. The Objects were positioned on a flat piece of desert terrain and the player tank was maneuvered to a position where the main features of the Object could be seen, usually looking north-north-east. Then the print-screen key was pressed. The resulting screen-save was then pasted into the Paint program, cropped, and saved, each with an identifying name, in this case "dobj" for desert object. The building that was in row 10, column 1 was saved as dobj-10-1.bmp and so forth. To make smaller files that do not have to opened in the Paint program these picture files were subsequently turned into .JPG files, which are what you are actually seeing.
Click here to see some examples.

Note: The object in row 1, col 1 has a very special purpose. It can be used to erase objects. To erase, turn your attention to the Tools menu at the left side. Click on the landscape tab. Click on the picture at the bottom. This causes the objects-landscape menu to open. Click on the objects tab. This opens the objects-selection window. Click on the empty square in row 1, col 1 in the objects box. This will place this selection in the box at the bottom of the landscape menu. Then click on the Rect button (third button down, left side). This sets the Editor into place object mode. Since you have selected an empty object, that means that the next square you click on will have the empty object put into it instead of the object that is there. Thus the object will be erased.

The objects repertory is organized in a grid. Some of the grid's squares are filled with an object, and some are void. You can modify the orientation and placing of the objects, or add new ones by


Note: Some objects also have a texture part. A typical example is a tree with a shadow which lies on the ground. If you select such an object to be placed on the map, the checkmark in the TexObj box comes into play. If the checkmark is on when you place the object, the texture-shadow will be placed as well as the object-tree. If the TexObj checkmark is off, only the object-tree will be placed. The texture shadow will not. Some other objects, such as some of the houses also have a texture object associated with them. Be careful. If you find that you have placed a texture that you do not want, it can be removed in the usual texture-removal way for non-ground textures (select texture row 2, col 1 and apply it). If you remove one of these two-part objects (by selecting object row 1, col 1), you will find that the texture part is still there. This is removed in the usual way for non-ground textures (select texture row 2, col 1 and apply it).

Not all objects that have a texture part can have the texture part placed on all kinds of basic ground textures. If you have the 'TexObj' checkbox (on the 'Landscape' toolbar) checked, and you click to apply an object, USUALLY the texture part will also be placed. HOWEVER, if the underlying ground texture is such that that particular object's texture part cannot be placed, NOTHING will happen. Neither the object nor the texture part will be placed. This is under the control of the 'ObjTexComb' menu shown to the right.

The picture is from the Normandy campaign. The buildings in the picture have the gray rectangles as their texture part. With these settings, that texture part can only be placed on yellow-green and drab-green squares. They cannot be placed on dark green squares.

If you wish to place the object (without its texture part) on a dark green square, you will first have to turn OFF the 'TexObj' checkbox. To place the object WITH with its texture part, you will have to modify the 'ObjTexComb' settings.

More instructions on how to modify the 'ObjTexComb' settings can be found here.

The Objects in row 15, columns 1-4 and row 16, columns 1-4 are special. They are town signs. They are used at the entrances to towns. There are 8 signs facing in various directions, but seem to be double-sided, so 4 should suffice. They are placed beside the roads leading into the town. However they have to be logically attached to the town area.
This is done as follows:
First the town rectangle is created. Select the Scenario Tab, and press the Define Area button. Move the cursor to the upper-left corner of the desired rectangle. Press and hold down the left mouse key and drag the mouse to where you want your lower-right corner to be. Let up on the mouse button. The Area Settings menu will open.
Type in the town's name. Click on the Town Name Checkbox.
Signs can be selected and placed just like any other object. Place them well inside the town boundary, usually beside each road that leads into town.
When the game is running and you click on the sign, the town name appears in the white message area at the bottom of the playing screen.

34) Double click on a grid square. This will open the objects settings form


objects settings form

In the picture you see how the house and the AT gun are combined as a whole, by using the Add object and Delete object buttons, the objects pick combo (here showing the ATGun57), and using the sliders to change the object's vertical and horizontal alignment, and the rotation spin marker, to change the face orientation. Please, learn more on this in the usual resources: the tutorial on the Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World, the Scenario Editor Manual, and the  Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation.

Save your project file to activate the changes.


Rivers are one of the main terrain features. To put rivers on the landscape:

35) Click on the Display>Grid item menu in the  Scenario Editor bar. This will cover the map window with a grid, useful in drawing the landscape's features.

36) Zoom to the desired map area. You get that by sliding the horizontal (one) and vertical slide buttons in the map. The far right external vertical slider is the zoom control.

37) Double click on the black square at the lower part of the Landscape tool bar . This will open the Textures and Objects window.

The key for layout textures is:

   80 to 144, road textures
   145 to 209, river textures
   210 to 278, path textures
   308 to 351, railroad textures

All of them work similarly. Lets go to rivers:

38) Select the Landscape tab in the Landscape and Scenario Tool bar.


In the Select Textures window with the Textures tab chosen, various textures appear. The top row is for ground textures.

The square in the upper left corner (no. 0) is "void". It has the special property that when it is selected and used, it will erase the basic ground texture. It cannot be used to erase other things like roads, rivers, and railroads.

The next square down (no. 16) is also "void". It has the special property that when it is selected and used it will erase roads, rivers, and railroads. It will not change the basic ground texture.
The way these selections are invoked is
(1) select the desired square, the selection appears in the window at the bottom of the Landscape Toolbar.
(2) select the Rect (draw rectangle) square on the Landscape Toolbar.
(3a) If you position the cursor on the map and (left) click the mouse button, the selection will be inserted at that point.
(3b) If you position the cursor on the map, hold the (left) mouse button down, and draw a rectangle, the selection will be inserted into all the squares included.

39) If you want the Scenario Editor to automatically choose the texture for you, while drawing the layout, mark the AutoLnk (autolink) checkmark. For roads and paths, we recommend to uncheck the AutoLnk property,

40) Choose  the Line tool in Landscape Tool bar. Place the cursor in a square in the map's grid. Press the left mouse button. Draw. Voilá, the river is there!

To draw a stream (river), select a stream texture, for example no. 149, a horizontal stream flow.
Then select the line drawing tool. On the main map, move to the starting square, and hold the (left) mouse button down and make a line. When the button is released, you will find a nice wiggly stream made only of horizontal segments, vertical segments, and right-angle bends.

This same technique will be used by the Editor if you try to make roads and paths using the line drawing tool. Such roads will not be satisfactory.

For roads, you first remove the checkmark from the AutoLnk box.
Then you pick out a straight section and draw a line of them as long as is needed. These can be either north-south, east-west, or diagonal. This is how you get your roads to be straight, not wiggly like the rivers. Then you pick transition sections to go from one straight section of road to the next and to handle intersections.

Notice that all the 45-degree sections end in points at the corners of their squares. These cause little notches to appear at the joints. You fill in these notches by selecting from the 8 notch-filling squares and placing them.

When using the 'Lines' button to add textures or objects diagonally (typically, when drawing roads), the direction of the cursor movement matters. The most usual case is when you are creating roads which are at 45 degrees. If you start at the top of your line and move the cursor downwards diagonally, the next diagonal row above the line will be filled also. If you start at the bottom of your line and move the cursor upwards diagonally, the next diagonal row below the line will be filled also.

Want some trees in the river's banks?

41)  Activate the objects repertory as explained above, and click on the tree you desire. Then click on a square where you want the tree and the tree will appear. Zoom the map to see it.

If you right click on a square at any point on the terrain, the contents of that square will be loaded into the Texture or Object window.
If you have either the 'Line' or the 'Rect' box of the 'Tools' menu selected, the contents will also be instantly copied to the square or line or rectangle that you previously copied to. If you do not have either the 'Line' or 'Rect' box selected, there will be no instant copying.
If a square on which you right-click contains only a basic ground texture, that will be selected. If a square contains a road-type texture, that will be selected, not the basic ground texture. If the square contains an object, the object is selected.
The loading of the texture window happens even if you have the 'Scenario' tab of the 'Tools' window selected, but no copying is done. CAUTION: The rules for this 'copying' are very tricky. Be very careful, or you can do immense harm. If you have moved elsewhere on the landscape, you may not even notice that the 'instant' copying was done.
A much safer method of picking up a texture or object from another square is to use the 'eyedropper' button on the 'Landscape' tab of the 'Tools' window. This will not do any unwanted copying.

Want some houses, guns, or other of your objects. Repeat (41) with these objects.

Steve, from PEDG, posted in the Tools&Mods forum in Panzer Elite an excellent resume of how to place woods. It is certainly cumbersome to make a forest with each tree in each grid square of the landscape. The efficient way is grouping the trees, bushes and the like.

Do it this way, in the objects repertory

42)   Define a new group called bushes, by overwriting one of the unused ones in the combo box

  The bushes group


Click here to see a discussion of the scenario's .OBS file including an example where several objects are being selected at one time.

43) Click on some bushes or trees you like in the group. Don't forget to pick some void objects too. The selected objects are marked with a white square.

44) Select, on the Landscape Tool bar , the Rect tool. Draw a rectangle in the map grid. Voilá, your forest made with the objects you selected is there. The voids are to not overburden the area of trees, and leave some free areas.

45) If you left click over  the mouse cursor's spot, with the bushes subset selected, you will get at that spot the series of selected objects.

In the picture below  you can see some of the roads, buildings. and bushes we built in our map.


  objects in the map


46) To create farmfields, cornfields and similar textured areas,  double click over the black square at the lower part of the Landscape tool bar . This will open the Textures and Objects window. Then pick a texture like #5 or #6, and, with the Rect tool, draw a rectangle in the map grid. The field will appear.

The layouts will have you very busy until finished. At this point , you will wonder how the objects you have placed in the scenario look; It's the time to drive your tank around and look at them, and even go back and make corrections.

To place your tank in the scenario, to see, and to drive:

47) Locate the destination area, pushing the sliders and the zoom. Click on your player platoon on the Combat Group Window

  Combat Group Window

If the combat group is not defined as Player Platoon (as in the picture), hurry to right click again on it, in the pop menu choose combat Group Settings, and mark in the  Combat Group settings window the Player Platoon mark.


We are not going to use reinforcement combat groups in this scenario, but more information about them is available here.

If you get this error message, one of the things it can mean is that you have a Reinforcement Unit defined as a Player. Since reinforcement units are not placed by the game until later, such units cannot be players.

48) Switch to the Scenario Tool bar in the Landscape and Scenario Tool bar and choose the arrow tool. With the player platoon selected in Combat Group Window, when moving over the map the mouse pinter, you will see it as a round instrument. Left click on the spot you want the unit placed. A gray square will appear in the map. Now your platoon is there.

49) Click on the German button (if you were editing a US mission, click on the US button) in the Scenario Editor bar.

The sofware 3D rendering-engine will load, the start PE files will be processed, and after a rather long while you will get two windows.


If you get this error message, it means that you have (or Panzer Elite thinks you have) changed your Windows Screen settings. To remedy this, start the regular Panzer Elite game program. It will request that you respecify your sound and graphics-rendering settings. Once that has been done, you can exit from the regular game and come back to the Scenario Editor

   The AI window described later.

   The 3D-software-rendered window of the game.


The 801x668 3D render window of PE, in the start of the game, near Villoldus. Note the rendering of the trees.

You can use the PE tank commands to explore the layout, woods, and objects you placed. If something is wrong or you dislike it, you can erase it and replace the object or layout. Please note that the objects in the landscape are not given the same target-damage properties they have in the actual mission. For example, if you shoot a house, you will not see the house destroyed. Also, note the ground rendering-software rendering is of better quality than the hardware one in the PE full screen game.

50) To erase an object: Activate the objects repertory, click on a void square and then click on the map, over the object or layout you want to erase. This way, you are adding a void-none object. This will leave the background texture.

51) If you want to erase a bigger area, in the objects repertory define a group of void squares, as in (42)  .Use the Rect tool draw a rectangle of void textures in the map grid. This is the quickest method of erasing.

Don't forget to save your work frequently (saving the project (*.DFP ) and the final data will do the job) and backup.

After you have placed the objects, and after investigating by ground exploring to see that the objects, buildings, and textured roads are well placed, you are ready to define the AI roads and paths. These are important because the AI will use them to send units from here to there in the whirpool of movements happening in a mission. Remember, it is not necessary to place the AI paths over textured roads or paths, but it is good looking and was our choice here.

There are many interactions between roads drawn on the landscape, roads drawn in the scenario, and bridges with the actual performance of vehicles operating under AI. Click here for more details on these effects.

Having real historic maps, you are obliged to reproduce as much as possible the road network, if any, in your terrain. As you should already know, the textured roads described above can do turns only in multiples of 45 degrees (0, 45, 90 and so on). If you need a curve with a 33-degree turn, you cannot reproduce it with the available Scenario Editor tools. Remember, nobody will care about that, and remember also, that the overall aspect of your maps can be farily well reproduced even with these turn limitations.

To define a road in the landscape:

52) Select the Scenario tab in the Landscape and Scenario Tool bar . Select the Path or Road button as tool.

53) Click over the map. This will define the first node. Repeat this step as desired. Try to maintain the multiples of 45 degrees condition. At first it seem not to be applied, but after finishing the path it will be implemented. When you want the last node in your path, double click. This will pop up the Path&Road settings window:


  Path&Road settings window


The Scenario Editor has a small bug. It will not allow you to insert a new node into a AI path or AI road that has only two nodes. Therefore always try to create a path or road that has at least three nodes (two sections). If you have a 1-section (2-node) path, the 'Insert Node' button will not work.
To insert a new node, open the 'Path settings' window, position the cursor over the section where you want the node inserted, and click on the 'Insert node' button. A new node will be inserted near the middle of that section. Drag the new node to where you want it.
To delete a section, open the 'Path settings' window, place the cursor over a section, (NOT over a node). Click on the 'Del Section' button. The section on the last-drawn end (not the starting end) will be deleted. If you have clicked on a NODE when you opened the menu, nothing will be deleted, the window will just close.
To delete a whole AI path or AI road, use the 'Del Path' button.

All the paths in a scenario must be linked. More clearly stated, isolated roads are strictly forbidden. When two roads are conected by you (by clicking the last node of one road over another's node or section) the  Path&Road settings window will pop up automatically.

Paths have a direction. If you wish the unit to move cross country, its script will have have a 'move' command that uses a 'path'. If you do not tell a unit to use a path in a 'move' script command, the unit will use the road network. The unit may go cross country to get to the road, but once on the road, it travels along the road network. The unit will enter the path at the nearest end. If you prepare a path for a unit to use and the unit enters the path at the end with the arrow, the unit will consider that script command line finished, and proceed to the next command line. It will not make the intended movement along the path.

54) To edit nodes, delete nodes, or move nodes,  choose the Display Settings tool in the Scenario Tool bar (the rightmost upper button, near the arrow tool). You can even delete complete paths or roads.

55) To define the tactical areas, choose the Area tool in the Scenario Tool bar (the first in the second row, with a rectangle icon). Click and drag on the map to define the  area's corners. After dragging, fill in the Area settings form.

Areas are good to set Combat Groups movements, ambushes, minefields - by activating arty strikes when entering - or mission goals.


Area settings form


To delete an Area,
Select the Scenario Tab. Press the Display Settings button (or press the S key). Move the cursor to either Area-Node. A small Question-mark will appear. Click the left mouse key. The Area Settings menu will appear. Press the delete Button. A Confirm menu will appear. Press OK.

Sometimes, but very infrequently (thank heavens), a corner node for an area gets lost. This will be evidenced by the area in question starting at 0,0 in the upper left corner of the landscape. What has happened is that the corner node location chunk has been lost from the .SCN file. The resurrection of this lost node location is troublesome, and is done with Wordpad or your favorite editor program. This happened several times in the Desert campaign of SWFurna-ger.scn. The area Abdallah lost its upper left node.
After opening file SWFurna-ger.SCN with Wordpad and using Edit/Find to find "Abdallah", we see the following chunk:
[Chunk:Area(6)]
  Name:Abdallah
  Type:0
  Nodes:212,213
  NPArea:-1,-1,6
  Link:0
  Flags:0
[ChunkEnd]
So, the nodes that define area Abdallah are 212, and 213. When we look for them, we find only:
[Chunk:Node(213)]
  Position:6338,7754
  BelongsTo:2
  Width:0
[ChunkEnd]
We find that the chunk for Node 212 is not there. That is what has caused the problem.
We now go to our backup copy of SWFurna-ger.scn and find the chunk for Node 212 used to be:

[Chunk:Node(212)]
  Position:4745,5778
  BelongsTo:2
  Width:0
[ChunkEnd]
So we copy it from the backup file into our working file just ahead of the chunk for Node 213. If we have lost the backup copy, or the lost-node problem is old enough to be there also, we will have to use the Scenario Editor to determine where the node should go. We position the cursor where the upper left corner of the Abdallah area should be. Then we read the coordinates off the X and Y locations. With these we can make a new Node chunk for Node 212.

Our final scenario map can be seen in this picture. Please note this is a tutorial, and this mission is not historically accurate, nor geographically exact. It is not even debugged as a full-fledged mission should be. For these reasons, perhaps you will find unused areas, not well communicated towns, and so on.

Well, you know all the basics, do the enhancements yourself.


The whole map

  IV. The Combat Groups, and the Scripting of the Artificial Intelligence

You have just created a landscape with fields,woods, rivers, and trees; built a layout of roads and towns; and defined the tactical areas. Now your task is to create the Combat Groups and to script the AI to implement the tactics in your mission.

Over the same landscape, multiple choices for missions can be made. Ours here is not unique, and even most of the scripting and its details will be only outlined, being the main references for this subject the online tutorial about the Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World, the Scenario Editor Manual, and the  Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation. These references will give you information about scripting events, scripting commands, and the related script information you need.

Our focus here will be the testing of scripts, and the analysis of the tools brought by the Scenario Editor to help us in this task.

The mission idea is simple:
   German-side mission, non historical

   Strong US artillery is located in the hills at the NE of the scenario-CerroArty# areas- supported by infantry and tanks in Donovan Ambush areas.

   Some tanks and infantry support are located in the Cristo village.

   German troops must defeat the US units in the Cristo areas, and then

   German troops must clear the arty and US troops in the cerro areas.

We also have a German convoy, with infantry, and want minefields.
56) We define Combat Groups to develop the above story, being the result this Combat Group window:

  Combat group window


The maximum number of units which Panzer Elite will permit is a total of 64. If you exceed this number, the following message will appear when you attempt to test-run the scenario using the Scenario Editor program.
You must return to the Scenario Editor and remove units.

57) Special mention will be made on the minefield near Cristo village script. In fact we will simulate the minefield by arranging that the first German unit (all of them grouped in the User Defined set 1)  entering the minefield will trigger a powerful US artillery strike. This idea must be refined, both in the intensity of the artillery and in the shape of the minefield, but is an interesting idea to work with. The script for this is placed in the Global script area.

   Minefield near Cristo village script


Keep in mind that when preparing Combat Scripts, specific unit names know which side they are on, but some unit names, like Enemy All, depend on who the Player is. What this means is that if you build a German scenario and try to merely copy it for use as the US scenario, the sides are reversed and will have to be fixed. Enemy All/Soft/Tank will have to become Friendly All/Soft/Tank and vice versa.
More AI documentation can be found here

If you have removed an Area but some Combat Script still refers to it, you will get this message. All references to the missing area will have to be found and removed.

58) The powerful Zug Hinka platoon - two Panthers and two Panzer IV Hs - will attack the Cristo area, and will suffer the minefield and the attack of the Shermans and artillery which are hidden in the nearby trees. The withdraw command for this Zug switches and make Hinka go to a retreat area, then join Zug Falke, and accompany it, while fighting all the enemies found.

  Zug Hinka scripts

You can explore other scripts by examining the accompaning zip files.


To delete an unwanted Combat Script:
Display the Script in the Combat Scripts menu.
Then click on any line or lines in the script. You can drag the cursor to highlight several contiguous scripts if desired.
Click on the Bearbeiten button. The Delete Script option will be avaiable.
Click on the Delete Script button and the highlighted script block(s) will be gone.

59) The mission goals can be established once the Areas and the Combat Groups are built.

  Mission goals

More instructions on mission goals can be found here


If there is a problem with the mission statements where the unit names or area names are wrong, or command codes (such as 'destroy', 'cg', 'secondary') are misspelled, the following message will appear when you attempt to test-run the scenario using the Scenario Editor program.
You must return to the Scenario Editor, examine the names and commands used in the mission statements, compare them with the names actually in the scenario, and remedy any mismatches or misspellings.
One of the ways to have this happen is to change the name of a unit or delete a unit after you have used it in a mission statement.
This can also be the result of editing the scenario file using, say, WordPad since such programs make no checks with the names used elsewhere or the correct spelling of the commands.
Note that the Game itself does NOT have this problem. The offending mission statement is just not used.

How do we know if all the scripting is working as expected?

The most useful way is to run the mission from the software 3D rendering window, and make all the corrections according to what we find then.

60) Save the project and the landscape data, as explained in (18) and (20). Then click the German button in the   Scenario Editor bar. This time the important window will be the AI window. It will show us a bird's eye view of the game as well as giving us assorted game-control options.

 AI window

Let's examine this window with care.

   Note the selected unit - the player tank - marked in white, just over the blue area defining a village in the center of the screen. The status bar gives info about the selected unit: It is a Tiger tank, at the coordinates and height shown.

   The Jump button, top left, is very useful. Push down it. Select a unit in the map, clicking on it. Then click at another spot over the map. Note how the selected unit is immediately moved to the point where you last clicked. This is an excellent way to move a unit from one place to another in the scenario and watch what is happening.

   The Display>Render spotting button, when pressed, will show in the map the area spotted by the selected unit.

   The Center checkmark will always center the image over the map place where the selected unit is.

   The slider - here showing 100% - is the time factor. 100% means time goes at the normal rate in the simulation. You can slow it to 0 % or raise it to 2900 %. If your computer is not powerful enough, you will not see such a speed-up.

   The combo box, here with the obstacles selected, will mark on the map special objects of interest. Here are shown the obstacles near the selected unit.

   The sliders in the bottom and right sides of the map are the usual PE ones: the one on the bottom and the first one on the right are to move the image in the map window. The slider on the far right side is the zoom.

   The Settings button will pop the AI settings window,  with controls for the graphic appearance of the map.


AI settings window


   The ObjInfo button will give technical information about the selected unit in the map. There are two variations for this information, one general - see the picture - and another more focused in the damage status.


  Object info window

   The Msg -messages-button will show all the game messages posted until the moment of clicking it.

   The Miss goals-mission goals-button will show the status of the mission goals, in a pop-up window.

  status of the mission goals

The other buttons are action triggers, and each displays what its name implies.

   The WP_PHD checkmark will show the target area where the selected unit is going, with a yellow line in the map.

   The WP_PLD checkmark will show the recent path of the unit selected. The path tracking will stay on the screen for a few seconds.

With this arsenal of tools, you can debug your mission and scripts until you get adequate performance in the mission.

With the above descriptions, we end the tutorial.

In order to actually add this scenario to Panzer Elite itself, a few more steps have to be gone through. (Remember, you can only add one more scenario to Panzer Elite.)
The first step is to generate the Final Data files. This is done by pressing the Final Data button at the top of the page. This causes two files to be generated, neither of which can be examined by any tools at our disposal. The files are cerro.DAT and cerro.BMP. This cerro.BMP is NOT the same one as your Briefing map. These are automatically stored in ..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Scenario\Scapes\ where Panzer Elite expects them.
The next step is to copy cerro-ger.SCN, cerro-us.SCN, cerro-gerEnglish.TXT, cerro-gerGerman.TXT (if you have one), cerro-usEnglish.TXT, and cerro-usGerman.TXT (if you have one) to ..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Scenario\.
You will also need to copy your Briefing map file (that you made in step 29) to ..\Psygnosis\Panzer Elite\Scenario\.

Last words and caveats

Mission building is not fully described in this document. Please note that no description is made about briefing commands. It is quite easy to figure how most of the  briefing commands work just by looking the briefing using a printed copy of the *.txt file. Also, many of  the operations described in this tutorial are not fully explained. Most of the unexplained operations can be found in the online tutorial about Remaking missions, (Remaking missions: a Step by Step Guide tutorial, also available from our web site at McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite World) or have been considered obvious, with the danger these suppositions have for the first time reader.

An important thing: We have given here a step-by-step procedure. This is an academic procedure, useful to describe a process, but actually you will go back and forth, repeating steps, making and fixing mistakes, getting hung by computer crashes, with a not so clear pattern of action. Well, you are supposed to understand.

Many subjects are not clear yet. The scripting needed for some operations (smoke barriers, platoon effective reinforcement scripts, a way of having more than one platoon fighting for the player objectives) are to be investigated, to name only a few.

Also , you will note that little has been said about how to prepare sound files for briefings and messages in the mission. This subject, closely related to the immersion, is important by itself, and is worthy of a tutorial made by someone with sound knowledge. What little we have included is avaiable here.

An important thing is to be mentioned: We have outlined the making of  a German side mission. What about the US correlated mission?

Well, in the same way you did the german side, build the US side. You will note this is easier, because a lot of the landscape job is made.

Also you will find problems installing your new scenarios. Panzer Elite can handle one (1) addittional mission in the default install scenario and scapes folders. That is, if you build 2 or 3 new missions, PE will not load them. This means that when more missions come, we will need an installer to load the added missions in a separate folder, and a procedure to switch this addon missions folder to be loaded for Panzer Elite, while backing up the original one, and undoing the operation, when the player wants to play addon missions. This is not difficult to implement, but is not considered here.

As Kipling used to say, "..that is another day's tale..."

We hope this tutorial will be helpful to those interested in PE mission building.

As usual, we can be wrong on many points. We are open to any comments, corrections, or better information. Anyway this tutorial is yours, feel free to enhance it in the best way you can.

And that was all, friends of Panzer Elite.

Updated 1/27/02