SCN Punk Scenario Editor Guide by Yehoshua Yisra’el (SCN PUNK)

With the permission of Yehoshua Yisra’el and SCN Punk, we are re-releasing the scenario editor guide to the public.

Welcome to SCN Punk’s SWGB Editor Guide. In this editor, there are several conditions and effects to understand and use to their full potential. As you can imagine, this can grow confusing and a detailed list of their abilities and how they work would be useful. The editor also contains many tricks and various ways to design eye candy. Along with any editor, there is bugs that will possibly ruin your game or bugs you can exploit to make your scenario more interesting. Below you can use the anchors to find more information. What you cannot find is archived here and here.

Conditions are the most important part of a trigger if not the least often used. In order for most of your triggers to work, you must have a condition to activate the effect. The triggers in SWGB are basically similar to the old AOK editor. It is still set up in a cause and effect way. The conditions are the cause and the effects, well they name themselves ;). To understand the triggers better, a detailed explanation of the conditions is an advisable thing.

Bring Object to Area - When an Object is in the area selected, a designated effect will activate.

Bring Object to Object - When an Object is near the other object selected, a designated effect will activate.

Own Objects - When you own these objects, a designated effect will activate.

Own Fewer Objects - When fewer objects of this sort are on the map, an effect will be activated.

Objects in Area - When objects of this player type are in the area selected, an effect will activate.

Destroy Object - When this object selected is destroyed, an effect will be activated.

Capture Object - When this object is captured, usually through conversion, an effect will turn on.

Accumulate Attribute - When a certain amount of resources are collected it normally activates the trigger of send tribute. This is often used when you are “buying” something from a computer player.

Research Technology - When certain technologies are researched, an effect will occur.

Timer - After the time entered has elapsed, a effect will turn on.

Object Selected - When a object is selected it will turn on an effect. This is used often when “civilians talk to the player. It is also suggested to place a ten second timer between the displays of chats to prevent the screen from lagging when you hold your mouse on the unit selected too long.

AI Signal - When an AI signal is made, an effect will be activated. This is rarely used, and takes someone who is familiar with AI scripts to use it correctly.

Player Defeated - When a certain player is defeated, a designated effect will activate.

Object has Target - When an object is targeting a unit to attack, an effect will take place.

Object is Visible - When objects are visible to the Human Player, a designated effect will activate.

Object not Visible - When objects are not visible to the Human Player, an effect will activate.

Researching Technology - While you are researching a technology, a designated effect will activate.

Units Garrisoned - When units are garrisoned within the structure indicated, an effect will turn on.

Difficulty Level - When a difficulty level is at a certain level, an effect will take place, usually making the game harder or easier.

Own Fewer Foundations - when fewer foundations are owned, a designated effect will activate.

Select Objects in Area - When objects are selected when in an area, a effect will take place.

Powered Objects in Area - When a powered object, normally powered up by a power core, is in this area, an effect will take place.

Units Queued Pass Pop Cap - When units are being created and a message pops up that units are Queued pass the population limit, this means that you have reached the maximum amount of units you can create, and the rest will pause until space in the population limit is made. While they wait for space to be made, an effect will be activated due to this.

Effects are the backbone of any trigger. Without effects, it is much harder and sometimes impossible to make a good scenario. How you use the effects are varied. On occasions you will need a condition to active the effect. Sometimes, in certain cases, conditions are not needed.

Change Alliance - This will change the alliances of the source player, and the player it is “targeting”.

Research Technology - This will research a technology for that player you selected.

Send Chat - This will send a small chat near the bottom of the screen to the player you have chosen.

Play Sound - This will play a sound for a player you chose.

Tribute - This will tribute a resources from the source player to the “target” player.

Unlock Gate - This will unlock the gate selected.

Lock Gate - This will lock the gate selected.

Activate Trigger - This will activate the trigger selected.

Deactivate Trigger - This will deactivate the trigger selected.

AI Script Goal - This will make a AI be turned on for a certain player. Works only for the computer player, and the player must know what each AI stands for.

Create Object - This will create an object - Unit - Building - Hero - Other - for any player.

Task Object - This will task the object selected or the objects not selected. Be sure to designate a player to task.

Declare Victory - This will declare victory for a certain player.

Kill Object - This will kill the object selected or in area.

Remove Object - This will remove the object selected or in area.

Scroll View - This effect will move the screen over to the area selected.

Unload - This effect will unload the water/air transport

Change Ownership - This will change the ownership from one player to the next.

Patrol - This will move the unit where it was selected to the location indicated back and forth.

Display Instructions - This will display messages in yellow text.

Clear Instructions - this will clear the instructions.

Freeze Unit - This does not make the unit not move, it merely makes it stand ground.

Enable Advanced Buttons - The Name pretty much says it all. This will enable your Advanced Command Buttons.

Damage Object - This will damage the object selected.

Place Foundation - This is like the create object effect, but it places a foundation for a player to build instead of the building being there outright.

Change Object Name - This will change the names of the object(s) selected.

Change Object HP - This will change the hit points of the object(s) selected or in area.

Change Object Attack - This will change the attack points of the object(s) selected or in area.

Stop Unit - This will stop the unit(s) selected or in area.

Snap View - This is the best way to change the player’s view across the map without using the scroll view effect.

Disable Advanced Buttons - The Name pretty much says it all. This will disable your Advanced Command Buttons.

Enable Tech - Enables a technology to be researched.

Disable Tech - Disables a technology to be researched.

Enable Unit - Enables a unit to be created

Disable Unit - Disables a unit to be created

Flash Objects - This was one of my favorite effects. Instead of using two, maybe three effects to flash the unit, you merely have to select this effect, and select the object in question.

Turn Input Off - This effect will not work in SWGB. We determined that it might have been set up for cut scene manipulation but was canceled and the designers forgot to remove them.

Turn Input On - This effect will not work in SWGB. We determined that it might have been set up for cut scene manipulation but was canceled and the designers forgot to remove them.

Most beginners are plagued by bugs they do not understand. Here is some of the more common problems that occurs.

My Scenario crashes seconds after the game starts!
This is a common problem. This mainly deals with either too many units or objects on the screen for the owner’s computer to handle, and/or too many triggers working at once. This can be solved by deactivating major triggers and causing them to activate seconds apart.

I tell it to “…insert problem…” and it crashes!
Sometimes this occurs when you make the computer to something it absolutely cannot do. If you tell it to kill all gaia on the screen, problems will occur. Trees, rocks, and other gaia materials being tasked on looping will cause crashing due to the strain to task the gaia units. Such problems are common, and can be solved by being careful of what you are tasking, and selecting the names of the units to task.

I try to select a unit to “…insert condition/effect…” but it has a white ring around it and will not go away!
This is a problem even expert designers have to deal with. There is no way to stop it, but it easily can be fixed by saving your game, exiting into the main menu and reloading the scenario.

My unit suddenly dies but there is no damage or kill trigger!
This can happen when you have a hit point effect looping. After awhile, this will build up too far, and will kill the unit.

“When I place a tree or terrain on a patch of “…insert plant name…” it crashes to desktop!”
This happens often with plants. It cannot be solved, and there is no way around it, but to delete the plant, place the a tree or terrain and replace the plant.

“I click on a button in the editor, then suddenly the game freezes up and crashes!”
This is a problem dealing with the game itself. It cannot be prevented, but will not do much damage if you save often.

Some of the more complex things of scenario design is not the triggers, but the map it’s self. One can have a thousand triggers, but a ill made map, and will never achieve to impress its players.

Below you can see an example of a water fall. This was first started in AOK and continues to be the a used eye candy throughout AOK and SWGB. It was made by placing bridge middles and removing them.

Another screenshot, this time it shows someone crossing shallows that span a small creek. It was created by using a colorful combination of plants available in the SWGB editor.

Sometimes there is occasions in which you might want to take your game indoors inside a building. Even there you must have eye candy and eye catching things inside. Below you can see an example of an obstacle course as it shoots fire across the passageway vaporizing trash in a sewage plant. It was made with a simple combination of the creating and killing explosion triggers.

Other great Eye Candy ideas from AOK can still be used, while outdated, they still are quite useful and look great. You can access these at the SCN Punk Database.

There is always questions that can’t be classified under triggers and eye candy. While they may involve the use of the two, understanding conditions and effects won’t enable you to be able to comprehend the tricks and options that have been learned over the years. Below you may find a few examples of these commonly asked questions, if you have more, look in responses in the post.

“I want to get rid of that ugly yellow text and change its colors…”
Simple, right before the text in the effect “Display Instructions” type:

merely surround the name of the color with < and >.

“I always see these complex chat’s and talks by expert designers, how do they do that!?”
It’s very easy, and there is many ways to do it.

Here is two triggers that make the unit talk:

Object Looping: ON

Condition - Object Selected
Changer Ownership: Player Two to One.
Changer Ownership: Player One to Two.
Display Instructions: Enter Text.

By clicking on the unit selected, you will receive a text message. These effects will also deselect the unit.

Object Looping: ON

Condition: Object Selected
Condition: Timer= 10 seconds
Display Instructions: Enter Text.

This will display the text written every ten seconds. These two triggers will prevent the game from lagging when the unit that is giving the text, is selected for a long period of time.

The Triggers that make the units chat is easier, but longer. It is best to deactivate all the triggers but the starting trigger of the chat. Here is one of the ways to make a chat with triggers:

Timer: Enter amount of time before the trigger activates.
Display Instructions: Enter Text
Flash Objects: Select the object that is chatting
Activate Trigger: Activate the next trigger in the chat.

Be careful to make the text more interesting by changing the colors, and repeat this trigger in the following chats.

“I always wondered how to lower a unit‘s hitpoints or heal them, how does this work?”
The change object hitpoint trigger allows you to increase a units hit points. The number you fill in the Change Hitpoints box will be added to the units maximum hitpoints When a units actual or maximum hitpoints are lower than 1, the unit will die. If you add 65536 hitpoints, it will be the same as adding 0 hitpoints. If you add 65536+100 hitpoints, the units hitpoints will increase by 100. If you add 65536-100 hitpoints, the units hitpoints will decrease by 100.

This way you can decrease a unit’s hitpoints by adding 65536-(desired HP decrease) to their hitpoints with the 'change object hitpoints' trigger. You can also write the hitpoints decrease directly, with a minus sign in front. You cannot enter a minus sign in the Change Hitpoints box, but you can copy/paste a minus sign in there (Right-click: paste, be warned, CTRL+V does not work), you can also type the numbers into the trigger description box.

However, since the editor resets negative numbers to 'o' when you open the effect again, it is suggested to use the '65536' method, since the editor doesn't reset that number. So in order to do the desired effect with x hitpoints to have y hitpoints, you can make the following trigger:

Condition: Anything
Change Object HP: Add (65536-x+y)

The damage object allows you to damage a unit. The number you fill in the box will be deducted from the units actual hitpoints. It is also possible to heal a unit using this trigger, due to a damage overflow which occurs at 4294967296 (2 x 32). Doing 4294967296 damage has the same effect as doing '0' damage. Doing 4294967296+100 damage will decrease your actual hitpoints by 100 (does 100 damage). Doing 4294967296-100 damage will increase your actual hitpoints by 100 (healing 100 hitpoints).

You can also copy/paste a minus sign into the box from the trigger description area. In this case it doesn't matter which method you use, since both numbers will be reset to '0' if you touch the effect again.

Doing negative damage brings another problem: The actual hitpoint can become higher than the maximum hitpoints! So if a unit would have 150/200 health, and you heal it 100 points, its new health would be 250/200. Another curiosity brings a solution: once a units actual hitpoints drop below 1, the hitpoints will be reset to 0, and the unit will be dead.

However, if you heal the unit within that same instant (in the same trigger), those hitpoints will be added to '0', and the unit will continue to live. The easiest way to drop a units health to 0 is to do damage equal to the maximum hitpoints, but any number more than the actual hitpoints will work, so a number greater than the maximum hitpoints will also work, and even a smaller number than the maximum hitpoints can work if the unit is partially injured. Since you know what the starting hitpoints will be (0), you also know how much to heal.

If you want to unit to be fully healed, heal it by a number equal to it's maximum hitpoints. If you want it to be half healed, heal it by 50% of the maximum hitpoints. You can loop a healing trigger to lock a units hitpoints, making it invincible. (Note the units health doesn't even need to be 100%... so you can use this to make buildings that will always be damaged, and can never be repaired or destroyed). Anyway, the easiest way to fully heal a unit with, say, 250 hitpoints, would be:

Condition : Anything
Damage Object : 250 (maximum hitpoints)
Damage Object : -250 (or 4294967296-250)

“I want to find a way to keep units within an area, without using triggers”
Simple, it is fairly easy to do and a useful thing to know.

First place down a cliff wall, then click on the rotate button and rotate it a few times, then move your screen away from the cliff. Move it back, it now will have disappeared. If you check the mini screen, you can see the brown line indicating that it is still there. If you wish to make it remove so the units can pass by it after accomplishing their task, merely use the remove object in area. Make sure the player is gaia, and select the area in question.

“How do those designers make those gates remain open without something in between!?
Lets start off with placing a gate. After that place a square of water, cloud or space terrain under the doorposts, so they disappear. With that done, place regular terrain back under the gate, and put a piece of shipyard equipment where the doorpost was. When you load the game, the posts will be back, but the gate won't be able to close. It will look best with Galactic Empire or Trade Federation walls.

“hey what’s wrong with the site? I Cant submit my file! Can anyone help me?”
The upload system does not allow whatever you submitted with the form to be available for download immediately. Someone who administrates the downloads (Grenadier at SWGB Heaven) has to authorize it with his special powers, then it shows up on the download page. This is necessary to prevent someone maliciously spam 100 things onto the HG server, and thus to cause it to lag or to crash it.

Thank you for reading this article - made by Yehoshua Yisra’el.
Additional help and information was provided by James Martigo, The Vampire Slayer, and Enrique Orduno.
Special thanks goes to Angel AoErat for maintaining the editor guide.

This is property of Yehoshua Yisra’el and SCN PUNKTM to which he is a member of.
This article is copyrighted © 2002. Do not borrow/take/steal/ or other forms of reprinting this without the owner’s consent and due credited added.

Contact the author, Yehoshua Yisra’el (SCN PUNK) at none.