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Nyerguds

Minicampaigns in C&C95 v1.06c

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When making his enormous collection of missions packs, Solo noticed that my expansion of the New Missions list hit the limits of the mixfile name ID algorithm. For those not familiar with the storage of files in C&C, basically, mixfiles don't store file names, they store a 4-byte encoded value calculated FROM the filename. And apparently, if you have tons of files that have only minor differences in the name, some of these values start being the SAME for DIFFERENT files. Not fun, especially since I expanded the missions list to go up to 999.

 

To help solve this problem, I made a tool to help figure out exactly what can and can't be done with the missions. The results are... interesting.

 

Anyway, here's a simple guide.

 

Basics:

 

Most people probably know this by now. To make a mission show up in the New Missions menu, you need to give it a specific file name.

 

Format: SCX##EA(.INI+.BIN)

 

* X being 'G' for Goodguy (GDI) or 'B' for Badguy (Nod).

* ## is a number between 30 and 999 (technically 20-999, but the original Covert Ops are in there too.)

* EA is the suffix. Other suffixes used for campaign choices will NOT end up on the menu as missions. See the next point.

 

Minicampaigns:

As I said before, the New Missions menu only shows missions with an "EA" suffix.

 

However, 1.06c has a new system to make these missions try to continue to the mission with the next suffix in the row (EB, then EC, and so on).

This system has a maximum of 15 missions, the full listing being EA, EB, EC, ED, EE, WA, WB, WC, WD, WE, XA, XB, XC, XD, XE.

 

After XE, or at any point a next mission is not found, it will simply go back to the main menu.

 

 

Now, the important part: never make minicampaigns on mission numbers in the 100-899 range.

 

Testing with my mission name checker has shown that the aforementioned name ID duplication problems occur when making minicampaigns on al mission numbers above 99 and below 900. So, yeah... don't. The 30-99 and 900-999 can safely be used, meaning you can add up to 170 minicampaigns, for each side. That should be plenty.

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Hi Nyerguds,

 

First of all, thanks for the tool and for moving it ahead on your TO DO list.

 

I've looked partially and I'll study it better on the weekend and even later on, cause I sensed that some changes are already needed.

 

#1

Confirm for me or not, but I've made a rundown in the MNC* list and understood that will be better if I:

- reserve EA codes for above 200;

- reserve EA+EB codes for in-between 199 and 100;

- reserve anything else for below 99 down to 30

 

*MNC= Mix Name Checker or for already intimates: menace eheheheheheh

 

#2

Speculating over the MNC, would it be possible to create an 8 mission campaign in a mix file with the following crazy strategy?:

Ex: mix file SCx100.MIX

M1=SCx100EA  (SCX100EA)  :::  M2=SCx100EB  (SCX100EB)  :::  M3=SCx200EA  (SCX100EC)  ::: 

M4=SCx200EB  (SCX100ED)  :::  M5=SCx300EA  (SCX100EE)  :::  M6=SCx100WA  (SCX100WA)  ::: 

M7=SCx100WB  (SCX100WB)  :::  M8=SCx200WA  (SCX100WC)

 

Of course, with the inconvenient that all middle EAs will be shown in the main menu (in this example).

The reason I'm asking this is because I don't believe it will be necessary once that 69 campaigns for each side is a lot of stuff, but I'm trying to understand the problem as a whole. If we came to have any sort of overload, we can use still the 900 and 800 series for this type of strategy.

For the final user it's just a "closed" mix file and inside every ZIP with this condition, we could include the MNC checker.

 

 

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You made a mistake there. I explained it in my post on CnCNZ. You CAN'T use 100-199 for 2-mission minicampaigns. The EC one conflicts with an EA mission, meaning a normal menu-shown one. This means that (as you showed in your #2) if that 200-range EA mission exists, the minicampaign will go on to that mission after EB, thinking it's its own EC one.

 

As for your 'abusing the bug' strategy, it should work, yes, but it would be kinda messy imo, using up 2 other numbers. And you'd have to constantly keep in mind the numbers are occupied when adding new missions.

 

[edit]

 

I'm just glad none of the EA missions accidentally serves as EB duplicate (it only duplicates EC and EE ones). Otherwise, even a normal list of single missions would accidentally trigger the minicampaigns system -_-

 

[edit again]

 

Hmm, technically, if you don't use the 100-899 range for minicampaigns, the 900-999 range is also perfectly usable :)

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