Custom missions

FreeSpace2 Multi-Player Mission Design Guidelines

Mission guidelines:

The following list denotes the basic mission requirements you should adhere to in making multi-player missions:

  • Loads/runs without any errors from FRED2
  • no modified table files or data
  • no obscenities
  • no objectionable content. Examples of this include (but are not limited to) demeaning references to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference
  • Of comparable difficulty to existing FreeSpace 2 missions (later campaign missions for single player, PXO validated missions for multiplayer)
  • Acceptable framerate on a P2/333 w/ Voodoo 1 card
  • no voice or other self-made .wav files

File naming convention:

  • Each single player mission you submit should be named with the following convention: Designer Callsign_mMission Number_revision letter.fs2
  • For example, if IceFire were to submit a multiplayer mission, he would name it: IceFire_m01_a.fs2
  • If he were to resubmit the same mission with changes after receiving some feedback, the subsequent submission would be named: IceFire_m01_b.fs2
  • If he were to submit a different mission with separate content for consideration, this next mission would be named: IceFire_m02_a.fs2
  • The above convention adheres to multi-player missions submitted for validation. Volition is no longer accepting single player missions for testing.
  • For the sake of organization (and our sanity) we must insist that any submissions you receive not adhering to this convention not be considered unless properly renamed.
  • We have chosen not to allow campaigns to be submitted given the extensive amount of time and resources it would take to properly inspect and test them.

Notes and Tips:

  • Submitting your mission to Volition is not a guarantee it will be validated.
  • You are expected to fully test and debug your mission BEFORE submission. Incomplete missions will not be considered.
  • Try not to get carried away; granted, warping in 25 new fighters to shoot down all at once is challenging and fun, but it will slow a netgame to a crawl over lesser connections. The same goes for capital ships - having an Orion, a Colossus, a Ravana, a Sathanas, several Mjolnir cannons, and twelve Corvettes duking it out while you have a background full of nebulas and the maximum number of stars and an asteroid field is simply not going to make for optimal gameplay
  • Check your briefings and the accompanying graphics in both high and low resolution. Often, text gets cut off in low resolution because too much is said and there's not enough space. Briefing icons and their labels often overlap.
  • Have people review both the placement and content of your dialogue. Often, mission dialogue is laced with incorrect spelling, poor grammar, and sounds out of context with the rest of the universe. Also, major conversations should be reserved for lulls in the action; people don't have the time to read twenty lines of text when they're flying to save their lives while bombing a capital ship
  • Balance your weapon/ship loadouts. Sometimes, a mission will seem extremely difficult or challenging with your present weapon set, but becomes a piece of cake for someone who prefers a different type of missile or gun. Make sure it's equally challenging (as much as possible) for different kinds of weapons and ships
  • Symbolic expressions: test EVERY possibility, and remember the number of outcomes grows exponentially every time you introduce a new dependence. For instance, if your have two expressions with two different outcomes each, there are four possible mission outcomes. Adding a third expression makes for eight possible outcomes. A fourth makes for sixteen…it's easy to miss one in testing. Very often, the missions will "break" in several outcomes if the designer/testers were careless.
  • Directives should be tied to the proper events. Return to base directives can be tricky; make sure they come up as active rather than failed or fulfilled and at the right time.
  • Debriefing logic: just like the symbolic expressions in the sense that there are several possibilities as the mission grows more complex. This is probably the most common problem seen; debriefings do not entirely match what actually happened in the mission.
  • Starting positions: make sure your ships arrive in logical points and aren't going to collide with others when the mission starts. Unless it has to do with the plot of the mission, your pilot and other fighters shouldn't be warping in 25 kilometers from the action to start.