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24.World Builder will read a .big file if its name starts with "Expand" before its actual name. For Zero Hour it must be placed in the Data\Ini\ folder, otherwise it can be placed in the main game directory. World Builder will only read one .big file though.
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Adding new superweapons
Title: Adding new superweapons
Difficulty: Novice AI Scripter
Author(s): SDI Team
Game Type: Both Regular Generals and Zero Hour
Super weapons (or special powers) are easily done, yet often avoided due to unreal complexity. It's basically, as always
Let's assume we want to add a superweapon to the USA AI, the Raptor Strike. First we study the original scripts,
the usual routine, open World Builder, go to Edit>Player List and click "Add Skirmish Players".
Now click "OK" and go to Edit>Scripts and find the "Import Scripts" button. If you have Zero Hour make sure the "Auto Verify"
box is unchecked otherwise it will verify every single script...
Select the SkirmishScripts.scb file which should be in your "Command and Conquer Generals\Data\Scripts\" folder or for ZH users
in the "Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour\Data\Scripts" folder. Now click "OK" and open the "SkirmishAmerica" folder.
Every special power or superweapon is activated by the scripts in this manner:
-[special power] AI
-[special power] Fire
The "AI" script for this checks if the special power is ready, if it is it deactivates itself, and activates the "Fire"
script. The Fire script then in turn checks if the special power is ready as well and fires it at the enemy's highest cost
area. Note that it is possible to change this with Team commandbutton commands - just select the generic team for the faction
for SkirmishAmerica it would be teamSkirmishAmerica, which has all commandbuttons and everything..
So now, copy two existing scripts, one ending with "AI" the other with "Fire". Rename them to your special power, in our case
it is the Raptor Strike. Once both scripts are renamed, set the IF conditions of both to check for the correct special power
and set the script ending with "AI" to disable itself on its "Actions if true" tab, and enable the "Fire" script. The same should
be done the other way round: the "Fire" script should disable itself and activate the "AI" script again.
Tip for Zero Hour Users:
For greater efficiency you can do what EA did: set another IF condition in the "AI" script to make it check if the flag '_LAUNCH_ATTACK_'
is true. The special power will then fire when the AI is getting ready to ambush it with ground units.
This is basically it, the AI will check if the special power is ready, then activate another script and deactivate itself,
then fire it on the enemy's highest cost area. Now export your scripts while overwriting the original.
But what about purchasing? Special powers like the A10 Thunderbolt must be purchased with a generals point.
This is done in the AIData.ini. Extract it from the INI.big or INIZH.big (it is in the "Default" subfolder) and put it in the Data\INI\ folder, or Data\INI\Default
doesn't really matter too much. Open it up and find your faction here, for this scenario it is SideInfo America. Below that you'll see
SkillSets - basically a set of generals abilities to purchase. There can be more than one, the AI will randomize between them.
Now either make a new SkillSet or add Science = SCIENCE_RaptorStrike there-
the AI will purchase it when it has the points.
That's it, be sure to have the special power reload time set high enough in SpecialPower.ini so that you don't get killed
when you are testing it...
Tip: The Script Debugger will show you if a faction purchases a science from a skillset,
be sure to use it if you are unsure if the science is even purchased...