Author Topic: Creating battle simulations, where to start?  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline Josh17

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Creating battle simulations, where to start?
I have downloaded the B5 project DVD and was really wanting to know how to create battle simulations. I have seen on youtube "Babylon project battle simulations" where people will create battles showing a simulation between, for example, an Omega Class destroyer vs a Drakh ship. How in the world do they create these simulations?

I can't even find the place on where to "create" battles or "edit" ships. I can't even find where ship files are located in the game to even begin to edit them... So I have ZERO idea on how to even start. How complicated is it? Does it take hours and hours to create a single battle simulation of say a 1vs1 fight? Or is it easier? I DON'T WANT TO CREATE NEW SHIPS, JUST USE EXISTING SHIPS AND MAKE BATTLE SIMULATIONS OUT OF THEM!

And where do I even begin? I unfortunately have zero modding experience... I want to create battles SO BAD, I'd almost be willing to pay someover over paypal or something to teach me how to create battle simulations!! Seriously...

A few simulations I really, really, really wanted to create was involving the EA warlock fighting. I also wanted to create simulations with the EA Hyperon and EA Omega class destroyer fighting in a simulation. But I can't figure out how to even begin... I also want to know if I can edit certain parts of the ships -- for example how  much damage a ship does.  One "B5 project simulation" i saw online, showed a Warlock in action. But it fired at the enemy ship for like 4 minutes, before it finally destroyed it... That is totally fake. The Warlock would require one well replaced shot from it's particle beams to take out an enemy ship. I hate watching CAPITAL ships firing back and forth for minutes doing mininaml damage. That isn't Babylon5 at all! In Babylon 5, in took only a few hits normally for a ship to be destroyed, often times just a single hit! I remember in the EA civil war the Omega class fired it's rear AFT at the Clarkstown and destroyed it in one shot, and it completely vaproised within a few seconds of that one shot... So I don't understand when I watch B5 project simulations online, and I watch the Omega class fire those same red lasers 15 times at the enemy ship, and for the enemy ship to be still standing =/
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 06:31:03 am by Josh17 »

 

Offline The E

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
The TBP distribution includes FRED, aka the Freespace Editor. This is the tool with which you can create new missions.

It should also ship with a tutorial that walks you through creating a simple mission.

There's also our FRED board, where you can ask any question you have about this process.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
FRED is pretty easy to learn. Especially if you want to do nothing more complex than planting a couple of ships and letting them fight it out. That sort of thing takes about 1 minute in FRED.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Offline Slasher

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
Capship weapon damage is different from the show for gameplay reasons.  A Shadow H-Slicer will still vivisect a big destroyer in one or two shots, but the younger races can't do the same thing so as to give the player a chance at destroying/defending capital ships.

No-frills quickstart:

If you're using Windows, go to the Start Menu and look for The Babylon Project folder.  There should be a subfolder for the Mission Editor.  Open it and run the FRED2 Mission Editor.   Alternatively, open the folder you installed TBP to and run fred2_open_3_6_9.exe.

Left click on the EA Aurora 0 you see in the middle of the grid.  Hit Ctrl+W.  Type in Alpha for the wing name and hit enter.

Right click on the drop down menu at the top of the window, probably in the middle of the tool bar.  It should already say "EA Aurora" in grey letters.  This is the ships list.  Click on a ship you want to put in the mission, then hold down Ctrl again and left click somewhere on the grid.  This places the ship in the mission.  Use A and Z to zoom the camera in and out, and the numpad keys to move the camera.  Select a ship on the grid by left clicking it.  To delete it, then press Del or go to the Edit menu at the top of the window and select Delete.  Put ships you want to shoot at each other relatively close to one another since you won't be adding waypoints or attack orders in this quickstart.

Select the ship(s) you have placed on the grid and hit Shift+S.  The Ship Editor window pops up.  In the upper left quadrant of this window, choose which team you want the ship to be on.  You (Alpha 1) are Friendly by default.  Setting every ship in the mission to friendly will be very boring. 

Press Shift+N to open the Mission Editor.  On the right side of the Mission Editor window, under Flags, select "All Ships Beam-Freed By Default."  Type in a name for your mission, select a music track if you want, then close that window. 

Finally, save your mission in the ...The Babylon Project/data/missions folder.  This is important.  If you don't save it in the proper place you won't see it in game.

Run TBP, go to the Tech Room button (I think in the top middle of the main screen).  Select Mission Simulator from the top left corner of the Tech Room, then click on Single Missions.  Find your mission and run it. 

-----

Editing weapons is a different matter but just as easy.  It would help if you let us know which version of TBP you're running (no Zathras, Zathras 2.6, etc.).


 

Offline Josh17

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
Thanks you, I did not know about FRED. I never noticed it when playing it years ago. In fact, I just tried to reinstall the Babylon Project for the first time in a couple years, and the DVD download is taking 24+ hours. I've tried it at different times, different days, and for some reason it's taking that long. One time I waited the 24 hours, and when it downloaded, I tried to exact the ISO using win7, and nothing happens. It won't open, it just sits there. Tried it 100 times, restarted, etc. It's like the file is no good. I will delete and re-download and hope it works. But if I download just the 700MB download instead of the DVD, can I still edit just as easily? The 700mb download installs fast and with no problems. The DVD isn't working on my new computer (windows 8) but it installed easily when I had Windows 7. Or do I need the DVD+ Zathras in order to have "FRED"?

Also does FRED and it's instructions come with the DVD download, or do I have to download it separately?

Also thank you SLASHER for the detailed response. As soon as I can get the Babylon project installed again, I will give it a try.

I really want to edit the weapons, though, but I will have to first get TBP installed again on stupid Windows 8. I dunno if any of you out there also have Windows 8, but it's so bad it doesn't even have a START MENU! That's right! It's so weird, windows without even a start menu. Everything is changed on windows 8, and not for the better.

But editing the weapons after I get TBP installed and figure out how to get SHIP battle simulations going, I was hoping I could edit the firepower of ships. Such as the Omega class destroyer -- we saw it's AFT batteries vaporize an EAS Hyperion in one shot. Also an Omega one shot vaporized a larger alien vessel that captured Sheridan. There are a few more examples in the series. But I'd really like to see the massive EAS Omega class get into close to some random ship, and fire it's "red lasers of doom" and completely take the ship out in one hit. When I watch videos online, it's slightly annoying to watch ships fire at each other for 5 minutes of constant heavy weapons fire and direct hits and still be standing. (I know it adds to gameplay to not make ships get destroyed so easily, but I think capital ships should have the ability to take out medium sized ships in 1-3 hits if you decide you want to play it that way).

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
FRED is included in all TBP installs. If you want to make the weapons more powerful, you'll have to learn how to edit tables. This isn't a particularly difficult task but it does require some tools not included in the download.

I'm sure someone here can talk you through finding those tools a little quicker than I can.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 
Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
Alright, let's do cover altering weapons & stuff:
NOTE: the following is unnecessary if you just want to create new missions.




First, if you are going to override tables and stuff, I recommend creating a new mod, preventing your modifications from altering balance in other mods & campaigns. To do that, create a new folder in the game's directory. In this folder, create a text file called mod.ini. This file tells the game that this is a mod folder, various information about the mod (name, website, ...) and whether it requires other mods to run.
Basically, the inside of that file should look similar to this:
Code: [Select]
[launcher]
modname      = my big badass mod;
image255x112 = image.bmp ;
infotext     = Small descriptive text
             ;

[multimod]
primarylist  = ;
secondarylist = zathras;
Then, you need to create a folder called data in your mod, then a couple of folders called missions and tables. Missions will contain your mod's missions, while tables will contain your altered weapon data.
So, now you new to create a modular weapon table, which is a text file called something-wep.tbm that looks like this:
Code: [Select]
#Primary Weapons

;; my altered primary weapon data goes here

#End

#Secondary Weapons

;; my altered missile data goes there

#End
Note: *.tbm & *.tbl files are text files, you can open them up in notepad or whatever text editor you want.
So, at this point, you should have something like this:
The Babylon Project\My Mod\mod.ini
The Babylon Project\My Mod\data\missions\
The Babylon Project\My Mod\data\tables\something-wep.tbm

Now that you are all set, you need to know what to alter, which will requires you to extract the game table from the game's *.vp files. Download one of the programs listed at that link (VPView32 should do), use it to open the .vp file that contains data\weapons.tbl (I suspect it's got "core" in its name). Extract weapons.tbl to someplace (desktop, whatever), find the weapon you want to modify.

Copy the $Name: line to your .tbm file, under #Primary if it's a gun, under #Secondary if it's a missile.
On the line below, add +nocreate, this will tell the game that this is a partial table entry, altering an already existing weapon. All you need to do now is copy the fields you want to alter and put new value in front of it. Like this:
Code: [Select]
#Primary Weapons

;; my altered primary weapon data goes here
;; note: this is a comment, anything after a ';' will be ignored by the game

$Name:    EA red beam        ; note:  not an actual TBP weapon
  +nocreate
$Damage:      450 ; was 150

#End

#Secondary Weapons

;; my altered missile data goes there

#End

There's additional information on how to create your mod on the wiki, see the modding portal.

Hope you enjoy the game :)

ps. If anybody sees anything wrong, misleading, unclear or else in that post, please point it out.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 02:19:48 pm by X3N0-Life-Form »

 

Offline The E

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Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
You're jumping ahead a few steps. If you want to create new missions, you do not need to jump through all the hoops in setting up a new mod.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Re: Creating battle simulations, where to start?
Good point. Edited message for clarity.