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Topic Subject:The AOKH Modders Guild
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Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 06-21-14 03:43 AM CT (US)         





Welcome to the AOKH Modders Guild.

You can ask questions here, use it as a discussion board or simply use it as a reference when you need help; for both Steam and Userpatch versions of the game.

However, please note, the majority of this topic is written for the Userpatch 1.5 edition of AOK.


If you don't already have Userpatch, I would recommend you download it now.


Userpatch is a fan made patch which adds a ton of new features to the vanilla game and is indispensable to the both the scenario design and the online community.
It also opens many new doors to the modding capabilities of the game; these are just a few of the additional options Userpatch can offer:

- Add new civilizations
- Add the 5th resource to your mod
- Use hidden resources for creating new effects or stats for units, creating limited buildings and more.
- Creating many new tech effects, opening up a wide array of options, including techs which effect allies and enemies.
- Add in HD style additions, such as revealing relics on map, creating Feitoria type buildings, add siege towers which send units over walls, garrison villagers and sheep into ships...and much much more.












First of all you need to understand the different file types of AOK and how we can edit them accordingly. Everything you will be editing is stored in your Age of Conquerors directory and might look something like this:

C:\Games\Age of Empires 2\Data

Within the data folder, you will see a list of files, including:

Terrain.drs - contains all graphics for terrains.
Interfac.drs - contains all graphics for the interface and menu items and images. Also contains sounds for menu clicks, town center bells, battle started sounds etc.
Graphics.drs - all unit, building and objects graphics.
Sounds.drs - sounds for all the units (music & terrain sounds are stored in the /Sound directory).
Empires2_x1.dat - Vanilla data for original game.
Empires2_x1_p1.dat - C patch Conquerors version data. This is the main data file you should be editing.
gamedata_x1_p1.drs - This file (and variations of it), contain the RMS scripting portions of the base game, along with any additional files which are added to the game. AOK will always treat the gamedata_x1_p1.drs as the final edition of anything. So for example, if you add an edited terrain SLP named 15001.slp into the gamedata_x1_p1.drs file, then the game will load this file instead of the original one in terrains.drs.

This is incredibly important to note when creating new mods. It is much better to ADD files into the gamedata_x1_p1.drs rather than the original files. This makes it easier to keep track of new SLP's and also keep the file size when sharing your mod smaller. I'll go into more details on this later on.

Drs files contain all the graphics and sounds etc you see and hear in game. Think of it like a zip folder and inside it is lots of other files.

Inside each drs file are files called slp’s. These are the individual graphic files; each slp contains the graphics for a particular unit or terrain or menu.

The empires2_x1.dat file is what stores all of the stats data in the game, i.e. it tells your archer how many hitpoints he has, it tells your building it can collect food, and tells your town centre it can research castle age at a certain point.

Language Files

Language files are editable .dll files which contain all of the text you see in game. For example, hints, expanded information, dialogue, menu names, unit names etc*.

Language files are named; language.dll, language_x1.dll and language_x1_p1.dll. These are located in the main AOK directory.




For editing data the only file you need is Advanced Genie Editor (or AGE, for short).

Download it here!

This is the most up to date data editing software. You can use AGE to edit research, techs, units stats, buildings, gaia objects, add graphics, create new units, give abilities to other units/building (for example making a house garrison able) and so much more.

University Tutorials

-Introduction to creating units using AGE (this is AGE 2 but the concepts are the same).
- How to create a maximum build, limited number unit/building



This is the way of changing the labels in AoK, such as the name of a unit or building, the main menu text and even the text of many of the scenarios. In order to change them, you need to edit the language.dll files. To do this, you need an editor (listed below). There is also an excellent language editing tutorial over at the SWGB forum here.

NOTE: Before editing your current language files, I recommend downloading the most recent language files from the Blacksmith. The download combines all of the language files together into one, so it makes it a lot easier and quicker to edit the file.

Download it here!

Pebble32
This file is used for editing any .dll and works slightly better than reshacker as you can view what the strings say before scrolling through them all (unlike reshacker) and it contains a search function. The only problem is you can't add new strings.

Resource Hacker
An easy and straightforward program for editing .dll files. With this you can add new strings.




Graphics editing is my favorite part of modding. It opens up a whole new world of creativity. Anything you can imagine, you can make. Best of all, now you can put it into AOK and play it.

For inserting new slp's, editing current slp's, editing drs files and so on, you only need one program. This program is called SLX Studio.

Download it here!

University Tutorials

- Poser tutorial for making units
- Sketchup Building Tutorial
- 2D Photoshop Tutorial

So how do I actually create new graphics?

Well first of all we need the right software to make the graphics. Good for us that it doesn't have to be that complicated and can be done to a good enough standard without using really expensive software.

There are two ways of modifying graphics for AOK.

3D- You will make model the object, add the textures, render it into an isometric format, use a photo editing software to modify its palette and touch it up and then insert into the game.


Here are two rendering presets for AOK style camera angles and lighting.
I will try to add more of these for different software over time.

Poser
3ds Max

2D- You don't have to be experienced in modelling to create new units. You can use methods such as copy and paste (look at Age of Chivalry - fantastic copy and paste methods there). Copying and pasting is great, as you can design graphics that automatically match with everything else in AOK and you don't have to worry about perspective. You can use different tools as well like color alterations to give a different look to your buildings.

What software will I need?

Over the course of modding I have come across many different pieces of software but to be honest a lot of them are useless or outdated so here is my version of what you should use.

Free Software - Picture Editing

GIMP. This allows you to pretty much do most the things Photoshop can do. It is easy to use and is great for copy and pasting work for AOK.

Free Software - 3D Modelling

Sketchup. This is an amazing tool used by many professionals. You can make anything you want using this program. Matt Li Vecchi wrote a good tutorial on this here. You can also go to Sketchucation, for some more in depth tutorials and plugins.
-Kerkythea Renderer – A free renderer for Sketchup. Gives you some good results.
-POV RAY – Another Renderer that can be used with sketchup. POV RAY is really useful for many other applications too like Arboro(another tree generator).

G Max. Gmax is a 3D modeling application based on 3ds Max. It is good for modeling, texturing, and basic animation rigging and keyframing capabilities. Was widely used in the development of Sim City 4, including its mods.

Daz Studio 3D. Daz Studio works a lot like Poser, and even supports a lot of Poser models. This program tends to concentrate on developing humanoid models, so use this for your unit creation.

Blender. Completely free and a great 3d tool used by many professionals and amateurs alike.

Paid Software - Picture Editing

Adobe. Adobe Photoshop would be the main piece of software you need and can do pretty much anything you want it to. Probably by far the best photo editing software out there.

Coral Painter. Personally I really, really like this piece of software. If you can paint, or draw or anything like that then this is the software you need. As for use with AOK? You can use it for interface, menu/civ pictures, touching up buildings and units or even making new objects from scratch (tho you'd have to be pretty good at painting).

Paint Shop Pro. This is another good editing tool, though isn't in the same league as PhotoShop and it's better than GIMP. That also explains the much cheaper price.

Paid Software - 3D Modelling

Pretty much anything by Autodesk. This company is like the Optimus Prime of the 3D graphics world. I would recommend starting on 3D Studio Max, but Maya is also good. Expect to pay $1000’s of dollars. HOWEVER - if you are a student and use it for none commercial purposes you can get the entire Autodesk suite completely FREE, here!

Poser
A tool for creating 3D characters. Great for unit design. Tutorial.

Again, you can use whatever you want to model. There are loads of programs you can use like Maya, Zbrush, Lightwave, Vue (great for terrain creation and mountains and the like).

There are also loads of fantastic plugins, tutorials and pre-made objects out there online you can download and use (ensuring they are free for non commercial use).

Websites

Turboquid is a good website for downloading or buying 3d models.

3dstudio is another good website.

For a good source of free textures I highly recommend CG Textures. Again a search engine will help a lot here, eg. free textures.



When making anything for use in AOK you will need to convert it to a 2d image and also render it to an isometric view with correct lighting (lighting in AOK comes from the East).

You will then need to change the palette of the image to the AOK palette.

I decided to upload them to the blacksmith, the download link is here.

To use with GIMP. View this image for some guidance .
Load your image. Go to the menu bar, windows, dockable dialogues, palettes.
Now in that box click on the back arrow looking thing and then go to Palettes menu, import palette. Then in the import palette box, go to palette file, search for where you unzipped the .act file and click import. This will add this palette to the palette box.




I will add a very short section to this to be updated with in depth data editing on the matter very shortly. Basically for now adding terrains works the same way as adding graphics. You can add NEW terrains to your terrain.drs file (for replacing none editor terrains) aswell as replacing the normal ones you see in game. Here is a link to a modpack which changes the hidden terrains you find in game. Open the genie file in genie 1 and then read the terrain.text to view in detail. For normal terrain editing you will be better off running mod pack studio 3. You can find it here. I dont recommend using mod pack studio 3 for anything else other than saving the terrains. That will create the slp. Once you've done that open the project in mod pack studio 2 to write an install script and run the modpack. Modpack studio 3 tends to crash a lot, and I mean, I have to reinstall it every time I close it. It has though an excellent import image function which automatically cuts your terrain into nice aok sized squares. So find an image of terrain you like or which you made. Import image and viola. You terrain image must be set at 970x490. This is the simplest way ever. (Will update soon with in depth detail)




Righto. Just a quick update. All sounds can be edited in the game whether it is a unit sound or a building sound, or even the in game sound like main menu music or win screen music. To edit sounds you'll need mod pack studio. Go into modpack studio, you will find the sounds.drs in the location tabs. In here every single sound for every unit and every nation is there. You will find the sounds list in the mod pack guild zip. You can import sounds using the import button and click save. There are also sounds in the interface.drs. These will be your sounds for things like the 'your being attacked' sounds or the menu button hover sounds and so on.




(coming soon)

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 10-22-2018 @ 11:44 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-13-19 05:41 AM CT (US)     561 / 597       
I'm trying to narrow it down.

What I've now discovered is that on a blank scenario on GAIA and layer 1 (British) the Other tab works fine. However when I try to go on Player 2 (Franks) it crashes. This only happens when I click the OTHER tab.

Does this mean that it's a problem with an object in the OTHER tab or could it be anything? How come it works for British and not Franks, even though everything should automatically copy to all civs.
Leif Ericson
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-13-19 08:48 AM CT (US)     562 / 597       
Yeah, in that case I'd select Franks in AGE and see if you find any problem units. I think it's highly likely to be an object that appears in the Other tab, so you can filter in AGE to only show units that appear in the editor and go from there.

Who knows why the data didn't get copied over. The issue could be graphics since that box is unchecked by default, or the Franks civ checkbox was unchecked for the autocopy.

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Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-27-19 12:29 PM CT (US)     563 / 597       
I’ve been searching the blacksmith recently and there are a load of uploads which include BMPs that include all of the frames of a unit on a single sheet.

How do I turn these into SLPs through Turtle Pack without having to extract each and every frame from the sheet.
R_V_A
Squire
posted 07-27-19 05:49 PM CT (US)     564 / 597       
In Turtle Pack you can use Shear tool for cutting spritesheet by separate frames.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 08-12-19 11:46 AM CT (US)     565 / 597       
I want to add a new building that has multiple SLPs like the house does. When I play in the editor if I click rotate I can see all three different buildings however this doesn't change automatically like it does with the house. Also, whenever I test my scenario all of the buildings that I have mannually rotated revert back to the first frame. How do I fix this.

All I did was copy the house SLP and chance the SLP number and frame count to match. I then copied the House unit and changed the graphics, what am I missing?
Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 08-14-19 04:42 AM CT (US)     566 / 597       
The house is hardcoded to act like that. You can't.

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 08-14-2019 @ 04:42 AM).]

Possidon
Slayer
posted 08-14-19 06:00 AM CT (US)     567 / 597       
So there’s no way of having a building with multiple frame and angles? Would be really annoying if not.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 08-24-19 12:09 PM CT (US)     568 / 597       
I have a question regarding unit classes

Firstly if I set a new unit to Civilian class will that give it the commands of a villager?

Secondly there are several classes I do not recognise what do they do?
Dopplegager, Phalanx, Raider, etc.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 08-25-19 08:28 AM CT (US)     569 / 597       
I'm replaced some unused terrains with some new ones. Water (Other) to Lava for example. Is there a way to change the name of the terrain in game, because in AGE I can only find a way to change the Internal Name.
Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 08-25-19 10:16 PM CT (US)     570 / 597       
You'll need to add the strings in the language files.

The language ID's are:

Old Water - Water (other) -10618
Old Grass -Grass 1 (other) - 10619
Water Bridge - Water , Shallow (Bridge)- 10630
Foundation - Building - 10620
ICE 2 - Ice (Other) - 10670
Snow Foundation- Building (snow) - 10680
KOH - Road (other) - 10707

Btw, as far as I could tell you can add the 42nd terrain. Change the number of terrains to 42, then add in the correct terrains restrictions. It should work.

This is the language ID:

New Terrain - Unknown- 10679

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 08-25-2019 @ 10:22 PM).]

Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 08-25-19 10:29 PM CT (US)     571 / 597       
So there’s no way of having a building with multiple frame and angles? Would be really annoying if not.
Exactly. And yea, it's annoying.
Firstly if I set a new unit to Civilian class will that give it the commands of a villager?
The villagers are hardcoded. You can't just simply make a new villager type unit.
Secondly there are several classes I do not recognise what do they do?
Dopplegager, Phalanx, Raider, etc.
Old unused classes. The behaviors vary but I would advise against using them as they don't appear in the unit counters/statistics at the bottom right of screen and there isn't really any reason to use them.

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 08-26-2019 @ 00:39 AM).]

Possidon
Slayer
posted 01-20-20 03:35 PM CT (US)     572 / 597       
Does anyone have the icon for the original AoE Composite Bowman that they can either post here or email me?

In fact if anyone has the entire AoE 1 icon slp, please could you send it over.

[This message has been edited by Possidon (edited 01-21-2020 @ 04:56 AM).]

fknabyss
Squire
posted 02-23-20 08:32 AM CT (US)     573 / 597       
you can pick from aoe wiki

[This message has been edited by fknabyss (edited 02-25-2020 @ 07:25 AM).]

Lord_patito
Squire
posted 04-16-20 12:15 PM CT (US)     574 / 597       
Hi everyone! I'm really new about this modding stuff. I just want to make a mod using AGE3, to give Viets the southeastern architecture back. Is there any way to copy a whole set of architecture from one civ to another? or Do I have to change everything manually.

Also, I want to add regional monks, and I was thinking about ussing hero's units to that. Would they have the glow, If I use those graphics for monks.

I founded a lot of tutorials for new units, with values, technologies and all complicated stuff, but non for only graphic modding. If there's a guide for this, I would appreciate a link.

Thanks!
Possidon
Slayer
posted 04-29-20 01:38 PM CT (US)     575 / 597       
Does anyone have any experience creating shadows. I tried to create one but it doesn't look transparent. How do I do this?
AFFA the Cleric
Squire
posted 04-30-20 12:48 PM CT (US)     576 / 597       
you need to select the same gray of a current existing shadow, try extract an original shadow fron an slp, then change it's shape as you wish, but you can only use a monochromathic shade, if you want to get a bluring effect you needs to play around with delta files, by overlapping the same portion of shade in different anchor

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MY GAME VERSION:

Age of Empires II The Conquerors 1.0 without any patches, just the ES release in August 24th 2000, proud to playing this game version!
Possidon
Slayer
posted 04-30-20 01:51 PM CT (US)     577 / 597       
I tried that but it just comes out as a solid grey. Maybe if I send what I want to someone would they mind trying to create a shadow for me.
AFFA the Cleric
Squire
posted 05-01-20 08:09 PM CT (US)     578 / 597       
that's weird, i'm curious now...

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MY GAME VERSION:

Age of Empires II The Conquerors 1.0 without any patches, just the ES release in August 24th 2000, proud to playing this game version!
Possidon
Slayer
posted 05-02-20 02:59 PM CT (US)     579 / 597       
fknabyss
Squire
posted 05-02-20 04:01 PM CT (US)     580 / 597       
the shadow need to be rgb 145,145,145 and need to be separated from the object, I use SLP Editor, just import the frame(s) and put Auto for transparent pallete index of color
AFFA the Cleric
Squire
posted 05-02-20 06:07 PM CT (US)     581 / 597       
I sent you an email with it so you can check it out
Sent you an e-mail, as fknabyss said, you just used a wrong grey tonality, there you have, I fixed it and centered the anchor with proper transaprent mask around, hope it has been useful for you Sir. Possidion

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MY GAME VERSION:

Age of Empires II The Conquerors 1.0 without any patches, just the ES release in August 24th 2000, proud to playing this game version!
Possidon
Slayer
posted 05-05-20 04:16 AM CT (US)     582 / 597       
Is it possible to add a second trebuchet? I tried copying it but it ends up in the buildings tab
Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 05-12-20 08:59 PM CT (US)     583 / 597       


Some great news. We can now load .dats directly for the editor in DE.

Unfortunately nothing else yet loads with .dat mods (such as new graphics), however, let's see if they'll be a fix in future.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 05-23-20 07:53 AM CT (US)     584 / 597       
I'm having issues with units in my mod. Units appear to have excess stats in game. See picture below of a new hero with +999 armour. This doesn't show up in the editor only when you test in a game.

Any idea why this has happened and how can I fix it?

Khan Ivayl
Squire
posted 05-23-20 11:18 AM CT (US)     585 / 597       
What I see with the attack can happen if you try to give the unit 0/0 on melee/pierce and instead are attempting to establish another attack/armor class as the default. Hope that helps...
Possidon
Slayer
posted 05-24-20 09:38 AM CT (US)     586 / 597       
Khan Ivayl
Squire
posted 05-24-20 10:13 AM CT (US)     587 / 597       
Let say, if you give a unit an attack against buildings, but remove the standard melee AND standard pierce, the game will still calculate attack upgrades relative to melee or pierce.

So let say, I set the visible attack to 10 and this reflects a building attack of 10, but the melee/pierce is 0, then first of all the standard attack displayed will be 10 - 10 (distance from zero) and then you gain +1 attack for melee, it becomes 10 - 9, instead.
Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 05-25-20 09:15 AM CT (US)     588 / 597       
Khan Ivayl is correct. Your new unit most likely doesnt have a base melee armour value. You'll need to add it (base melee (type 4, amount 0) in AGE in the armors section and make sure it matches the shown armor value also..

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 05-25-2020 @ 09:18 AM).]

Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-14-20 02:50 PM CT (US)     589 / 597       
Is it possible to add a second trebuchet? I tried copying it but it ends up in the buildings tab
Sebastien
Dark Samurai
posted 07-14-20 09:34 PM CT (US)     590 / 597       
The current Trebuchets were hardcoded to appear in the units tab, same with the treb heroes.

I think theres a hidden trebuchet somewhere, the PTWC or something. Not sure what tab that one appears in if unhidden. Take a look, you might be able to use the unit ID if it does appear in units tab (thought I'm gonna doubt it does).

[This message has been edited by Sebastien (edited 07-14-2020 @ 09:37 PM).]

Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-22-20 06:13 AM CT (US)     591 / 597       
Does anyone have any idea why there a red line around the border of these objects I've placed on the floor? I thought it was a size issue but they're the same size as the black tiles I've created and the black tiles don't have a line around them.

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 07-22-20 06:38 AM CT (US)     592 / 597       
I believe it has something to do with the graphic layer, I had the same problem when trying to add some new GAIA terrain objects. What layer are the tiles set to?

BTW, I really like the chairs in particular! I've been trying to make my own but I never really liked how they turned out haha.

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-22-20 07:00 AM CT (US)     593 / 597       
I took the chairs from something Jan dc posted many years ago. I can send you the SLPs for them if you like.

The layer is 0 because I wanted it to be right on the bottom. What do you suggest I set it to?

[This message has been edited by Possidon (edited 07-22-2020 @ 07:01 AM).]

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 07-22-20 07:24 AM CT (US)     594 / 597       
Please do!

Layer 10 works for me.

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-22-20 08:34 AM CT (US)     595 / 597       
Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-25-20 06:08 AM CT (US)     596 / 597       
Whats the best way to make an animated object (such as a flag) that units can't walk over.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 07-25-20 01:53 PM CT (US)     597 / 597       
I'm having some weird bug with my Mod that occasionally when I send a unit to attack another unit (both new units I've added) then the game crashes. It only seems to happen when I right click to attack. If they attack automatically then it doens't crash
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