X-Wing Alliance Add-Ons – Emails

From Emperor's Hammer Encyclopaedia Imperia


X-Wing Alliance (XWA) allows the creation of custom emails that the player can read before or after each mission if they go to their personal quarters and check the terminal. These emails are not required to be included in Emperor’s Hammer (EH) custom XWA missions, but their addition is a useful tool in storytelling.

Why to Include[edit]

Emails are an excellent way to convey story within the custom battle that would not normally fit the tone of a commander’s pre-briefing or the post-briefing. They are a good place to add humor and personality to the story and let the player, maybe years later, know about the characters you are weaving into the tale that is being told by the battle. The presence or lack of presence of emails can also be used to convey story information. Example: the story has the main character end stuck away from their home ship or traveling to a remote base. The lack of new emails can be used to show that they are away from their terminal and can receive them. And then once the character returns to their command ship, there can be a large backlog of emails to show that they were away.

How to Include[edit]

To add custom emails, you will need to create a file named EMAIL.txt that will be placed in the Missions folder next to the mission files and the MISSION.lst file. The easiest way to make this file is to copy the existing email file of the game and edit it to your needs. The format of the file is critical to the proper display within the game. Below is a sample of some custom emails with explanations for each line (Note: the text that is in Bold Italics is the explanations for this guide and NOT to be a part of the final email file).


53  {This is the mission that the emails will appear before}
!EMAIL_0_FROM!AD Stryker {This is what will be displayed in the From line of the email}
!EMAIL_0_HEADER!Typhoon Squadron 1-1 thru 1-3 Report {This is what will be displayed as the subject of the email}
!EMAIL_0_MSG1!Colonel Boliv, please have Typhoon Squadron 1-1 thru 1-3 report to the briefing room at once for a time sensitive mission. Note: The rest of the squadron does not need to attend the briefing. {This is the main body of the email}
!EMAIL_0_MSG2! {If you want a blank line in the message you must include an empty line}
!EMAIL_0_MSG3!BGCOM/AD Stryker/Battlegroup III
!EMAIL_0_MSG5!PS. Specifically, General Master, does not need to come to the briefing
!EMAIL_1_HEADER!Request from higher ups
!EMAIL_1_MSG1!Admiral Stryker, and others in the Battlegroup III Command Staff, have requested that I forward to you their hopes that you will be able to keep General Master out of their breakroom from now on. And they requested that you keep him away from them in general, if possible.
!EMAIL_1_MSG2!I second their request
!EMAIL_1_MSG4!WC/LC Denys Elara/Wing X/ISDII Challenge/Battlegroup III
!EMAIL_2_HEADER!RE: Keep Master out of Trouble
!EMAIL_2_MSG1!Yeah, how am I supposed to do that exactly? I barely can keep track of where he is, let alone keep him out of trouble. If you can't get him to listen to you, what chance do you think I have? The best we can hope for is that this up coming mission keeps him occupied, and out of everyone's hair for a couple of days (hours?).
!EMAIL_2_MSG3!SQXO-CAPT/COL Locke Setzer/Typhoon 2-1/Wing X/ISDII Challenge/Battlegroup III
How Emails appear before first mission is completed

Add here is how these messages appear in the game

Some things of note:

  • Notice that the third email (Email_2) is not showing as this pilot file has not completed mission 53 yet and activated mission 54.
  • All the items of a single email must follow the syntax of !EMAIL_#_ where the # controls which order the messages will be in.
  • Each email must be preceded by the mission number that the email will be delivered on. As all EH Custom XWA missions start at Mission 53 that is where you will start your numbering, assuming you want any emails to be shown prior to the first mission of the battle being completed.
  • After each email the message must be followed by the * symbol
  • You can have as many separate emails as you want
  • You do not need to break the message into multiple lines, the game will do that automatically
  • Your emails can only be a maximum of 12 lines long, as displayed in game
    • Each line can contain approximately 52 characters. XWA doesn't use a fixed width font and therefore the characters per line could be more or less than this number
  • Notice that the subject of the first email fills the entire available field
    • Again, character width is variable, but the approximate subject line character limit is 35
    • The From line also has a character limit of approximately 16