How to add a public computer (and set up bulletins)

The Basics
Adding a personal computer

Public computers in Deus Ex are nothing more than high tech bulletin boards.  Bulletins tend to be "back story" oriented and are generally more for flavor than directly related to gameplay.


1. Add the ComputerPublic item to your map

Add a ComputerPublic item to your map, which is available under Decorations -> DeusExDecorations -> ElectronicDevices -> Computers.  This tutorial assumes that you've already gone through Adding a personal computer, so this one won't be quite as detailed.


2. Create bulletins

You can create as many bulletins as you'd like to.  Each one will be a seperate text file that you can edit with Windows Notepad or whatever.  

To create a bulletin, pull up Notepad and type (or copy & paste) this text in or something similar:

<P>Welcome to Page BioTech, a subsidiary of Page Industries.  Non-authorized personnel will be shot on sight.  Have a nice day.

Save the file as 16_Bulletin01.txt into your \DeusEx\MyPackage\Text\ folder.  You can also save your text files in subfolders, as long as they are somewhere *under* the \Text folder.  The naming convention for the filename is the mission number, followed by "Bulletin", and then a sequential number, as mentioned in the SDK docs.

As you may have noticed, bulletnins use a sort of HTML-like syntax.  But it seems that the only tags that actually work are the <P> tag and the <COMMENT> tag.  Others such as <B>, <I>, <U>, <DC>, and <JC> seem to have no effect.

Anyway, the <P> tag works sort of like a paragraph tag in HTML.  Each section after the <P> will be grouped together.  A line with just a <P> on it will be a blank line.  The Comment tag lets you put comments to yourself in your message that the player won't see.  You probably won't need that unless you start losing track of which e-mail messages go where.  To add a comment, put a <COMMENT> tag in front of the comment, and a </COMMENT> tag after it.  For example, this would not show up in the game:

<COMMENT>Remember to pick up eggs on the way home from work.</COMMENT>

Now, go ahead and create another bulletin (make something up) and save the file as 16_Bulletin02.txt in the same folder that you did above.


3. Create a bulletin menu

To get your bulletins to work, you'll have to create another file called a "bulletin menu".  This sets up a set of bulletins that can be accessed from a public terminal.

<COMMENT>Office Bulletins</COMMENT>
<FILE=16_Bulletin02,TPS Cover Sheets>

Save this file as 16_BulletinMenu.txt.  Again, this is the naming convention mentioned in the SDK docs.  Each line in this file corresponds to one bulletin.

The format of the FILE= lines is quite simple.  The first value is the filename of the bulletin (without the .txt) and the second value is the name of the bulletin that the player will see in the list of bulletins.

Now, if the player right-clicks on any public computer, he or she will see something like this:


4. Add import statements to your import file

Since you've already followed the Adding a personal computer tutorial, you already know how to set up a text import file.  Create one or add import lines to an existing one in the Classes folder of your package to import your text files.  For this example:

class TextImport expands Object

// Import Text Files
#exec DEUSEXTEXT IMPORT FILE=text\16_Bulletin01.txt
#exec DEUSEXTEXT IMPORT FILE=text\16_Bulletin02.txt
#exec DEUSEXTEXT IMPORT FILE=text\16_BulletinMenu.txt

This one would be called TextImport.uc and could contain other import statements for your e-mail, DataCube, books, and newpapers.


5. Associate bulletin menu to a public computer & point to your text package

Right-click on one or more public computers in your map and pull up properties.  Under ComputerPublic just fill in the name of the bulletin menu file (without the .txt) for the bulletinTag value and remember to set the Computers -> TextPackage value to the name of your package.


6. Build your package

As described in How to add a personal computer, rebuild your package so that your text is built into a new MyPackage.u or whatever.

That should do it!  Give it a try.

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