HOW TO ADD A LAND VEHICLE INTO BATTLEFIELD: 1942
Updated: October 2nd 2003
This tutorial will walk you through the necessary steps to add a new land vehicle into Battlefield: 1942 (BF: 1942). You will learn how to setup a new land vehicle, configure the inner workings of the land vehicle and place it in-game. The tutorial will show how to add a new land vehicle name “Jeep” into the game based on the existing “Willy” land vehicle which is already in BF: 1942. As a result of what you will learn in this tutorial, you will be able to modify land vehicle files in any way to add a limitless amount of new land vehicles into BF:1942.
This tutorial assumes that you have used the winRFA extraction tool from the Mod Development Toolkit to extract the “Objects.rfa” file into the base directory of your BF:1942 installation. For reference purposes, we will assume that your base installation directory is the default installation directory (Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 1942\). We need to begin by setting up the necessary directory and file structure.
Within the “Jeep” directory, there are 4 files and 2 directories. The 4 files are “Objects.con”, “Physics.con”, “Network.con” and “Geometries.con”. The directories are “Sounds” and “AI”. All of these items will need to be edited to create a new land vehicle.
STEP 1: Objects.con Scripting Changes
The second line, “ObjectTemplate.create PlayerControlObject Willy”, begins the creation of a player-controllable object named “Willy”. The lines directly following the creation of this object configure some of the settings that will be applied to this vehicle, including the vehicle’s mass, amount of hitpoints and the types of damage it can take. These lines also define the special effects that the “Willy” will have and when they will occur. For example, the line “ObjectTemplate.addArmorEffect 30 e_willyDamage 0/1.7/0” says that when the “Willy” drops to 30 hitpoints the “e_willyDamage” special effect (contained in the Objects\Effects\ folder) will occur at position “0/1.7/0”.
The line “ObjectTemplate.setVehicleIcon” sets the location of the image file that will be used to represent the vehicle.This icon will be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen next to the health bar for the vehicle. Changing the numerical value in the “ObjectTemplate.setVehicleIconPos line can be used to adjust position of the dot on the image.
The “VehicleCategory” is “VCLand” and the “VehicleType” is set to “VTScoutCar”. The setting of these lines determine what controls the vehicle will use. This vehicle will utilize the controls that were configured in the “Land & Sea Controls” menu in BF:1942.
The line “ObjectTemplate.setMinimapIcon” sets the location of the image file that will be used to represent this vehicle on the minimap that appears in the upper right-hand of the screen.
***NOTE: Setting the mass below “2500” causes problems with how the vehicle will interact with the ground. The mass should not be any lower than “2500”.
The next section in this file is the creation of the “LodObject” (Lod is short for Level of Detail). This object defines 3 different ways that the vehicle will appear to a user; WillyComplex – close range, WillySimple – long range and Willywreck – when destroyed. The order of these items is very important. The main object (Complex) is always first, followed by the low-polygon object (Simple) and ending with the wrecked version of the vehicle.
The creation of the “WillyComplex” bundle is integral to the functionality of the vehicle. This bundle adds templates (via the “ObjectTemplate.addTemplate” lines) that include the engine, how a user will enter/exit the vehicle, etc. The line below each “addTemplate” line (“ObjectTemplate.setPosition”) is the position of each item in relation to the center-point of the vehicle. Seventeen lines into the creation of this object “WillyPassengerPCO” is added (PCO is short for Player Controllable Object). Each new PCO that is added to a vehicle is a new position for a passenger. The order of the PCO’s in the main Bundle determines what position that PCO will be. In this vehicle, “WillyPassengerPCO” will be the second position. If we added another PCO into the “WillyComplex” bundle after the “WillyPassengerPCO”, it would be the third position.
These next 4 sections set up the vehicle’s cockpit and how it will be seen. The “willyCockpitExternal” line defines what model a player will see when outside the vehicle. The “willyCockpitInternal” line displays a different (more detailed) model to the player who is inside the vehicle. Notice that each object (“willyCockpitExternal” and “willyCockpitInternal”) uses a different model via the “ObjectTemplate.geometry” line.
The Camera created in the image above (“WillyCamera”) is the object that defines the ability to see for the driver of the vehicle. This object sets how far the player can look to the right or left as well as up and down via the “setMinRotation” and “setMaxRotation” lines. The next object created is the SeatObject. This object sets the flags for the player while he is in the vehicle. The flag “c_SeatShowFullBodySoldier” means that anyone looking at the vehicle will see the whole body of the player. If the flag was set as “c_SeatShowHalfBodySoldier”, only half of the body would appear. The other flag, “c_SeatIsOutside”, means that player can be shot even though he is in a vehicle. Without this flag, the player would be treated as if he were surrounded by the vehicle and unable to be attacked directly. The last object created in this image is the EntryPoint. Without an entry point, no player could enter this vehicle. The radius set within this object defines how close a player needs to be to the vehicle before he can enter it.
Each of these objects is included in the “WillyComplex” bundle that we looked at earlier. Because “WillyComplex” is part of the “PlayerControlObject Willy”, all of these configurations apply to the driver of the vehicle. The next set of scripting we will look at will set up the configuration for the passenger of this vehicle.
The second “PlayerControlObject” (PCO) is created so that a second player can enter the vehicle. If you review the Templates that are added to this PCO, you will notice that it reuses some of the objects that were used by the “WillyComplex” bundle. The EntryPoint and Camera objects are set with different positions that coincide with where the passenger will be sitting. The position of the passenger PCO is set in the “WillyComplex” bundle. The following object created is the “SeatObject” for the passenger. Along with the same flags that “WillySeat” used, this “SeatObject” contains settings for particular animations that will be used.
Because only the front two tires on this vehicle rotate, we only need two “RotationalBundle” objects; one for the left tire and one for the right tire. You will note that once again you see that the “MinRotation” and “MaxRotation” are set; but also notice that there is no geometry object associated with it. This is for the same reason you don’t see any objects about the rear tires yet. In the 7 thl ine of each object, a “Spring” template is added. The “Spring” objects are located in the “Physics.con” file and contain the geometry objects for the wheels. Because the “Spring” object is added as part of the “RotationalBundle”, the wheel geometry will become part of it as well.
The portion of the “Objects.con” file above sets up how the player’s hands will connect to the steering wheel as well as how it will rotate when the player goes left or right.The main object for steering is the “AnimatedBundle”. Notice that the only things this object contains are a template for “WillySteering” and two “addSkeletonIK” lines. The “addSkeletonIK” lines use their positioning values to lock the location where the playershands will be stuck while in the vehicle. The values given attach the hands to certain locations on the steering wheel, which is added via the “WillySteering” template. “WillySteering” is a rotational bundle which contains the “lodwillySteering” object. The “lodwillySteering” LodObject acts just like the “WillyLod” we looked at earlier. It defines how the steeringwheel will appear to different players. The line at the bottom of this LodObject, “ObjectTemplate lodSelector WillySteeringSelector”, refers to the DistanceSelector object that is created at the bottom of the image. The DistanceSelector object is actually what determines which version of the steering wheel (“WillyHighRSteering” or “WillyLowSteering”) a player will see.
The final part of this file contains the creation of the final two Simple Objects that were included in the LodObject “lodWilly”. Simple Objects usually just refer to the geometry object, in this case “WillySimple” refers to the low-polygon model of the vehicle hull and “WillyWreck” refers to the wrecked model. The “WillyLodSelector” that is created at the bottom of the file is the selector used for the “lodWilly” object. Notice that there is an additional line, “LodSelectorTemplate.hasDestroyedLod 1”, which tells the game engine that, in addition to the standard model and low-polygon model, there is a wrecked model which must be shown.
Now that we have reviewed how everything in the “Objects.con” file works, lets make the necessary changes to create a new vehicle named “Jeep” for BF:1942
STEP 2: Physics.con Scripting Changes
The “Physics.con” file contains objects that define the physics of the vehicle. Included in this file are the engine and wheel springs configurations.
The Engine is what makes the vehicle move in-game. Remember that the “WillyEngine” was included in the “Objects.con” file as part of the “WillyComplex” bundle. This means that the driver of the vehicle will have control over the Engine. The “WillyEngine” has four templates added to it. Two of the templates are the front tires (setup as rotational bundles in the “Objects.con” file). The other two templates are the back wheels. Because the back wheels don’t rotate, they are only set up as springs instead of springs inside of a rotational bundle. If you wanted to adjust the positions of the wheels in relation to the vehicle, it would be done with the “setPosition” lines under the “addTemplate” lines.
The Min and Max rotation on an engine represent the maximum speed that the vehicle can attain while going forward (Max) or backward (Min). “ObjectTemplate.setEngineType c_ETCar” sets the type of engine that the vehicle will be using. In contrast, an airplane uses the “c_ETPlane” engine. Below the engine type, you can set the engine torque, differential, number the feel of the vehicle.
The last portion of the “Physics.con” file is the setup of each Spring(wheel). Each of the wheels is set up with identical settings, with the exception of the wheel model. The two right side springs (“WillyFrontSpringR” and “WillyBackSpringR”) use “ObjectTemplate.geometry Willy_WheelR_M1” while the 2 left side springs (“WillyFrontSpringL” and “WillyBackSpringL”) use “ObjectTemplate.geometry WillyWheelL_M1”. Notice that all of the springs have the “ObjectTemplate.Grip” line. This enables these springs (wheels) to grip the ground and use that traction to move the vehicle. The two “ObjectTemplate.addTemplate” lines in each spring configuration are the dust effects that will be seen when the tires are moving and touching the ground.
Now that we have reviewed how the objects in the “Physics.con” file work, let’s make the necessary changes so that these objects can be used in our new vehicle.
STEP 3: Geometries.con Scripting Changes
The “Geometries.con” file contains all of the geometry objects to which the “Objects.con” and “Physics.con” file refer. Our next step will be to open this file and make the necessary changes.
Note that each object starts with the line “GeometryTemplate.create StandardMesh”. StandardMesh is the object that contains the model that will be seen in-game. The second line in each Geometry object is “GeometryTemplate.file”. The line is ended by the filename of the model. The default folder for the model files is the “StandardMesh” directory which is contained in the “StandardMesh.rfa” file. If you wanted to put a different hull in place of the standard Willy hull, all you would need to do is place the exported model file into the “StandardMesh” directory and then adjust the “GeometryTemplate.file Willy_Hul_M1” line to read “GeometryTemplate.file newfilename”.
Let’s make the changes needed for this new vehicle to work in-game.
STEP 4: Network.con Scripting Changes
The last file we will need to make changes to isthe “Network.con” file.
This file contains the network objects that will transmit the vehicle data in a multiplayer game. Each of the network objects created in this file were part of major portions of the objects created in the “Objects.con” and “Physics.con” files.You will find these network objects in those files in lines that begin with “ObjectTemplate.setNetworkableInfo”.We need to make the appropriate changes in this file to make sure
STEP 5: Sound configuration
The next step in setting up this new vehicle is making the necessary changes to the Sound files. All sound effect settings are contained in the “Sounds” subdirectory of each weapon’s main folder.BF: 1942 has three different settings for sound.You can choose 11 khz(Low), 22 khz (Medium) or 44 khz (High). The “WillyEngine.ssc” file is a text file and is the central sound file that includes all the settings from other three sound files for the vehicle’s engine. The three sound files that contain the settings are in the “High”, “Mid” and “Low” directories.
STEP 6: AI Configuration
The final step is to make sure that the Artificial Intelligence (AI) is configured.The AI for this vehicle is contained in the AI directory in the “Objects.con” file.This file contains AI configurations for how bots will drive the vehicle,react to the opposing team, etc.Additionally, it contains AI for the passenger.This will help the passenger know how to react to certain situations (if the vehicle is being damaged, if an enemy is nearby, etc.).
Now that all off the proper changes have been made, this new vehicle named “Jeep” can be added into the game. A new “Objects.rfa” file will need to be created that includes these new configuration files. This can be done using the winRFA tool from the Mod Development Toolkit.
This tutorial has shown you the intricacies of a BF:1942 vehicle. A basic vehicle in BF:1942 only requires the following items: a Player Controllable Object, an Engine, wheels (knows as Springs in this scripting language), a Seat, a Camera (the drivers viewpoint while operating the vehicle) and an Entry Point (how a player will enter the vehicle). Items like the Steering object are not necessary but add the realism to a vehicle that players want to see.
STEP 7: Examples
With the knowledge you have gained, lets make a few changes as an example of what you can do with this scripting language. As our first change, lets add an extra passenger position into the Jeep. We will place this new position in the back seat of the Jeep.
Add the following lines right before the line with "JeepEngine" in it: 1st line - "ObjectTemplate.addTemplate JeepPassengerPCO2"; 2nd line - "ObjectTemplate.setPosition -0.30/.45/-1.15".
We need to add the proper Artificial Intelligence so that bots will utilize the new position.
Now that we've added this lines, repack the "Objects.rfa" using "winRFA.exe" from the Mod Development Tool. Once you start a game and get into the "Jeep", you will notice that you are able to switch to a third position. The image below is what you will see.
Let make another change to the "Jeep".
Examine the "WillyEngine" object. There is a
section containing the "ObjectTemplate.addTemplate" lines
(the section is surrounded by "rem----" lines.
Add the following four lines to the bottom of the "ObjectTemplate.addTemplate" section: 1st - "ObjectTemplate.addTemplate JeepBackSpringR"; 2nd - "ObjectTemplate.setPosition 0.79/-0.472/1.21";3rd - "ObjectTemplate.addTemplate JeepBackSpringL"; 4th - "ObjectTemplate.setPosition -0.79/-0.472/-1.21".
By adding these lines, we are adding a second set of rear wheels. The "setPosition" lines position the new tires right next to the existing tires to make the "Jeep" look like it has an additional set of tires for off-roading.
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