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Introduction...6 Requirements...6 Features...6 Copyrights and Licensing...7 Further Reading...8. Support PDF

User Guide Contents Entries marked with are only available in the registered version. Introduction...6 Requirements...6 Features...6 Copyrights and Licensing...7 Further Reading...8 Support...9 Installation...10
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User Guide Contents Entries marked with are only available in the registered version. Introduction...6 Requirements...6 Features...6 Copyrights and Licensing...7 Further Reading...8 Support...9 Installation...10 Installation with FSX...10 Installation without FSX...11 First Run...11 Vista Oddities...12 Run as Administrator...12 Setting up a safe Missions folder...13 What s in a Mission?...14 Using the Mission Wizard...15 Getting Around...19 Layout...19 Navigation...20 What s displayed...21 Error Highlighting...22 Changing the layout...23 Changing the appearance...26 General Layout...26 Names and Colours...27 Editing...28 Basics...28 Using the Action Palette...28 Attribute Editor...32 Condition Editor...34 Condition List...35 Test Editing...36 Reward Criteria Editor...37 Advanced Editing...38 Recipes...38 Using a Recipe...38 Creating a Recipe...39 Checking Compatibility...40 Starting from Scratch...41 Changing the Template...41 Setting the Title...41 Creating Synthetic Speech...42 Saving the Mission...43 Rewards...43 Compiling to SPB...43 Backups...44 Working with Models and Areas...45 Information Dialogs...46 All Errors...46 Error-checking Rules...46 Dialog Script...47 All Comments...47 Debug Events...47 Debugging your mission...48 Adding Trace Actions...48 Monitoring the Mission...48 Tuning the Trace...50 Keeping the Trace...50 Debugging Techniques...50 Creating MSI packages...51 Simple Missions...52 Extra MSI Services...56 Advanced Missions...57 Checking the Install...58 Licencing your Mission...58 Creating the Lock...58 Creating Keys - GUI...59 Creating Keys Command-Line...60 Patching your Mission...61 Getting the Patch Creation Tool...62 Advanced configuration...64 Defining the properties...64 Dynamic Controls...66 Named Lists...67 Named List Examples...68 List of Lists...70 Menu Quick Reference...71 File...71 Edit...71 View...71 Windows...72 Layout...72 Mission...73 Debug...73 Help...74 Context Menu...74 Keyboard Shortcuts...75 Simvar Mission Extension...76 Installing...76 Command Details...77 Variables...77 Command Summary...77 IF Command...78 SET Command...78 DEBUG Command...78 PROFILE Command...78 SAVEONFAIL Command...79 FUELLEAK Command...80 MESSAGE Command...80 FXTRACK Command...81 METAR Command...82 WXSTATION Command...82 EVENT Command...83 PROFILENAME Command...83 WHEN Command...83 WPT Command...84 SIMRATE Command...85 Variable Persistence...86 Dynamic briefings...86 Credits...87 About FSAddon Publishing...88 Looking for developers/designers...89 Introduction Introduction With the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the new Missions feature looked like a great way of adding customisable scenarios. However, as Microsoft pointed out in their SDK docs, the supplied Object Placement Tool the mission editor is far from easy to use. This program is an attempt to cover what I felt to be the shortcomings in the default tool. It is designed to help you create and test your mission logic without worrying about the technical details, while still using the original tool for what it does best - placing scenery. Requirements - Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe Edition - FSX SP1 or higher to use debugging features - Microsoft Windows XP or Vista - 25Mb Diskspace - Visual interface instead of list-based - Drag-n-drop connections for linked nodes - Full error-checking - Configurable layout rules, to follow your expected mission flow - Create synthetic speech for dialogs, for quick testing - Add comments to the display - Based largely on Microsoft s own configuration files - Mission Wizard to create simple point-to-point missions Features... plus, for registered users... - Recipes collections of related nodes that do a single job - Mission Wizard will create a mission based on a FlightPlan - Runtime monitoring and debugging of missions - Creates installable missions using MSI - Create mission patches also using MSI - Create error reports - Create scripts for voice-actors - Extendable using XML files to allow SimConnect extension authors to use visual editing with their custom actions - Unlimited nodes; the free version is limited to 50 - Paste function works with unlimited nodes; the free version will only paste one node at a time Page 6 Introduction Copyrights and Licensing Most software has some kind of licence restrictions, even if nobody ever reads them! This is no exception. Let s get the 'small print' over with first. We know that anything in this big bad world can be reproduced within minutes, no matter the copy protection, no matter what we write or how much we threaten, so the following text is just meant for decent people to read. The ones we know that will take it to heart. The ones that have just PURCHASED this product! In other words: YOU! (And, by the way, thank you for that!). The intention is that the editor will be usable for free, but limited. If you choose to buy a licence (thank you!) you get all the features, and also some more entitlements. To enter your licence, use the Help Enter Licence... menu item, paste the licence key into the box and restart the software. If you installed using the Flight1 wrapper, it will be licensed automatically. The mission system command extension (simvar.exe) may always be used in any mission for free. It should not be distributed on its own, only with a mission you have written that requires it. It may also be made available by the publisher (FSAddon) as a separate download, which you can refer to in your installation instructions. However, it may only be distributed with your missions provided you are entitled to distribute the mission itself: If you are using the free version of the editor, you may use it to create missions which are themselves distributed for free. You may distribute the command extension with your missions. If you as an individual have paid for a licence for the editor, you may use it to create missions which will be sold as shareware for a small fee (less than $10 / 10). You may distribute the command extension with your missions. If you are producing missions commercially, either for your own company or contracted to another company, you need to approach FSAddon for commercial licensing permission. This explicitly includes the use of any feature, including debugging, error reporting and packaging, and is not limited to actual mission script creation. Only when commercial licensing is agreed can you distribute the command extension with your missions. Page 7 Introduction All FSAddon.com products are commercial products and copyrighted as such. This means that no product, or any part of it, may be copied, reproduced or disassembled in any way, nor published in any way and by any means, without written agreement from FSAddon.com. The same holds true for any registration or license key or any other means of product protection. The product is provided 'as is' and the publisher, author(s) and distributor(s) do not accept any liability for any damages of any kind resulting from the use of the product in any way. This product must not be used for real world training or other real world usage of any kind. After purchasing this product, FS Mission Editor by Jim Keir, you may install and use it on ONE computer only for your private use, except when agreed additional terms via a Commercial License. And you know what? If you really want to make a backup copy for safety reasons only and promise NOT to use it for anything else (like giving it to your best friend), we don't even blame you! FSX Mission Editor software and manual is copyright of Jim Keir. Accompanying FSAddon websites/webpages are copyright of François Dumas. All publishing rights for the licensed/commercial versions reside with FSAddon Publishing. Flight Simulator X' is copyright of Microsoft Corporation. Further Reading What this document won t do is teach you how to build missions. There are others which will give you a headstart, not least the SDK Mission Creation document, as well as two getting started guides available on written by Microsoft: It is also extremely useful to look at others missions, in particular the example missions that are supplied with the FSX Missions SDK. Any mission downloaded from e.g. or can be used for learning too. For more mission-building tips, there are some particularly useful places: Finally, the support forum for the editor can be found at: Page 8 Support Support If you need any support in installing or using FSX Mission Editor, you can get it in different ways: Register on the FSAddon.eu forums (go here: and click on Register ) and then go to the FSX Mission Editor Support Form which you can find by clicking here: 1) You MUST register before you can write messages. OR 2) For COMMERCIAL ISSUES write us an OR 3) Write to simmarket support (if you bought it there) : We believe that support of a product, and especially products released for such a specialized audience as flight simmers, is of the utmost importance. Being flightsim freaks ourselves you can be assured that support has our fullest attention Although we do not imagine you would need much with this product. In any case, even if you just want to tell us what you think you are welcome on the FSAddon Forums and on the simflight Forums. There you will also find a bunch of like-minded flight simmers to chat with you about this title, and about just anything else flightsim related. Give it a try! Page 9 Installation Installation Installation is like most other Windows programs run Setup.exe and it will check that you have everything you need, then install the editor. Before you can use it, it must have access to some of the FSX configuration files. This means that it must be installed at least once on a PC with FSX installed. Installation with FSX The first time it is run, and anytime after that it detects changes, it will to correct some errors in a file provided by FSX called FSX Path \propdefs\propmission.xml. Normally you should allow these changes to be made. If you are not sure, or want to make the changes for yourself, this is what is being changed (and why): offer 1) The LandingType definition is incorrectly defined, because XML is case-sensitive. To fix this, search for LandingType. Change 'type = Enum ' to 'type = ENUM '. It should look like this: PropertyDef name id type default descr = = = = = LandingType {61FC2643-E3A7-4a1c-8F33-C83637A4D3CB} ENUM FullStop Type of Landing to detect 2) The PropertySource definition has no default entry although both FSX and the default mission designer use one. This needs to be added. Search for PropertySource and add a new attribute after type, as default = Reference . PropertyDef name id type default = = = = PropertySource {6D13F898-3B25-475a-93EA-0951FFB6CABB} ENUM Reference 3) The StopTime property has no default entry although both FSX and the default mission designer use one. Search for the first occurrence of StopTime and add a new attribute after type, as default = 5 . PropertyDef name id type default = = = = StopTime { B-A49E-4b34-B4F0-AA5931E8CC98} FLOAT 5 The editor will work without these changes being made, but you will lose the ability to use drop-down lists in LandingTriggers and some types of Condition and you will get unnecessary warnings when loading missions created using the default FSX Object Placement Tool. If you are having trouble getting the Object Placement Tool (OPT) set up correctly, choose the 'Help Check OPT Setup' menu item in the editor. This will verify that you have the right version of the SDK installed, and that it is registered properly with FSX. If it isn't, it will register it for you. Page 10 Installation Installation without FSX You can also install this on a machine without FSX available, for example if you want to continue your mission design on the move but your laptop isn t up to running FSX. Install FSXME as normal by double-clicking Setup.exe and following the prompts. Next you need to copy a folder from your main PC, having already run FSXME on it at least once. You will need to find your Common Application Data folder. Likely locations are: XP : C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\FSAddon\FSXME Vista : C:\ProgramData\FSAddon\FSXME This folder may be hidden, but it will usually be in one of these locations. Once you have found it, you will need to copy this folder to the equivalent place on the PC without FSX installed. Note that this folder isn t in a fixed location, so take care if you are copying between different versions of Windows. You can also find the location of this folder on the Paths tab of the Edit Preferences dialog, as Fallback Path. If you re unsure about where to copy the folder to, run the editor, ignore the various warnings that appear and check this dialog. This folder will contain copies of some of your FSX configuration files. These can t be included in the FSXME setup program because they are owned by Microsoft and can t be redistributed. It also contains other files that are generated from any third-party BGLs, such as scenery addons, that you may have. These two sets of files are used extensively for error-checking, providing drop-down lists and default values. First Run There are two things you need to do the first time you run the FSX Mission Editor. The first time you run FSXME it will offer to create lists based on your particular FSX setup. It will work without this, but you will not be able to use drop-down lists when selecting models or airport, or use the Wizard to create new missions. These lists can be recreated later if need be. This should be done if you add new model BGLs which you want to use in the editor. When it is scanning the scenery files, it uses the FSX scenery library to work out where to look. Any files you have visible to FSX should be indexed, with some exceptions; specifically, any BGL file which starts with OBX will not be read. This is because FSX contains a large number of these files, each of which contains a large number of generic that is, boring buildings. Reading these files would take a very long time, and generate a list of tens of thousands of objects, most of which would be almost useless for designing add-on scenery and missions. If you are using Vista and have done a default FSX installation, it will also offer to create a safe place to write new missions to. See below for an explanation of why this should be done. Page 11 Installation Vista Oddities Although the editor works with Vista (it was developed on Vista) there are some things which may cause confusion. This is because of the way that Vista tries to protect system files. If you have done a default installation of FSX, it will be stored under C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86). This is a protected area in Vista, and the system will not normally let you write any files there. Unfortunately, that's where the missions need to be stored if FSX is to see them. Vista is one step ahead; if any files do get written there, they will be quietly stored somewhere else and the filesystem will make them appear to be where you originally saved them. This means that you can almost ignore the file protection that Vista has in place. If the intricacies of the Vista filesystem don't interest you, just move right along to the next chapter! The problem is that not every program will see the corrected - or 'virtualised' - version of the filesystem, with those files in place. Notably, Explorer doesn't show them in-place. It does add an extra button called Compatibility Files to show that there are virtualised files present, but this button doesn't appear if there are only virtualised folders. This means that your mission folder won't be visible from Explorer. Also, any virtualised files won't be visible to other users on the same computer, including the administrator. There are two ways to deal with this. First, you can ignore it; most programs will read the virtualised files without realising it, provided that you run them both as the same user. The other way is to effectively bypass the virtualisation so that files really do exist on disk. The easiest way to do this is to run the editor as an administrator, although this is not recommended because you will forfeit the numerous protections that Vista offers to normal users. Run as Administrator To force the editor to be run as an administrator every time, using Windows Explorer go to C:\Program Files\FSAddon\FSX Mission Editor. Rightclick on MissionDisplay.exe and choose Properties, then the Compatibility tab. Tick Run this program as administrator and click OK. Every time you run it, you will first be given the UAC permission dialog. The other way to make the files be actually stored where you put them is to fool FSX into reading a different part of the disk when reading missions. They will then be visible to all users on the computer. This is both cleaner and safer, Page 12 Installation because Vista's file protection is still being used. It does take a little effort to set up though. Setting up a safe Missions folder Since Vista doesn't approve of people writing files into protected parts of the disk, we would ideally store our edited missions somewhere else. The problem is that FSX only looks in it's own Missions folder. We can fool it by inserting a symlink into the Mission folder which points to a part of the disk which can be written by everyone on the computer. A symlink can be seen as a fake directory which is actually stored somewhere else. The good news is that the editor can set this up for you. When you run it the first time, it will check to see if this problem will affect you and if it will, you will be asked if you want to fix it. Alternatively, you can do it yourself using a DOS window which has been run as an Administrator: cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Missions mkdir %PUBLIC%\FSX Missions mklink /D My Missions %PUBLIC%\FSX Missions symbolic link created for My Missions === C:\Users\Public\FSX Missions Either way, this will create a new folder in your FSX Missions folder called My Missions. FSX, Explorer and all other programs will see this folder exactly as you would expect. However, the folder really exists on disk at C:\Users\Public\FSX Missions - and will appear in Explorer's Public folder. As long as you store your new missions in [FSX]\Missions\My Missions, they will appear both in the public folder (which is safe to write to) and under [FSX]\Missions\My Missions. If you store them under any other subfolder of [FSX]\Missions, Vista will virtualise them, meaning they won't appear in the correct place in Windows Explorer. They will instead be stored in: C:\Users\ Username \AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\ Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Missions\ Page 13 What s in a Mission? What s in a Mission? Chances are you ve already got your storyline ideas. Putting them together into something that tells that story is the next step. So what do you need? The main part of the mission is stored in an XML file. You don t need to be able to read that yourself, although you can if you want to. That s not as important as the logical structure of the mission. There are three main types of thing you will use to create a mission. First, there are Triggers. These wait for something to happen a timer, a counter, the player s plane reaching a certain altitude or entering or leaving a certain location etc. and when it does, they make other things happen. These are what you use to tie the events in your mission to what the player is doing. Triggers can also be deactivated so that they don't do anything until you tell them to. Second are Actions. These are what triggers will use to make things happen. For example you can start and stop timers, change counters, and most importantly activate and deactivate triggers. Already you have the basics of how a mission would be put together. You could, for example, se
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