Ever since the game was first released, I've been playing it on and off through the years. I was disheartened when Pyro gave up on the title after Commandos 3, especially since there didn't seem to be any easy way to create new levels. Fast forward to recent times, I bought the GOG versions not too long ago (mostly to avoid Windows compatibility issues), applied the awesome resolution fix and played through it once more. That's when I actually learned of the various modding tools - and this forum, too.
I've extracted many of the game files and started exploring them, both from BEL and BCoD, trying to make sense of how they "made it work". It has been enlightening as well as entertaining. After playing through Lexx's awesome mission pack, I decided to give it a try myself. Inadvertently, however, I found that information is sometimes sketchy at best, or perhaps I'm simply not looking in the proper places, but leaving me with questions anyway. Hopefully, they can get answered here. In no particular order:
- The MIS files are pretty large, especially for the bigger missions. While I am not averse to getting my hands dirty, I wonder if there are any tools out there to take away part of that burden (like the map editor, but then to add soldiers, patrols, vehicles and the like and set various attributes for them, as well as patrol routes)? And/or any detailed information about the entries in that file? A number of them are pretty straightforward, but for instance the section that takes care of the trains or the vehicles that enter and leave the map again, with or without a driver exiting it at some point, look rather complex. Is there some information about it anywhere? Or will I have to figure out most of how that "works" by trial and error by myself?
- The MIS files contain a specific entry initially which is basically a pointer to mission-specific stuff. It obviously handles objective states (as detailed by the various mission results texts in the MAPAxxxx.STR files) and as I read elsewhere also additional stuff like the electric fence (mission 3 in BEL) or the surf wave (mission 1 in BCoD). Is there a detailed overview of what each of these hard pointers does? Or is that still mostly unknown?
- In the same section, the MIS files also contain an entry "EXITPOINTS". What do these represent? I've sometimes seen units wander off the map (patrols that had lost all of their soldiers except for the Sergeant, without means to regenerate it), do they use the closest of these exitpoints for that purpose?
- The game features two VOL files: a MAPAxxxx.VOL and a matching CHOQxxxx.VOL file. What's the purpose of having two files? As far as I can see, the only difference seems to be the EXTRAINFO section (present in MAPA, missing in CHOQ), which handles the explosion bits if you blow up the polygon ingame. Or is there something else that I am missing here?
- Likewise, the game has a .TIP file, as well as a .POL file, which basically seem to do the same. The only difference is that the TIP file specifies a box in which it will show the refered tooltip ingame, while the POL file specifies a polygon shape (noting that a box is essentially a 4-point polygon with connecting lines at square angles from one another). It seems redundant to have two files that basically do the same thing.
- I'm trying to wrap my head around the difference between sectors on one hand and the points as listed in the VOL file on the other hand. Sectors already define passability and visibility through the sector in question, so what does the game do with the object points? Especially since you can also define a height for the points; the map editor tutorial has you create a box around the tent this way, but it doesn't say why the game needs that. I'm missing something as to why these are needed; do they have to do something with view cones, or with units passing behind these areas defined by those points?
I might have more questions as my mapmaking proceeds, but I'll leave it at this for now .
Edited by Maurice1976, 06 September 2017 - 07:54 PM.