Campaign Editor

While the other editors work on missions, the Campaign Editor allows you to stitch missions together into a single campaign. It is really almost a completely separate program from the rest of FRED.


Campaign Editor MenuThe File menu should be self explanatory, the Other menu only contains the Error Checker (which is run automatically on saving the mission anyway) so the only thing that really needs explaining are the two Initial Status options. These menu options open a pair of dialogs which allow you to select which ships are available at the start of the campaign. Anything which is not ticked here must be allowed later on during on of the campaign's missions by using the allow-ship or allow-weapon SEXPs.

Failing to set anything here is a very common error in campaign design. Since none of the weapons are allowed the game is unable to load the ship with any in the first mission. This error however wouldn't have been present in any testing done before the campaign was created and goes away when the mission is played from the Tech Room.

Campaign Tree

Campaign TreeThe main screen of the editor is divided into two parts, the right is the campaign tree. It is here that you decide in which order the missions go. The main window has a list of Available Missions. Simply select the one you wish to be first in your campaign and while holding CTRL click on the grey box to place it. Repeat this process to add other missions. Once you have added missions you must link them together. This is done by dragging a mission onto the one of the missions below it.

In the example seen here, Mission 1 can lead to Mission 2 or 3. Missions 4 and 6 don't have any missions following them. As you can see, branching campaigns with multiple endings (Missions 4 and 6) are possible.

There are two popup menus available. If you right click on a mission you will see the one pictured here. Add A Repeat Link allows you to force players to repeat the mission if they fail it. End Of Campaign means that this is the last mission in the campaign and the player will have to restart the campaign if he wants to play again.

If you right click somewhere other than on one of the missions you'll be given options to Insert Row and Delete Row.

Main Panel

Campaign EditorAvailable missions is the list of missions that fit the Type of campaign you are creating. You may choose between Single Player, Multiplayer Coop and Multiplayer Team vs Team and this will change the list of missions on offer.

Campaign Name is the name displayed in the campaign room. When selected in game the Campaign Description will be shown.

Reset Tech Database At Start Of Campaign allows you to reset the list of ships seen in the database to only include those explicitly mentioned in the game's table files. During the campaign more may be added using SEXPs.

Briefing Cutscene allows you specify the name of an .ogg format movie that will be played before the mission starts. Although there are other ways to set up a movie, at time of writing FRED doesn't support them and they must be written in by editing the mission file manually.

Main Hall Index allows you to choose what the main screen of the game will look like. At time of writing Diaspora only has one main hall but later releases will include new ones or you may wish to add one of your own.

Debriefing Persona Index allows you to decide whose voice will be used for reading several generic lines that can appear in any debriefing (traitor debrief, winning a medal, getting promoted).

Branches is the most important part of the editor. In the example given above Mission 1 could lead to Missions 2 or 3, so how does the game choose? What happens is that upon the end of a mission the game goes through the list of links that lead to other missions (or in the case of a Repeat Link, a link back to this mission) and checks if the SEXP evaluates to true. It sends the player to the first mission that does. In the example, the designer has decided that the player will go to mission 2 if he did badly, to Mission 3 if he did well, and under all other occasions will have to repeat the mission.

You can change the order the links are evaluated by dragging and dropping them or by using the Move Up/Down buttons. Realign Tree makes FRED attempt to pretty up the way your Campaign Tree looks. It generally does a bad job of this so it's not really worth bothering with, especially as it has little effect on the final campaign file created. Load Mission, closes the Campaign Editor and loads the selected mission.

Toggle Loop allows you to specify the following mission as a voluntary one. The player will be presented with a screen showing the Mission Loop Description and Loop Briefing Animation. Voice acting is provide by the Loop Brief Voice. The player can choose to play that mission or not. If the player chooses not to, they will be taken to the next mission that evaluates to true.