Cody Coyote’s    
Mission Building 101  


When Combat Flight Simulator 2 (CFS2) was released, one of the features I looked forward to most was being able to write and edit my own missions. Anyone who flies either version of Combat Flight Simulator quickly wants to enhance the experience with new and challenging missions. Fortunately there is no shortage of simmers out there willing to write new missions and offer them for free over the Internet. Just the same, I wanted to take a crack at designing my own missions using my own ideas and my favorite planes.
If you’ve ever opened a mission file using Notepad or some other utility, it looks like a foreign language. I had neither the time nor the inclination to become a programmer just to have a little more fun with the game. CFS2 changed all of that. The built-in Mission Builder gives us a relatively simple tool for writing our own missions.
When I first opened Mission Builder, I quickly read everything I could find looking for the tutorial. I was disappointed to discover that there wasn’t one. There is a comprehensive Help file that, while informative, is not a tutorial and makes assumptions about your knowledge of mission structure, which may or may not be true.
As I struggled to teach myself how to build missions I also looked to the Internet and the myriad of CFS2 websites out there. While there were some tutorials available, there were not a lot of them and I’m afraid I found all of them lacking. The ones I saw either addressed ‘advanced’ aspects of mission building or, like the help files, assumed you knew things about mission design that you may not. What I was looking for and couldn’t find was a simple guide for the beginner. A handbook for the simmer who wants to get started building their own missions and doesn’t know where to begin. I decided if I could teach it to myself, I could probably teach it to you, so I opted to write my own ‘How To’ guide.

Purpose of this Tutorial
I should tell you right up front what this tutorial is and is not.

It is not:

  • an in-depth manual on how to construct complex missions and campaigns
  • a technical manual designed to answer all of your mission building questions
  • the final word in mission design or technique
It is:

  • a step by step guide for the beginner on how to write simple, functional missions
  • a primer on waypoints, triggers, events, warping, goals, infrastructure and filters
  • a confidence builder for simmers with little or no experience building missions but who want to get enjoyment not frustration out of the game

This tutorial is broken down into three parts. Each part builds on the lessons of the previous one and designs a mission of increasing complexity. When we’re finished, I hope you will feel comfortable with the Mission Builder and inspired to learn more. I merely want to open the door for you to having some additional fun with what is already a terrific game.

© Grumpy's Lair 2004