Scenarios

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CREATING SCENARIOS[edit]

Scenarios contain a series of data that may change depending on many things. But we are covering the basics to build a scenario. We are going to build a scenario using the standard orbiter install.

Open Notepad and paste the following text...

BEGIN_DESC
Ready to take off.
END_DESC

BEGIN_ENVIRONMENT
System Sol
Date MJD 51981.6009797824
END_ENVIRONMENT

BEGIN_FOCUS
Ship GL-01
END_FOCUS

BEGIN_CAMERA
TARGET GL-01
MODE Cockpit
FOV 60.00
END_CAMERA

BEGIN_MFD Left
TYPE Surface
SPDMODE 1
END_MFD

BEGIN_MFD Right
TYPE Orbit
PROJ Ship
FRAME Ecliptic
REF Earth
END_MFD

BEGIN_PANEL
END_PANEL

BEGIN_SHIPS
GL-01: DeltaGlider
STATUS Landed Earth
BASE Cape Canaveral:1
POS -80.6758964 28.5227640
HEADING 150.00
PRPLEVEL 0:1.000 1:1.000
NAVFREQ 402 94 0 0
XPDR 0
GEAR 1 1.0000
END
END_SHIPS

...and now let's learn about what we just pasted.

DESCRIPTION SECTION[edit]

The following text makes scenario to display a description in the Orbiter Launchpad window, before you load a scenario. In this case it will display "Ready to take off" in the launch pad window. It can be left blank if you don't want to include anything in the description.

BEGIN_DESC
Ready to take off.
END_DESC

ENVIRONMENT SECTION[edit]

The environment section specifies the solar system. It refers to a CFG file (Sol.cfg) that contains data on planets and other space bodies. It also sets the time when the scenario will start. It's not the standard DD/MM/YYY HH:MM format - It uses MJD format. If you browse your "\Orbiter\Utils" directory, you will find a program named "Date.exe" which allows you to convert to and from MJD format.

How to set a date is something that we might leave for future lessons. Let's see how environment section looks...

BEGIN_ENVIRONMENT
System Sol
Date MJD 51981.6009797824
END_ENVIRONMENT

FOCUS SECTION[edit]

Now, let's see where YOU will be when the mission starts. The focus section describes the ship you will pilot or the object you will control when you start your mission.

In the following case you have a ship named "GL-01". It's a custom name. We will need to define the properties of this ship later.

BEGIN_FOCUS
Ship GL-01
END_FOCUS

CAMERA SECTION[edit]

The camera section indicates if you are looking at your ship from the inside or the outside. We won't cover the camera parameter variations yet. In this case you start right inside the cockpit. Also notice you can change the default Field of View (FOV) value for the scenario if you want to start out with a wider or more narrow view.

BEGIN_CAMERA
TARGET GL-01
MODE Cockpit
FOV 60.00
END_CAMERA

MFD SECTION[edit]

In your cockpit you have 2 screens called MFDs which will display some info. Each MFD is configured differently. We won't cover yet how to configure MFDs.

BEGIN_MFD Left
TYPE Surface
SPDMODE 1
END_MFD

BEGIN_MFD Right
TYPE Orbit
PROJ Ship
FRAME Ecliptic
REF Earth
END_MFD

PANEL SECTION[edit]

The next section is the panel section. We won't cover it here. So let's leave it like this...

BEGIN_PANEL
END_PANEL

SHIPS SECTION[edit]

Now it comes the time when we define the properties of your ship in the ships section. In this case we have only one ship in our entire universe. It is GL-01. Remember? GL-01 is a DeltaGlider class ship. You will have a limited set of classes unless you install other spacecratf/aircraft addons that add more classes.

The status indicates if you are landed or if you are moving (Orbit).

POS indicates your longitude and latitude.

HEADING indicates the direction of the nose of your ship. If you put a ship in a runway you might like it to aim at the end of the runway.

PRPLEVEL indicates your level of propellant in the different tanks each ship has. Configuration of this parameter may change from a ship class to another.

The rest of the parameters depend on what ship you are piloting. Let's see how the ships section would look. This will add a ship that will be located at a landing pad at Cape Canaveral.

BEGIN_SHIPS
GL-01: DeltaGlider
STATUS Landed Earth
BASE Cape Canaveral:1
POS -80.6758964 28.5227640
HEADING 150.00
PRPLEVEL 0:1.000 1:1.000
NAVFREQ 402 94 0 0
XPDR 0
GEAR 1 1.0000
END
END_SHIPS

ADDING MORE SHIPS TO YOUR SCENARIO[edit]

We want to add another Delta Glider ship called "GL-02" which should be parked at the end of a runway. Where is the end of the runway?

You need to load your scenario, press F1 for external view and then zoom out and rotae your view until you have the camera right at the beginning of the runway. Now press CTRL-F1.

Do you remember how we got the latitude and longitude for our base in our previous lesson? Let's do the same trick.

We can copy and paste the GL-01 properties and then add the latitude and longitude, and change the ship name. But don't forget about the heading...

That way, we are going to add this code, which will place your ship at Cape Cañaveral runway...

GL-02: DeltaGlider
STATUS Landed Earth
POS -80.560213 +28.455060
HEADING 308.00
PRPLEVEL 0:1.000 1:1.000
NAVFREQ 402 94 0 0
XPDR 0
GEAR 1 1.0000
END

As we add the code, your ship section should look like this...

BEGIN_SHIPS
GL-01: DeltaGlider
STATUS Landed Earth
BASE Cape Canaveral:1
POS -80.6758964 28.5227640
HEADING 150.00
PRPLEVEL 0:1.000 1:1.000
NAVFREQ 402 94 0 0
XPDR 0
GEAR 1 1.0000
END
GL-02: DeltaGlider
STATUS Landed Earth
POS -80.560213 +28.455060
HEADING 308.00
PRPLEVEL 0:1.000 1:1.000
NAVFREQ 402 94 0 0
XPDR 0
GEAR 1 1.0000
END
END_SHIPS

Now we have 2 ships in your scenario. You may use F3 to display a window that allows you to switch from one ship to another.

Congratulations, you have created your first scenario!!

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES[edit]

Now edit other scenarios using Notepad and learn how they are built. Just remember... if a ship class is not present, either your ships would look invisible, or it may crash orbiter to desktop.

If the FOCUS section has a ship that is not defined in the SHIPS section, you may have problems too. If you refer to a non existent MFD or if you have any syntax error when defining the parameters for each property, you may have problems.

If a scenario is crashing, try to add a standard DeltaGlider ship only. If it crashes, the problem is elsewhere, a syntax error probably. If not, then you don't have the required files to have a certain ship flying.

You also may try to see the camera section for each scenario and what results are obtained. if you read the Orbiter manual, you may find more information about the contents of each scenario.

External Links[edit]


created by "Pablo Luna from Costa Rica", posted with his permission