Descent Developer Network
*.MN2 files define Descent 2 missions and are needed so that Descent 2 lists your mission in the NEW GAME and START MULTIPLAYER GAME dialogs.
It is a standard ASCII text file, that can be created and modified with any
text editor, like MS-DOS EDIT or Windows Notepad.
Here is an example file:
name=My First Mission
Now for the definition of the file:
- The first line is always required (otherwise the mission will not be listed at all). It defines the name of the mission. It is shown in Descent when you select NEW GAME or START MULTIPLAYER GAME. There are also 2 alternative keywords "xname=" and "zname=" available in Descent 2 V1.2, see below.
- The second line is optional and defines whether the level shall be listed in multiplayer mode only. If you specify "type=anarchy", it will not be shown if you select NEW GAME in the main menu. Any other text after "type=" (usually "type=normal") or if the type keyword is omitted, will make the mission show in both single-player and multi-player games. Note that it is not possible to declare a level single-player only, nor can you specify further multiplayer mode specifications (such as "Team-Anarchy only").
- The keyword "num_levels=" is required and specifies the number of levels. Following this line come the level filenames, in our case 2 levels. These RDL levels can be either in the Descent 2 directory or in the current HOG.
- The keyword "num_secrets=" is optional and only needed when you offer secret levels. Again the line is followed by the actual level filenames, however they have a second parameter specifying the level which contains the secret entrance. In our example above, level 2 contains the secret entrance to the secret level.
Some additional notes:
- If you use the keyowrd "zname=" instead of "name=", you enable "Vertigo Series" mode in your mission, so you can have new robots and robot weapons via a V-HAM file like Vertigo Series. Normal Descent 2 V1.0, V1.1 and V1.2 (without Vertigo Series installed) will however not be able to load these missions. The effect of "xname=" instead of "name=" is unknown at this time; we were not able to get a mission running with this keyword.
- The keyword "briefing=" from Descent 1 *.MSN file format is not used anymore. The existance of a *.TXB or *.TEX file with the same file name as the *.MN2 file is enough for Descent 2 to show abriefing. However only V1.2 supports briefings at all. More information are available at the TXB specs, see link below.
- The keyword "hog=" is still available from Descent 1 *.MSN file format, but very buggy, and so should not be used.
The Descent community extended the MN2 file format with some new keywords to specify additional information like who the author is, etc. Descent 2 does not parse them, however several tools do, incl. recent versions of Descent Manager, Descent Mission Builder and Yahoma. DETLEF Server Tools for example use them to create a DETLEF level database, so its always good to specify these keywords in your missions.
These extensions were first defined and standardized by our very own Mike Menefee and called "MNX Extensions".
- The keyword "author=" specifies the name of the level creator, e.g. "author=Luke Schneider".
- The keyword "email=" specifies the eMail adress to contact the level creator, e.g. "firstname.lastname@example.org".
- The keyword "web_site=" specifies the URL to the website of the level creator, e.g. "web_site=http://www.descentlevels.com/ultralevels".
- The keyword "revision=" specifies the release version, e.g. "revision=V1.0".
- The keyword "date=" specifies the release date.
- The keyword "build_time=" specifies the estimated time needed to build this mission, e.g. "build_time=23 hours".
- The keyword "normal=", "anarchy=", "robo_anarchy=", "coop=", "capture_flag" and "hoard" specify for which game mode(s) this mission is intended for.
- The keyword "custom_robots=" specifies whether the mission contains custom robots.
- The keyword "custom_music=" specifies whether the mission contains custom music.
- The keyword "custom_textures=" specifies whether the mission contains custom textures.
If you still have problems to create your own MN2 file, have a look at the available tools to create MN2 files automatically and also check MN2 files of missions by other people.
Browse Descent Network Mission database
Get Yahoma MN2/HOG file builder
TXB specs - How to create briefings for your mission
MSN specs - Descent 1's *.MN2 pendant