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Preparation for making a GRAW2 coop mission

Page history last edited by davros123 11 years, 7 months ago

Page Contents


 


 

Preparation for making a GRAW2 coop mission

Computer

Physical PC/Peripherals

Any PC which is capable of running ghost recon will be fast enough to create co-op missions.   Naturally the faster the PC the more easy it is to move about within the editor,   However the majority of activities associated with creating a co-op game do not require significant processing power.

You must have a four button mouse in order to use the editor.  The following is how the buttons operate on the three mice I have tested...your's may vary.

Two monitors/PC's is an advantage as it allows you to make edits to the code or maps on one computer whilst playing the game on another PC - but this a luxury not a necessity.

 

Print the Tutorials/Manuals that came with the game

You neeed to read these...then re-read then, then...yes, you guessed it, read them again.

It is also highly recommended that you print out physical copies of the PDF files stored in the tutorials folder (somewhere like G:\UBISOFT\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2\public_tools\tutorials).

GRAW2_Editor.pdf

GRAW2_GameModes.pdf

GRAW2_Scripting.pdf

 

Software (ie. GRAW 2, XML Editors, etc)

You'll need the GR:AW2 game installed on the PC.  GR:AW2 comes with a game editor. Beware it is flakey - so save often (control-S).

 

It should be noted that the instructions in this wiki have been written for Windows XP, if you are using Windows Vista there are a few ambiguities that can cause loss of hair and in some cases loss of wife or partner. I will add details of some of these problems shortly. Meanwhile if you are having problems with Vista ... start a thread in the mission modding section of the ghostrecon.net and we will try to assist.

 

GR:AW2 scripts are coded using XML.  While these files can be Edited using it notepad, it is highly recommended that you use an XML editor - this will highlight any errors you make during the coding of your scripts.

XML Marker - Recomended

XML Marker is an XML Editor that uses a synchronized table-tree-and-text display to show you both the hierarchal and the tabular nature of your XML data. Download for free here.

XML Notepad offers an intuitive and simple user interface that graphically represents the tree structure of XML data. Working with the standard building blocks of XML (Elements, Attributes and Text), authors are able to create reproducible data structures that can be easily filled. Download for free here.

 

Paint.net - is a free, professional quality paint/image program that can read and write the ".dds" files graw uses as well as a vast range of file types.  Highly recommended.

 

Folder Structure

 

 

bans  

?

Bundles 

the main game bundles

custom levels 

.bundle files of levels made by modders

Data 

xml in here overrides the game’s bundle files. I think it’s essentially the same as the local folder – see below. Need someone to confirm this.

Game_logs

Looks like is has logs of the games you play. Logs date and time stamp for objectives completed as well as game stats.

Local

xml in here overrides the game’s bundle files. Yet another place you can put modified XML. Needs to be in the proper folder structure.

Mods 

(weapon) mods. .bundle files go here - eg. Bretzies

Public_tools

 

Settings 

contains the player's profile and game settings including dedicated server settings.

Support 

contains the manual for the game

 

 

 

 

Coop mission bundle files can include the following folders (at a minimum they will include the levels/custom levels folder).

 

 

 

 

levels/custom_levels 

contains the scripts, world file and associated files for the custom level

objects 

 

textures 

 

units 

 

 

 

 

Overview of key files

 

The following files are typically found in the levels/custom_levels/<coop_mission_name> folders (eg. \levels\custom_levels\coop_arroyo)

 

 

ai.gph

An AI Graph is a network of nodes, or navigation points for the AI, connected by paths that the AI can use to travel between the nodes. The AI needs to find nodes close to them so they know where they are allowed to go, or else they won’t move.  

ai_coarse.gph

a coarse version of the ai.gph

ambient_cubes.bin 

?

coverpoints.xml 

cover points that are based on the landscape itself. This file is not needed on city like maps that quite flat and have many buildings, because buildings already have built-in cover points on all corners and other good cover positions, which will be used automatically as long as there are AI graph nodes relatively close to them so they AI can find them. 

environments.xml 

describes the environmental variables to be applied to the map, i.e. day, night, clouds, sky etc.

load_coop.dds

the image to be shown when the game is being loaded. The canvas size is usually 2048 x2048 pixels however the actual graphic image is 2048 by 1080 and centred in the top centre of the canvas.

massunit.bin

?

minimap.dds

the small tactical map showing in the top right-hand corner of the co-op game. Usually generated from within the game editor.

mission.xml

this is the main file and is where he will spend most of your time.  It contains all of your mission scripting.

texture_scope.xml 

?

si.bin

?

world_info.xml

contains XML links to the majority of files mentioned here that described the world i.e. mini map,  AI.gph, world.xml, environments etc.

<xml> folder Usually the unit list and world file stored in a sub folder called XML. They can be stored at the same level as the above files, but I think it's better to have them in a sub folder. The world_info.xml is the only file that references these files, so if you do move them for some reason, you'll need to update world_info.xml.
unit_list.xml lists all of the units used on the co-op mission
world.xml describes all the items placed on the map.  This file can be updated manually that is usually updated through the map editor.

 

 

 

Maintenance and Backups

Backup, and do it often!  Save backups of your mission folder (and otherc hanged files) daily.

 

Sourcing maps to use for coop missions

GRIN maps that came with the game

<need to put something here>

 

Player vs. Player maps created by modders

You can get from the download section at ghostrecon.net

 

Other modders coop missions

You can get from the download section at ghostrecon.net

Be sure to ask the maker of the mission for permission to release a new version if it's based upon their work.

 

Extracting Bundles


3 easy steps to extracting bundle files from davros on Vimeo.

To start with, create a new folder. I usually put this underneath where I installed GRAW2.

Name this folder bundler. ie. C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor

 

Inside this folder (eg C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor) place the following:

  1. bundler.exe from C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2\public_tools\bundler
  2. a new, empty folder named data. For example if you were bundleing coop_urban_conflict mission, you'd have C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor\data
  3. your .bundle file that you want to extract, ie. urban_conflict.bundle

 

To make it even easier to unbundle, I've created a batch file that will prompt you for the name of the file and unbundle it for you.

Download the following file,  extractor.bat into the C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor folder you created in the above steps.

 

Now when you run (double-click on) this batch file it will ask you for the name of the bundle you want to extract (ie. urban_conflict.bundle) and extract the bundle into the data folder (just make sure the data folder is empty first). When it's done, you'll see a files from the .bundle appear in the data folder.  You can now move these over to where you'll be editing them. Note that some bundle files, like quick.bundle are very large and may take some time to unbundle and occupy a large amount of space so you may want to make sure you have enough room first.

 

For those that are interested, the extractor.bat file contains the following lines...

@ECHO OFF
ECHO Enter the full filename of the bundle you want to extract
@ECHO OFF
set /p fname=(Type the full name ie. urban_conflict.bundle):
"C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor\bundler" extract -r %fname% data data

 

You may need to chage the pathname of the following command to suit your needs.

"C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor\bundler" extract -r %fname% data data

The following is an explanation of the parts of the command so you can customise it to suit your needs.

"C:\Program Files\UBISOFT\extractor\bundler – the full path to the bundler.exe

extract - tells the bundler we want to extract

-r – switch that tells the extractor to recursively move through the directories in the bundle.

%fname% – name of the bundle you want to extract from (eg. urban_conflict.bundle)

data - extract the data folder from the bundle

data – put them into the data folder

 

 bundler.zip for those who, for some reason, do not have the bundler directory.

 

See "Publishing your coop mission" later in this wiki for information on creating a bundle file.

 

 

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