Creating a mission using triggers and flags

I will start my topic briefly here. When I started DCS, having already been around general avaition most of my life, learning the theories of flight and the basis of flight were not an issue so to speak.

Not feeling ready for Multiplayer, that left instant action and the mission editer. Well, to put it politely, if the flying wasnt too much an issue, the mission editer sure was. It was a steep learning curve that took a lot of trial and error, and I would like to pass on to all of you some of what I learned. this may be already known by some of us, and I don’t mean to come off like a expert mission builder, because I am not. Hopefully it will help someone. Now I an trying to learn to do recorded sound, and if any one knows how to do a voice over, I could use some help… so feel free to join in!

am going to take for granted we all know basic mission editor functions, placing units, plotting courses and targets etc.

The mission file I posted, I made about a year ago, and I did not think before I posted it to add more aircraft to it, so if you don’t have F-86,( I had just got it) just put the mission file in your saved games/missions folder and then open it in the mission editor and add your aircraft of choice, take off  and fly course 055 and you should hit all triggers.

 The sequence of events

1).   At the start of the mission, you will be given basic instructions, meant to get the player airborne and on the way to the target, i.e. course, distance, Etc
1.a).  Flag #1 will be set to “0” or off. this flag is for mission success. (we will talk more about flags later)
1.b). Blue AI JTAC will be activated.

2).   As you fly you will hit trigger zones. the first one will check in with JTAC. you can adjust the difficulty of a trigger by adjusting the size of the zone, adding flags and/or conditions.

3).  The next trigger will activate artillery and it will attack assigned targets. for an assigned target to be attacked, you must assign the target in waypoint options or triggered actions in the mission editor.

4).  As you get closer to the target, JTAC will put smoke out on the target.

5).  The next trigger will activate Tanks to attack the airfield. Again, you must add specified targets in waypoint actions or triggered actions, or the units will just sit there and not do anything!

6).  When all AAA and vehicles are destroyed, infantry will advance and capture airfield.

7).  mission success! when the base is captured, you will hear music and see a message.

This mission I set up right out of the DCS manual mission editor section, trigger exercise. I added a few things, but it is basically right off pg. 99 of the (English) manual. I tried to make sure that when a trigger fired, a message would be sent also,  as confirmation it actually fired. in the next step I will go trigger by trigger and show how to build a new mission and add Ai speech triggers. should I do it on Normandy or Caucuses map?

Here is another mission I made on Normandy map

Ok  Normandy it is, That is what I thought also!

So, to create a good mission, you have to have a basic Idea of what it is you want it to do. When I first started making missions, I would just post a flight plan and a few targets and leave it to the AI to do it, mostly with unsatisfactory results, the planes would not do what I planned and attack wrong targets Etc.

Before I begin just a few starting points.

when you start building a new mission, you only get one chance to name it! so make sure it is a recognizable one.

Name all units and groups and triggers and flags and zones. all of them! it is not hard to get several hundred triggers in a complex mission and finding the correct trigger or unit can be a challenge, or crash the entire mission if done wrong.

left cont.+ C, and left cont.+ V are your friend! just again rename the groups you copy. I use this function a lot.

learn to use the Template function, I use it and it saves a lot of time, a useful one is German 88-36 x 4 and  Kdo-40 x 1 per group.

do a briefing

make weather
do mission options

do commanders

start making triggers these are for mission start briefing and to add b-17s and enemy fighters if desired. the option will show up on radio F-10 menu

Hi Red, sorry, yes, I just saw the resolution is not enough to see details. feel free to ask questions, for the last several days I have been busy at work, and home and have not had much time for the mission. any one please feel free to ask questions, that is what this topic is for!

the trigger rules button opens the trigger rules page. on my install it is the 6th button down, on the left column of buttons it is highlighted in  shot.

I should have explained better, the series of screenshots is starting from the top button on the left side of the screen, I will send pictures to you tomorrow to explain better.

It really depends on many factors, trial and error so to speak. the 88 seems to work best with 4-6 guns together with a Kdo.G-40 instead of single units, you don’t have to use as many for the same effect. Somewhere around 20-30 though usually though I would say.

I was kind of disappointed in the way the mission ended, and then got busy at work, but have been working on it here and there as time allowed. I regrouped and started again with a version that we had 2 or three missions ago. I learned many things.

1). when I first started the mission, I made the weather and bases, plotted the course for the Ground Vehicles and then placed two groups; the B-17s, and the  P-51s to attack the first battle. well I forgot to make a flight plan for them, and it seemed to slow the whole mission down, as if the game engine was stuck in a loop.( they basically took of then landed because thy did not know what to do).  to be continued…

Well, it has been a tough couple of weeks in the mission building department. with DCS having crash problems last week, summer activities, and work being a pain, my time has been limited.

However there has been several exciting additions and improvements to DCS in that time. the most notable ( for me at least) is the texture fix to the shimmering, or the silver outline to the terrain on Normandy map. It seems to have cured a lot of the stuttering problems I was having, and also a large increase in FPS- in the 10 to 30+ range. Hopefully everyone else has seen improvements also.

The dust and smoke added to the mission editor, will help in spotting GVs from the air, especially in WW11 scenarios. they also added some airfield objects that help the “sterile” felling of the airfields some

Thanks to Red October and Alex for the help testing the mission, I fell we learned a lot, at least I know I did. The unit count vs. FPS is a constant, ongoing battle. Here are my opinions and thoughts:

1). When I first started this topic, My goal was to just show how to make a simple mission, with interaction of players and AI ground units with triggers, to achieve a goal, I hadn’t considered using it on a server. The response has been wonderful! however the mission took on a life of it’s own, and became too complex. we also found that Combined Arms is not ready for ground battles yet. ground vehicles can only be used for targets.

2) Considering that ED just changed the entire graphics engine about 6 months ago, there has been a few hiccups, but for the most part, my performance is close now to what it was in 1.5.8 and as I have stated before, my computer is old, but runs DCS and X-Plane well, and I would expect most players have a better computer than I do. I only see it getting better and better.

1 thought on “Creating a mission using triggers and flags”

  1. Ok so It has been awhile since this thread was active. Our focus changed somewhat lately, more to modern aircraft and helicopters, that is ok with me, if it has wings or rotors, I like to fly it.

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