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MP Scenario Creation Tutorial

8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #1 by Little Powell

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  • How to create a MP Scenario

    Note: you will need Microsoft Excel to open the CSV files. This is a step-by-step guide to creating a basic MP scenario. Even though I will try and be as descriptive as possible, there will still be some trial and error involved, as is the case with all modding.

    First grab the current SDK for 1.4 here:

    It is always best to start with an already created MP scenario. In this tutorial, we will use “GB MP05-July2-The Orchard (Div)” found in the SDK and create a new fictional MP scenario from it.

    So you will want to make a copy of the scenario, and then rename it. Example, GB MP16-July4th-Peach Orchard (Div)

    The next step will be to create a MOD so your new scenario will show up in the game. So go to your mods folder and create a new folder called “GB Fictional MP Scenarios”. In that folder create a Scenarios folder, and then place your MP scenario in that folder. So the folder structure will look something like this:

    C:\NorbSoftDev\Scourge of War - Gettysburg\Mods\GB Fictional MP Scenarios\Scenarios\GB MP16-July4-Peach Orchard (Div)

    We will now take a look at each file in the MP scenario explain their purpose, and go over what changes they will need for the new scenario:

    battlescript.csv – In single player scenarios, this is used to execute all of the scripted commands. But for MP scenarios, the only command it will accept is the End Time of the scenario. So if you open it, notice it has an endscenario time of 19:00:00 PM. We keep that as the End Time for your first scenario.

    intro.txt – This file contains all of the intro information for the scenario. If you open, it is pretty self explanatory. On the first line after $Intro is the title. For now we are going to change the title to “GB MP05-July2-The Orchard (Div)”.

    maplocations.csv – This file handles the Objectives for the scenario. Notice it only has one Objective, the Peach Orchard. Most of the columns are pretty self explanatory, but you can refer to the section in the SDK on the maplocations.csv for detailed information.

    scenario.csv – This is the OOB for the scenario. A scenario.csv is a condensed version of a Master OOB that only has the information relevant for the scenario. Notice on line 20 it lists the master OOB that the scenario is reading from. For this scenario, it is pointing to the “oob_Gettysburg_Day2.csv”. If you open the two side by side, you will see the scenario.csv only lists the troops for this particular scenario, and it is also missing several columns that are read from the master OOB, such as the troop ratings etc.

    scenario.ini – This file handles all of the technical information for the scenario, such as the type, map, weather, strategic AI (when strategic AI is turned on, the AI acts like it is in Sandbox mode. You always want this on for MP scenarios), and the start time of the scenario. The [Rank] section is always left at all 0’s for MP scenarios so the players can choose to play any commander. The rest of this file is left alone.

    screen.txt –
    This file contains the information that is displayed when the battle ends. It is usually left alone, but can be customized. If you take a look, it is also pretty self explanatory. You will see some familiar text in there.

    Now we are going to start building our scenario.

    We will start with the troop positions. The first step when placing troops is to turn off the AI and turn on Alpha Omega. Alpha Omega will allow you to control both Union and Confederate troops. So you will open your SOWGB.ini file and the information to the debug section. See below:


    So the DbgLvl=2 which you are probably already familiar with shows FPS and other technical info.

    NoAI=1 turns off the AI
    AlphaOmega=1 turns on Alpha Omega so you can control both sides.

    Before we load the new MP scenario and start positioning the troops, we will need to make an edit to the scenario.ini. We want to treat it as a Single Player scenario during the creation process. It is just easier to load it and test from the User Scenarios menu then having to go in and host an MP game. In order to make it a SP scenario and have it visible in User Scenarios, we will need to go back to the scenario.ini and change the type to sp. So at the top of the scenario.ini, it will now show:


    We will go back and change it to type=mp on the last step.

    Now load your new scenario by going to the User Scenarios and choosing your scenario. You can select any commander; it does not matter when Alpha Omega is turned on. You will always be the top Union commander.

    I will now explain how to move the troops, and then capture their locations by generating a startloc file.

    Now go back to the game, and start positioning the troops to where you want them to be at the start of your scenario.

    Once you are happy with the troop positions, it’s time to dump their locations to a startloc file. All you have to do is hit the “L” key, and it will generate a startloc file which will be found in your Work folder. It will have a name something like this startlocs_04-15-12_13-36-52.csv

    Exit the game, and locate the file. Open it up and you will see it looks similar to a scenario.csv, but it is missing most of the columns. This file has all of the troops and commanders on the field, and their location when you pressed the “L” key.

    So in order to have your troops start the MP scenario where they were when you hit the L key, you will need to copy columns C, D, E, F, and G and paste them to columns J, K, L, M and N in your scenario.csv file. This is copying their x y location, the direction (x, z) they are facing, and their formation.

    Save and close your scenario.csv. When you go back into your scenario in the game, the troops should all be where you left them when you hit the L key. Congratulations. The hardest part is complete.

    Now we will set a couple objectives. There are two ways to set Objectives. The first method is just using an Objective that is already present in a map, such as a known location like Devils Den or Little Round Top. These are all listed in the CSV file for the appropriate map.

    You will see that when you open the maplocations.csv for your scenario, it has a Peach Orchard Objective. That was just taken straight from a map objective found in the csv file for a map (all maps have a CSV file that contain lots of data to make it work, including map objectives that will display when the map is used in Sandbox). I know that might sound confusing, but just open one of the map CSV files in the Maps folder, look at the bottom, and you will see several Objectives listed.

    I will show you the second way to set objectives. This way you create your own. Remember when we were placing troops, you were grabbing the locations of troops. Well you can grab the location of objectives the same way.

    So for example, we can go back to our MP scenario, move Meade to a location where you want your objective to be. Hit the L key to generate a new startloc file. You will see there is a new startloc file in your Work folder.

    You will notice in the maplocation.csv file, it has a X Y location for the Peach Orchard Objective. This is where the Objective is located on the map. You can copy the X, Y location for Meade and paste it to the X Y location in your maplocations file. When you start the scenario again, the Peach Orchard will now be where you left Meade. You can go ahead and change the name, points awarded, ID, etc. You can create as many objectives as you want using this same method.

    Last Step:

    So now that you have a working scenario with one or more Objectives, the troops where you want them, you can go ahead and re-open the scenario.ini file and change the type back to mp.

    Host a MP game, load the scenario, and you have your new customized MP Scenario.

    Couple things to Note:

    When you testing your scenario, you might (and probably will) get a crash to desktop when you are first learning the process. The sowgb.log is your best friend. As soon as the game crashes, go to your Work folder and open this file. It will list the reason for the crash near the bottom. If it doesn’t list a reason, then chances are something is way off and it’s best to send your files to a seasoned veteran to take a look. There are several folks on the forum that will be more than happy to help.

    If I am unclear on anything or if there are any further questions, just reply.
    Last edit: 8 years 9 months ago by Little Powell.
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    8 years 2 days ago - 8 years 23 hours ago #2 by Anthropoid

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  • Just a comment here about a potential incongruity that newcomers like me might experience with this.

    About a week ago I bought the "150 Anniversary" edition of Scourge of War. The default installation directory looks like this, when you follow Matrix digital download process:

    C:\Matrix Games\Scourge of War - Anniversary Edition

    As a result of this, I was getting puzzled for a few minute when I followed along with the directions here:

    First grab the current SDK for 1.4 here:

    It is always best to start with an already created MP scenario. In this tutorial, we will use “GB MP05-July2-The Orchard (Div)” found in the SDK and create a new fictional MP scenario from it.

    So you will want to make a copy of the scenario, and then rename it. Example, GB MP16-July4th-Peach Orchard (Div)

    My convention in DLing addon stuff for games is to always create a "Mod DL" folder somewhere that it won't interfere, but can be easily found:

    C:\Matrix Games\Scourge of War - Anniversary Edition\Mod DLs

    Where I put zip files and .exe , etc. that I download for SoW. Then for example I create a sub-directory for each download, like so:

    C:\Matrix Games\Scourge of War - Anniversary Edition\Mod DLs\SDK\SOWGBSDK1_6Beta.exe

    As I ran the executable from there, I noticed in the info screens it said to "extract to the \Work directory, so I copied it and had this:

    C:\Matrix Games\Scourge of War - Anniversary Edition\Work\SOWGBSDK1_6Beta.exe

    After running that .exe I didn't see anything new in that directory :P After a couple minutes I realized that the .exe had created this:

    C:\NorbSoftDev\Scourge of War - Gettysburg\Work\SDK

    Very simple matter to move that most subordinate directory back to my C:\Matrix . . . install, and delete the empty C:\NorbSoftDev folder, but it did have me baffled for a couple minutes.

    Hope these comments are not totally confusing and might help other folks who are as elementary in their skills as I am :P

    ADDIT: just reading the SDK manual. Wow. Well done NorbSoft! :)
    Last edit: 8 years 23 hours ago by Anthropoid.

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