Wings Editor

Wings EditorThe Wings Editor is very similar to the Ships Editor. Whenever the same option exists in both the Ships Editor and the Wings Editor it is usually better to use the Wings Editor version as this ensures all ships in the wing remain the same and none are accidentally missed out.

# Of Waves by default is set to 1. If this is increased as soon as the number of ships remaining gets down to the number of ships specified in Wave Threshold a new wave of ships will become eligible to jump in. By default the Wave Threshold is 0 meaning you have to kill all the ships in a wave before the next one will be triggered.

The Delay Between Waves is the time that an eligible wave will wait before they appear. It is very important to set this if the Wave Threshold is 0 as otherwise new ships will appear as soon as the player destroys the last ship in the previous wave. This can give the impression that they were sitting around waiting for their friends to die before jumping in.

Reinforcement Unit sets the wing as a reinforcement unit that can be called in during the mission by the player.

Ignore For Counting Goals means that the ships in this wing will not change the numbers in directives including sexps like is-destroyed-delay, etc. i.e the number of ships that need to be destroyed will remain the same regardless of whether ships in this wing are destroyed or not.

No Arrival Music turns off the music when certain wings arrive. Similarly, No Arrival Message turns off the built in-in messages that ships send on arrival.

No Dynamic Goals helps ensure that ships in this wing only follow the orders they have been given. Care must be used with this setting as it does mean that ships won't take much evasive action when being shot at.

Delete Wing deletes all of the ships in the wing, while Disband Wing leaves the ships in the same place but makes them individual ships again rather than part of any wing.

Objects Editor

Objects EditorThis editor allows you to positions with a great deal more accuracy than you could using your mouse. If you have selected multiple objects they will all move relative to the marked object. Using Point To allows you to make the selected object(s) point to another object or a point in space. The latter can be useful when you want to make a ship point straight up or down, etc.

Waypoint Paths/Jumpnode Names Editor

Waypoints EditorWaypoints are points in space that the game uses for various things (giving ships orders to fly to certain places, for instance). Unlike Navpoints they can not be viewed by the player as they are only really used by the game itself.

This editor allows you to change the ugly and confusing default names into something easier to use. This allows you to rename a waypoint path. This could be useful if you have so many paths that it's hard to keep track of the numbers.

If you're working on a game that features jumpnodes (Diaspora doesn't) you can also rename them here.

Mission Objectives Editor

Mission Objectives/Goals EditorThis editor (often called the Mission Goals Editor since the SEXPs refer to goals not objectives) allows you to set up the player's goals/objectives for the mission (both words are used interchangeably but do not confuse objectives/goals with directives as they are something different).

Primary and Secondary goals do not have much difference beyond where they are displayed on the mission briefing screen. Bonus goals on the other hand do not appear anywhere in the game until they are completed.

The Name of the goal appears if you press F4 and look at your mission objectives while the line below is the one that appears in the mission briefing. Completing a goal will add to your Score. You need to specify which Team gets the points if you are making a multiplayer team vs team mission but otherwise you can ignore this.

Objective Invalid allows you to prevent goals appearing or becoming true until they are made valid using the validate-goal SEXP. This allows you to make a goal possible only if other things have happened in the mission.

Don't Play Completion Sound prevents music being played when this goal is completed.

Team Loadout Editor

Team LoadoutBy default when the player starts the mission he will able to fly the ship assigned to him in the main FRED screen with whatever are its default weapons.

If you use this editor the player will then be able to choose from the ships and weapons you have given them access to here (There is a similar list in the Campaign Editor which may disallow ships enabled here though).

In multiplayer TvT games you will need to use this editor to set up the loadout for both teams. You can however use Balance Teams from the Options menu to copy the currently selected team data over that of the other team.

The editor is basically split in two with the left controlling ship loadout and the right controlling weapons. The two are basically the same so we'll only cover ships here. In order to select a ship class you must select a line from the From Variable or From Table Entry boxes. You then use the Extra Available option to set the number of ships of that class that are available (or use Set Amount From Variable to set the number available to the value of a variable). Using variables is only of any use in a campaign (where you can set the value of the variable in one mission and then use it in a later one). For a stand alone mission you might as well ignore them.

Amount Used In Wings shows you the number of ships of the selected class that are already present in friendly wings. Player Entry Delay is a delay on mission start before the player will be allowed to do anything.

Background Editor

Background Editor Import

The background editor allows you to have two different backgrounds in a file. Only the first one will be used in the game though. You can use the second one to make it easier to Import entire background settings from other missions though. By using the Swap With option you can then compare the two backgrounds against each other and decide which one you prefer.

Background Bitmaps Editor

Bitmaps and Suns work in much the same way. They allow you to take premade images and add them to the background of the mission. Suns give out light unlike bitmaps. Choose the image from the drop down menu and click Add (at time of writing there is a bug where this works backwards but that might be fixed by the time you read this).

The settings below the drop down allow you to set the Pitch, Bank and Heading of the image. This allows you to choose where the image will appear in the mission. All three are in degrees so changing them in 5 degree steps will quickly allow you to see how they work.

Scale is used to decide how big the image will be.

Divisions is an old setting that has little effect in modern missions.

Ambient LightAmbient Light allows you to set the colour of the ambient lighting present in the mission.

Background NebulaThe Nebula settings allow you to set up two very different kinds of nebulae. The top half of the section mainly deals with full nebula missions. The bottom half sets up nebulae of the types used in FS1 and is unused in Diaspora. It basically works in a way similar to the bitmaps or suns section.

Full Nebula turns on the nebula system. The Poofs tickboxes allow you to choose which colour clouds will appear in the nebula.

Range determines how much the nebula affects DRADIS. Ships more than half this distance from the player can not be picked up on DRADIS properly and will appear as intermittent signals. Ships that are beyond this distance can't be picked up at all.

Pattern determines the main background for the mission.

Lightning Storm allows you to set the mission in a much more turbulent nebula, even one that disrupts communication and HUD functions.

Fog Near and Fog Far Multiplier affect how far into a nebula ships are visible.

Backgrounds MiscTakes Place Inside Subspace is a Freespace 2 setting that allows you to set up missions that don't take place in normal space. It is of little use in Diaspora.

You specify the Number of Stars (0 to 2000) that will appear in the background of the mission by moving the slider bar but this is an older technique which has since been superseded by the use of a Skybox Model. A suitable starfield model is provided with Diaspora and most other FS2_Open games will also provide their own models. Skyboxes can also be used to add large, higher quality background images than the bitmap panel can. The tradeoff is that you can't position or resize them without editing the Skybox itself (Something you can't do from in FRED).

Skybox Flags can be used to alter the way skyboxes will appear in-game. Few people alter these settings from the default though.

FS2_Open will automatically generate an Environment Map on running the game, but if you wish to specify one of your own, you may do so here.

Reinforcements Editor

Reinforcements Editor

This editor allows you to set a ship or wing as reinforcements which can be called in via the comms menu in-game.

Uses allows you to change the number of times you can call a wing in. Obviously it does nothing for single ships as they can only be called once. For wings this is basically the number of waves that can be called in. After you have called in reinforcements you must wait Delay After Arrival seconds before you'll be allowed to call another wave in.

Mission Specs Editor

This editor allows you to set various settings that affect the mission as a whole.

All Teams at War

Disable Built-in Messages allows you to turn off all the automatic messages the game will send from all sources while Disable Built-in Command Messages only turns of the ones send from the Command Persona.

If the player attacks friendly ships the game will send an automatic message warning them to stop, if they do not they will be branded a traitor and all friendly ships will become hostile to them. If the player survives the mission he will be given a special debriefing as a traitor and the mission will be considered a failure. You can turn off all this behaviour simply by ticking No Traitor.

FS2_Open automatically turns off all beam weapons on turrets. There are SEXPs to turn them back on (Beam-free and Beam-free-all) but since this is somewhat tedious, All Ships Beam-Freed by Default turns beams on for all ships. None of this has any effect in games like Diaspora since there are no beam weapons in the first place.

Allow Daisy Chain Docking is used to tell the game that your mission contains ships docked in this sort of fashion A->B->C->D. Simply docking everything to A is allowed without needing to do anything.

No Briefing prevents the game from displaying the briefing screen at the start of a mission.

Toggle Debriefing turns off debriefings for all game modes except multiplayer dogfight where it replaces the kill matrix with a normal debriefing.

Player Starts Under AI Control does exactly what you'd expect. It is mostly used in tutorials or in-game cutscenes.

AI Profile is used to pick which of a set of preprepared game settings will be used. In general you should use the default one for the game the mission is for.

Custom Wing Names

Custom Wing NamesThe Custom Wing Names dialog is used to set the names of the wings that appear in Loadout and on the HUD.

Starting Wing Names is used to determine the names of the wings that will appear on the loadout screen of the briefing in every type of mission except multiplayer TvT missions.

Squadron Wing Names is used to determine the names of the wings that will be shown on the HUD. FS2_Open will show the status of any of the five wings named on this line.

Team verses Team Wing Names is the equivalent of Starting Wing Names for TvT missions.

Logo And Loading ScreensYou can use the Squadron Reassign panel to put the player in a particular squadron for the duration of this mission. (This contrasts with their regular multiplayer squadron.)

You can give the squadron a Name and specify what Logo will be painted on the side of the player's ship.

The game allows you to pick Loading Screens for the two main supported resolutions from this panel too. The image will be shown while the mission loads.

Support And MusicSome games on FS2_Open allow you to use support ships in order to rearm. If you Disallow Support Ships, the player cannot reload their secondary weapons after the mission begins. You can also allow Support Ships to repair hull damage from here and set a limit on just how well they can repair it or destroyed subsystems using the Hull Repair Ceiling/Subsystem Repair options.

The Ship Trails panel is used to turn the smoke trails ships can be set to leave behind on or off.

The Built-in Command Messages options allow you to set the name and persona that is used for sending the built-in messages that the game can send. By default these messages are sent by #Command.

Mission Music indicates what music is played during the mission. Some games include music as an optional download in order to reduce the amount that must be download. In this case you can specify a track to be played If Music Pack Is Present and a Default that you know the game will be able to find.This allows you to for instance make missions for Diaspora R1 which can use music from R2 if it is also present.

Global Ship Flags Editor

Global Ship Flags EditorThis editor simply allows you to set ship flags for all the ships currently present in a mission. You could have the effect by simply selecting everything and using the Ship Flags Dialog.

Voice Acting Manager

Voice Acting ManagerThe voice acting manager allows you to set the file names for messages and briefings in the mission and allows you to easily generate a script for the mission. The editor doesn't actually do anything you couldn't do manually but it greatly speeds up the process of adding voices to a mission and the auto-generation of a script allows you to easily get all the speech in the game into a text file which doesn't have the rest of the mission data in it. This can then be handed out to potential voice actors. The left side of the editor deals with filling in file names, the right with script auto-generation.

Abbreviations allows you to add a short suffix to all the messages of that type. So all the command briefings will be xxxx1-cmd, xxxx2-cmd while the debriefings can be xxxx1-deb, etc.

Suffix should be set to the same format as the sounds you are recording. This ensures that the file name ends up with the right file type suffix depending on whether the sound is a .ogg or .wav.

Don't Replace Existing File Names as might be expected won't replace any filenames already defined in the mission. Use this for cleaning up a mission you've already added voice acting to.

Once you've set up all the filenames correctly you can just press the Generate File Names button.

Script Entry Format allows you to decide which order you want your script entries to appear in. You may only want the messages themselves to appear in the script or you may want the filenames too so your voice actors save them with the correct names. It's up to you.

The Export radio buttons allow you to choose which parts of the mission you want to appear in the script. Once you've decided, press the Generate Script button and the script will be saved to the missions folder.

Fiction Viewer Editor

Fiction Viewer EditorDiaspora has not used the fiction viewer at time of writing but all it really does is display a single text file. The controls should be pretty self explanatory.

Command Briefing Editor

Command Briefing EditorThis editor controls the first of two briefing types the game allows. Command Briefings will play an animation in the corner and display some text and are generally used to give a broad overview of the mission or the events leading up to it. Briefings and Debriefings are always split into stages. The game plays the stages in order. In the case of the two briefings editors only one stage is played at a time.

To create a command briefing you must first Add a stage (afterwards you may use Insert if you need add stages in front of this one).

You then add the text you wish to have displayed into the Briefing Text box.

Ani Filename allows you to choose the name of the animation that is displayed with this briefing.

Wave Filename is the name of the voice acting file you want played during the command briefing.

Briefing Editor

Briefing EditorThe second of the briefing editors usually is used to handle the details of the mission itself. As with the Command Briefing Editor, briefings are divided into stages.

When making multiplayer Team vs Team missions you must use the Select Team menu to decide which team gets this briefing. If you do not do this, both teams will get the same briefing.

Camera Transition Time dictates how long the game will take to move from one stage of the briefing to the next. This allows you to make it so that the icons for ships seem to move. If you don't wish to do this, the Cut To Next/Previous Stage tickboxes allow you to fade from one stage to the next with a burst of static.

As you might expect, Text is the actual text which will be displayed for this stage of the briefing. You can also choose a Voice Wave File if you have voice acting for this briefing.

Briefing Music has two entries. The game will play the tune specified by If Music Pack Is Present if it can find it, otherwise it will play the Default. In general you should look at both lists and if they are the same, just specify a Default, leaving the other option blank.

Usage Formula is a SEXP that determines whether this briefing will be played or not. In most missions this is simply left as true, but you may wish to use SEXPs such as is-previous-event-true to make whether this briefing stage plays or not dependent on the events of earlier missions in the campaign.

The rest of the editor deals with icons. The icon system is unfortunately needlessly complicated but since it does allow you to see what is going on, you simply need to look carefully at the main window. While you work with the briefing editor, the main view will shrink to a much smaller size. It is worth remembering that the grid will still be displayed as seen when the game actually runs. This allows you to place icons onto the grid in such a way that they appear to move during the briefing. Although you can rotate the grid as usual with the editor open, your changes to the view will only reset if you choose Save View. Similarly Goto View resets to the last saved view. Copy View and Paste View allow you to copy and paste the view from one stage to another.

Briefing EditorIn order to create an icon you must select a ship and press the Make Icon button. Icons appear only on the current stage but you can Propagate them to all later stages.

Label is the name of the ship that will appear in the briefing. This doesn't have to be the real name of course. Image Icon is the type of icon that will appear and this is determined in a rather arcane fashion based on the species of the ship (Cylons or Colonials). The image is of course visible so play around with the setting and Team until you get the one you're after. Ship Type determines the ship that will be shown if you click on the icon in-game. Changes to these settings will also change the same icon in other briefing stages unless Change Locally is set.

Highlight allows you to show an icon is important to this stage of the briefing by making it stand out.

Flip Icon, flips the icon horizontally. It is basically useless for the DRADIS icons used in Diaspora but other games use icons of the ships and sometimes wish for them to point in the opposite direction.

Finally, if you select more than one icon you can Draw Lines Between Marked Icons.

Debriefing Editor

Debriefing EditorAs with the Briefing and Command Briefing editors, this editor also allows you to split up your debriefing into stages. This is very important as which stages are played is dependent on whether or not the player completed his mission objectives.

Usage Formula is used to determine under which conditions a particular stage is played. If the formula evaluates to true the Text is shown. Recommendation Text is only shown if the player presses the button to see it. This is generally used to give the player advice on how to complete some part of the mission that they have failed.

Debriefing Music allows you to choose which music will be played. The number of goals completed determines whether you get the Success, Average or Failure music.

Shield System Editor

Shield SystemThis editor is useless in Diaspora since ships do not have shields. In other FS2_Open games it allows you to turn off all the shields for one particular class of ships or one particular team of ships.

Asteroid Field Editor

AsteroidsAlso known as the Debris Field Editor this editor allows you to create a field of asteroids or ship debris over a certain area. FS2_Open supports two types of asteroid fields Active and Passive. Debris can only be Passive. Active fields will actually fling asteroids at any large ship entering them. These asteroids will appear with a white targeting border around them and can be shot down before they hit the ship but this will initially lead to them splitting in half. Passive fields unsurprisingly just sit there.

The Brown, Blue and Orange boxes denote the kind of asteroid in each field. You can have as many kinds in the field as you wish. Obviously you must have at least one kind so if you leave them all unselected the engine will pick one for you.

If you instead choose to have ship debris, you can use the 3 pulldown boxes to choose which races/ships the debris is made up of.

The Number of asteroids generated can have an effect on performance. Especially in very dense fields. You can also set the Average Speed of the asteroids here. Setting this to 0 will make the asteroids stationary.

For all kinds of field you must decide on an Outer Box which denotes the size of the field. If you have an Active Field, you can also denote an Inner Box. Ships within this second box will not have asteroids thrown at them and no asteroids will spawn here.