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Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

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  • [GUIDE] Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

    I started this thread about 4+ years ago. Now I would like to edit this with updated information as the tools and programs have changed over the years. While some information is outdated there have been exciting and improved tools and programs to help with mission editing. I will keep the original format of steps and keep the general purpose of opening up and looking into a mission.

    Step 1: Finding mission files.
    So far there are two ways I can retrive mission files with the pbo extension: from MPMissionCache (1.1) or from online resources (1.2)

    1.1 Once you join a server and load a mission it is downloaded to your MPMissionCache. It is located in the following folders depending on which one you are interested in:
    C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Arma 3\MPMissionsCache
    You must make hidden folders visible to be able to see AppData folder. This can be done by following this tutorial. Now you have the mission files, you can copy them and move them wherever you want (Step 3 will go into more detail about preferred location to move them).

    1.2 Arma's general community fan websites and forums are the place where people release their own content to anybody to download and use. It is here that some missions can be downloaded and tested. Two general purpose websites such as these are Armaholic and BIS forums.

    Most of these missions are released as compressed files which uses different compression techniques (.rar, .zip, .7z). 7 zip is a great tool for decompressing.

    Step 2: Extracting mission files (UnPBO).
    After Step 1 you should have a file with .pbo extension. Now to really look inside the mission you have to extract the .pbo file (unpbo). My tool of choice is PBO Manager program. Once extracted you will have list of folders and files.

    Step 3: Editor and preview.
    Once positioned in the correct folder you can see this mission in your Multiplayer editor as Unkl demonstrates in his guide video. The location to place the unpbo-ed folder for me is:
    C:\Users\hedgehog\Documents\Arma 3 - Other Profiles\hedgehog\MPMissions
    Once placed you may open and look in the editor and preview much like any mission you are creating.

    Step 4: Editor and preview.
    Almost all of the missions have .sqf files which is the part of its scripting. To be able to open, view and edit them, specific programs and tools are recommended. My current setup is Atom with a syntax highlighter from the ACE team. You can simply search arma within Atom editor and install the most popular one.


    TexView 2 will allow you to open and view and convert to and from .paa image files. (Phasing out in Arma 3 but still compatible and used by some mission makers.)
    VLC player will allow you to play videos and audios used in Arma missions. Radio chatter and intro videos can be played with VLC (.ogv and .ogg files)
    Last edited by hedgehog; 05-03-2018, 07:35 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

    are we just going to use .bmp or .jpeg for arma 3? or are they making another texture file type?

    oh and thanks for linking the sqf highlighter... thought something like that existed but wasnt sure
    Yink | Vanilla Pilot | Killer of Stirling | CS GOD | Projects Team


    • #3
      Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

      Nice work B.

      Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

      "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

      Friend of |TG| Chief


      • #4
        Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

        Adding for reference. Steam workshop is now integrated into Arma 3. You subscribe to a mission and it will automatically download and update as the content provider updates his mission. But where does these mission files go? What if we want to edit the mission for our community?

        They go to:

        C://Program Files/Steam/userdata/some_random_number/ugc/referenced
        Last edited by hedgehog; 05-03-2018, 07:20 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

          Extra info
          Some pbos wont allow you to depbo them, This is normally because they where created with a double folder structure or with eliteness.

          Either way eliteness is the tool that will unpack them for you.
          The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.


          • #6
            Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

            Bangabob added a tutorial on how to enable SQF syntax highlighting onto Notepad++ in his video. I thnk it is an essential setup for editing scripts for Arma. You can also view .ext, .sqm files with the syntax highlighted by selecting the language.


            • #7
              Editing to update:

              I have found Atom editor which has a Arma 3 syntax highlighting package made by the ACE mod team. The setup is powerful and easy enough for me hunt down this thread and update all of my posts on it. Set it up and then you will realize how much better it is from the old Notepad++ setup.
              Last edited by hedgehog; 05-03-2018, 07:42 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

                Wait... you mean I don't have to do it the hard way!?

                Thanks B

                Why did the policeman sit on the toilet?

                To do his duty :)


                • #9
                  Re: Tools and programs. Gutting a mission.

                  [MENTION=4091]|TG| B[/MENTION], you sir are a scholar and a gentleman.
                  Thank you for this thread. It is absolutely paramount in regards to mission making. For all levels of ones aptitude.

                  Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

                  TGU Instructor TG Pathfinder

                  Former TGU Dean Former ARMA Admin Former Irregulars Officer

                  "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold


                  • #10
                    I have edited and updated the original post as well as my following posts to promote Atom editor and the ACE mod team's syntax highlighter on it. This new setup gives the power of an integrated development environment with very easy setup process. Once you install Atom you can simply search arma in the packages and then you can install it with a click of a button. Atom is a cross-platform editor meaning that you can run this on Linux, Windows and Mac.

                    But today the main topic of this post is about how to setup Dropbox such that everything you edit will be synchronized up across multiple computers including your main gaming computer, your work computer, a PC at your mom's place lol. This way you can edit scripts and missions anywhere you go by simply opening up a text editor like Atom and scripting away tiny changes and it will be synchronized once you come home to your main editing machine. If you computer crashes all of your missions that you have been editing will be safe and sound in the Dropbox cloud.

                    The following guide assumes that you have a dropbox account and have installed it in your computers. Dropbox is a free personal cloud storage system. The problem is that only one folder is synchronized. The trick to using this for Arma development is to move the mpmissions folder into the dropbox folder and create a symbolic link in Windows so that Arma 3 program can still read mpmissions folder to edit missions in Eden editor. This guide is based on this article at lifehacker.

                    Step 1: mpmissions folder

                    Locate your mpmissions folder. This folder is created when you create your first multiplayer mission in the eden editor and save it. Refer to Original Post Step 3 for further details.

                    Step 2: Move your mpmissions folder into somewhere in Dropbox folder

                    Like any good practice back up and remember your mpmissions folder if you have a lot of missions in it. But mpmissions folder cannot be in the Documents/Arma 3 folder anymore. But instead it should now live in the Dropbox folder somewhere. This way it will be synchronized all the time and files in it will be able to be accessed by any computer.

                    Step 3: Create a junction so that Arma 3 can still access the mpmissions folder

                    This is done in Windows 10 64 bit machine. Windows 7 is not tested and not known if the following does work.
                    1. open cmd with administrative right by searching cmd and right clicking on Command Prompt.
                    2. once the command prompt opens type in the following:
                    mklink /J "C:\Users\hedgehog\Documents\Arma 3\mpmissions" "C:\Users\hedgehog\Dropbox\arma\mpmissions"
                    • Note that my username is hedgehog and yours will be different. When in doubt verify these paths with Windows Explorer.
                    • Note my mpmissions folder resides in a folder called arma inside the dropbox folder.

                    Step 3: Verify and if needed recover
                    If it was successful, you will see a shortcut now in the Documents\Arma 3 folder called mpmissions. When you double click it, it will traverse to the dropbox location. Now you can make sure all your mpmissions still can be edited by opening up Arma 3 and hosting a server locally and see if you can still see you missions.
                    I have worked with this setup for a while now. It is efficient and allows me to edit files during down times at work or while on a trip away from my gaming PC. If you even have a nice laptop that can run Arma 3 eden editor you can do the same thing and edit missions in eden editor while traveling. All changes will be synchronized across all computers as long as Dropbox is working in the background.


                    • #11
                      Audacity is a good free Audio program, I use Notepad++ and ARMA Tools as well.

                      Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                      "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                      Friend of |TG| Chief




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