Flashpoint Authors Guide

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Amechwarrior

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Although this may sound like a strange request, it is what happens in the "Benefactor" mission of the vanilla campaign, and I suspect others too although I can't be bothered checking.

I am looking at whether I can make a "flashpoint" that is just a conversation as a workaround, although I can't terminate it without having the reward screen come up.

Once this flashpoint is complete, another will be generated that provides a follow-up conversation as you prepare to drop.

Kind of a sketchy work around, but what if you made the FP fail after the convo? I don't think failing one triggers a reward screen right? Make it add the tag you need before the convo ends, and also make the FP not spawn if that or some other convo granted tag is present. This would prevent it from reappearing once completed.
 

chomp

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Unfortunately, using "fail" or also using "complete" with the "CompletedWithoutReward" tag avoid the reward screen, but also result in a pause notification telling you you have failed or chosen to abandon it...

The other issue this would face (I think) is that whilst FPs appearing almost instantly in Debug mode, I don't think they do in normal mode. I would like to be able to start the FP straight away and I don't think this would work.
 

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Unfortunately, using "fail" or also using "complete" with the "CompletedWithoutReward" tag avoid the reward screen, but also result in a pause notification telling you you have failed or chosen to abandon it...

The other issue this would face (I think) is that whilst FPs appearing almost instantly in Debug mode, I don't think they do in normal mode. I would like to be able to start the FP straight away and I don't think this would work.

If you want the second part to start immediately, why not have the first conversation just set the next milestone to be a second Talk milestone that gives the background for the mission part of the flashpoint?

Barring that, setting the second flashpoint to have an extremely high weighting should make it appear quickly after the tag is set.
 

chomp

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Thanks, I didn't realise about the weighting.

With respect to the conversation, I think that would just make it into 1 long conversation split into two parts?

I want the player to be introduced to the background and detail of the campaign/mission (ideally on one planet), they then travel to another planet and accept the contract for the first mission. There is then a cutscene/conversation about the company running a blockade and getting ambushed whilst doing so. The first mission they play is then fighting out of the ambush.

Unfortunately, the flashpoint system seems too restrictive to make this possible, in a seamless way at least.
 

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Thanks, I didn't realise about the weighting.

With respect to the conversation, I think that would just make it into 1 long conversation split into two parts?

I want the player to be introduced to the background and detail of the campaign/mission (ideally on one planet), they then travel to another planet and accept the contract for the first mission. There is then a cutscene/conversation about the company running a blockade and getting ambushed whilst doing so. The first mission they play is then fighting out of the ambush.

Unfortunately, the flashpoint system seems too restrictive to make this possible, in a seamless way at least.

Gotcha. Then yeah, having it be two separate Flashpoints is probably easier. I'm not sure how well the Flashpoint system plays with having a milestone be on a separate system from the one that the player is currently at.
 

chomp

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It seems to work ok in debug mode. The second flashpoint spawns only a few hours (game time) after the first one is completed, assuming tags have been set correctly.

The only problem is closing the first one gracefully. Maybe I will have to think about another way, narratively, of getting it to work.
 

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It seems to work ok in debug mode. The second flashpoint spawns only a few hours (game time) after the first one is completed, assuming tags have been set correctly.

The only problem is closing the first one gracefully. Maybe I will have to think about another way, narratively, of getting it to work.

If the two systems are fixed number of jumps apart, you might just want to have the first flashpoint "pay for travel" to the second one by giving the player a flashpoint reward of 30,000 c-bills * number of jumps they need to make.

"Thank you, Commander. In exchange for making this a priority, I've transferred ###### cbills to your account as advance to pay for the transit fees."
 
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Amechwarrior

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It seems to work ok in debug mode. The second flashpoint spawns only a few hours (game time) after the first one is completed, assuming tags have been set correctly.

The only problem is closing the first one gracefully. Maybe I will have to think about another way, narratively, of getting it to work.
I'd go with properly ending the first "FP" and setting tags as you see fit, then setting the "Part 2" FP to a weight of 1000 or so (default is 10, Joint Venture is 200, Alliance FPs are 1000) so it will take the FP slot freed by the closure of the part 1 with a very, very high chance. A non-debug save has up to 5 FPs active at any time.
 

chomp

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I am finding the options I have at the moment too limited. How do I extract the FP/campaign files? Using UABE? I am wondering if I look through them maybe I will find some more options. I lot of what I want to do is done in the vanilla campaign but I cannot recreate it in FPs.
 

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What options in particular are you looking for? The flashpoints from the DLC have the same limitations that we have. If you're trying to replication the kind of missions from the _CAMPAIGN_, then you'll have trouble because those missions are all hand-crafted individual things that are not reproducible entirely in the flashpoint structure. We can create things like the campaign missions, but not everything in the campaign missions is able to be done without additional modding beyond what the flashpoint structure gives you.
 

chomp

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Well, at the moment I haven't even reached the stage of designing the missions. I am thinking of the narrative elements around them.

Some of the things I am thinking of are:

Missions you must fight after conversation has taken place - with FPs (even using startcontract) it seems that you can pull out of doing a mission any time up to pressing "deploy".
Flashpoints that don't end in either a reward screen or a "you have failed"-type message.
Marking certain systems on the star map to indicate where to travel

And maybe more besides. There are a lot of "strings" that are be associated with different variables in the milestone sets, some of which are referred to on the previous page. For example, entering "CompletedWithoutReward". It occurred to me that maybe there are many more that we are not aware of (or at least not documented here). That's why I am wondering if it would be useful looking at campaign files.
 
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Amechwarrior

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Well, at the moment I haven't even reached the stage of designing the missions. I am thinking of the narrative elements around them.

Some of the things I am thinking of are:

Missions you must fight after conversation has taken place - with FPs (even using startcontract) it seems that you can pull out of doing a mission any time up to pressing "deploy".
Flashpoints that don't end in either a reward screen or a "you have failed"-type message.
Marking certain systems on the star map to indicate where to travel

And maybe more besides. There are a lot of "strings" that are be associated with different variables in the milestone sets, some of which are referred to on the previous page. For example, entering "CompletedWithoutReward". It occurred to me that maybe there are many more that we are not aware of (or at least not documented here). That's why I am wondering if it would be useful looking at campaign files.
You can revoke the ability to back out of a deployment screen the same way consecutive missions do, just trigger that contract after a convo and you would get to the deployment selection with no recourse but to deploy to combat.
 

chomp

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Do you mean using Flashpoint_StartContract instead of Flashpoint_AddContract?

When I tried that I could back out the contract, even on the mech selection screen. StartContract only locked you into a mission when if it wasn't the first mission of the Flashpoint.

I will try it again though to check.
 

Amechwarrior

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Do you mean using Flashpoint_StartContract instead of Flashpoint_AddContract?

When I tried that I could back out the contract, even on the mech selection screen. StartContract only locked you into a mission when if it wasn't the first mission of the Flashpoint.

I will try it again though to check.
The contract .json itself needs to have the cancel button disabled in addition to the StartContract action in the MS. Otherwise you will be able to cancel if you only have the MS StartContract. From the Guide:

When you are making a consecutive mission, you must remove the players ability to negotiate, cancel back out in to the simGame and set a fixed negotiation rate for them as below:
  • "disableNegotations" : true,
  • "disableCancelButton" : true,
  • "negotiatedSalary" : 0.25,
  • "negotiatedSalvage" : 0.75,
The negotiated scale values are "0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1" to represent the 5 levels of both Salary and Salvage. In the example above, it is set to Salary at one tick from minimum and Salvage at one tick from max. You may want to tune this to the mission type and how good or bad the employer's relation is at this point in the FP. There could be ways to setup a high Salvage payout on a mission like Target Acquisition or a minimum salvage rate for a Battle and then have a conversation after where the crew and employer get in to an argument over getting screwed out of a good reward.
 

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@Amechwarrior would it be possible to ( or is it possible ) change existing dlc flashpoints to show up on another appropriate planet?

reason i ask is BEX3025 CE has the whole ISM and when The Cache user made fp showed up in proper Kurita space i got to thinking.
wouldnt it be cool if some of the periphery FPs could pop up on some other random periphery planet or the steiner/kurita in proper areas and the marik/liao/davion elsewhere in their territories.
 

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@unclecid short answer: probably. It should be possible because of ModTek being able to merge changes. You would need "just" need to modify the required tags for the Flashpoint to change the planet name tag or, if you want to introduce some randomness, remove the planet_name and put in planet_faction_?? tags appropriately. How exactly that would work is a different question since those FPs are compiled into the assetbundle...

On a similar note though, is there a way to say that a Flashpoint depends on a particular DLC to be present? Just wondering for my own purposes since, in the process of building lances, I was tempted to put in ECM-equipped units but then realized that maybe that wouldn't be good if a player didn't have the right DLC to have those units / gear.
 

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Just finished designing my first FP :D

Amechwarrior, thanks a lot for posting this guide and for designing The Raid, both were a great starting point and reference for all the questions I had.

20190922140932_1.jpg
 
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Venomhide

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I was so excited to stumble upon this thread, but the more I read it the more I realize I'm either too tired, too old, or too impatient to figure out what I just read :'(
Sucks, I really like the idea of creating a plethora of Flashpoints to endlessly continue my own campaign character's progress!

So that brings me to my next question: Is there a collection of these Flashpoints that various community members have made that people like me could quickly download and place in a folder? Not mods, per say, just additional fan-made content I could just slip in that otherwise changes none of the game itself?
 

Hobbes__

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I was so excited to stumble upon this thread, but the more I read it the more I realize I'm either too tired, too old, or too impatient to figure out what I just read :'(
Sucks, I really like the idea of creating a plethora of Flashpoints to endlessly continue my own campaign character's progress!

So that brings me to my next question: Is there a collection of these Flashpoints that various community members have made that people like me could quickly download and place in a folder? Not mods, per say, just additional fan-made content I could just slip in that otherwise changes none of the game itself?

There are two standalone Flashpoints made that are available on Nexusmods: the Raid and the Cache. The larger mods (RT, 3062) have also Flashpoints but they haven't been updated to 1.8 yet and they're likely integrated with the rest of the mod.