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
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
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,
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.
|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.|
|mkmap cerroh.bmp cerror.bmp cerroheight.bmp|
|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.|
|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
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.
If you get this error trying to open an
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.
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.
|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|
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, [...] ".
|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
|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|
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
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.
|•||Establish the weather|
|•||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.
|•||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.|
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.
|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.|
Note: To make a test run of a scenario, you press the
German button or the
Which platoon is actually played changes as follows:|
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.
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
|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|
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.|
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
|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.
|•||80 to 144, road textures|
|•||145 to 209, river textures|
|•||210 to 278, path textures|
|•||308 to 351, railroad textures|
|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.
|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.|
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.
|Click here to see a discussion of the scenario's .OBS file including an example where several objects are being selected at one time.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
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.
|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.|
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.
|•||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.|
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.
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.|
To delete an unwanted
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.
|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
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.
|•||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.|
|•||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.|
|•||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.|
|•||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.|
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\.