Creating Scenarios and Battle Plans
All the Tools to Make Your Own Battles
Flashpoint Campaigns: Cold War ships with tools allowing you to craft your own battles and campaigns for you and others to play. Today, we will do a deep dive into Scenario Creation and Battle Plans.
You can get to the scenario editor from the game's Main Menu by clicking the Scenario button in the Edit group, as seen below.
Once you launch the editor, the game takes a minute to load up all the items it needs, and you will see the following screen.
There are a couple of options as to what type of scenario you will edit or if you will jump in and make a new scenario from scratch. If you are looking at an existing scenario or one currently in work, you can select one of the Load SCN File buttons and let that information load. If you start from scratch, you need to hit the Next button. Let’s do that.
The first thing you got to do is to decide when and at what time the scenario will start. The date impacts what equipment will be available for the battle, and the time of day will affect the lighting and weather. There are setting here for what type of scenario (Standalone or Campaign). Lastly, there is a text editor with a simple HTML tag capability for you to write your narrative for the scenario. This information is shown when selecting and playing a scenario, so make it explain the situation, so players know why the fight is happening. When complete, we move on to the next page using the Next button.
Now you select a map from the thirty or so available. The weather is also set on this screen by launching the Weather Selection dialog.
We could spend an entire Dev Blog going into detail on this tool, but to summarize, you can select the type of weather that can happen during the scenario. This selection can be precise or variable depending on the settings and is the basis for in-game weather forecasting.
The following panels in the Scenario Editor (ScenEdit for short) cover map markers that can be added to the map for use in the battle. These markers cover everything from mines and fortifications to chemical and radioactive contamination. Following that are the Air Superiority and Electronic Warfare settings for the battle. At the bottom are options for setting Maximum Resupply for any efforts done during the game. This setting can simulate either limited stock or an abundance of supplies.
Next, we get into the meat of the editor with Force Selection. Here you select which nations will play from the NATO side, the formations used, and the type of equipment in those formations.
After making the sections from above, the next step is to place those units on the map or, for some units like long-range artillery, off-map to support the on-map battles. In the image below, the units selected are placed on the map in default positions which a human player would start with, and the setup zone is painted on the map (in light blue).
Next, the Warsaw Pact forces are created and deployed on the map. These initial deployment locations will be used for a human player’s starting locations for the Warsaw Pact side. So, a basic correct layout of the forces is helpful.
Now we start working to plot a Battle Plan for the Recon force. You can set pathing and SOPs for these segments. There is one mission plotted and I am adding a new run to the south.
Here is the SOP Manager for making alterations to the Recon force’s Deep South Run. This management can be done for any mission for any force.
Now we go through and set missions for the remaining force elements of the Soviet units for the AI to use as its guiding during the game. After this we can build more entire plans with new starting locations, new paths via missions and new SOPs. Each scenario shopping with the game has three premade battle plans for each side. This allows you to play from either side and against a random or chosen plan. You can also build plans for existing scenarios and post those for others to use in their games.
The Scenario Editor with Battle Plans is a powerful tool for creating challenging scenarios for yourself and others to enjoy. We hope to have a thriving Mod community post launch and our team will be working to make new materials as we go as well.
More Developer Blogs detailing more features will be coming in the following weeks as we ramp up to release. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on the Southern Storm Forum on the Matrix Games site.
Until next week!