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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Mod Design and Discussion » The AOKH Modders Guild
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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 slps. 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 $1000s 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:
Usac
Squire
posted 03-15-17 09:55 PM CT (US)     316 / 597       
I'm curious to tamper with the Burmese Team Bonus. It apparently, according to AGE, has a bonus called 210 - Wood Storage, and that value is set to 42. I'm wondering, if that number to be changed to a different number, what would happen?

Could it be used to reveal other objects besides Relics?

[This message has been edited by Usac (edited 03-15-2017 @ 09:56 PM).]

Leif Ericson
Seraph Emeritus
posted 03-15-17 11:33 PM CT (US)     317 / 597       
42 is the class of relics. I bet you just need to select the class of whatever objects you want to reveal.

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TriRem
Huskarl
posted 03-16-17 05:57 AM CT (US)     318 / 597       
It makes you see the line of sight of all the units of this class. Try setting it to the predator animals class just for fun

Fluctuat nec mergitur.
Usac
Squire
posted 03-16-17 10:12 AM CT (US)     319 / 597       
Predator animals includes both boar and wolf type huntables. As such, I would love to see that as a future TB for a future nomadic civ... is it broken or something?
Jineapple
Squire
posted 03-16-17 01:28 PM CT (US)     320 / 597       
With the way it's currently coded, giving a civ LoS visibility for predator animals is way too powerful, it has so many advantages

1. Always see your own boars, therefore less time spent scouting your own base
2. You have a very good idea where the enemies are (making the Vietnamese bonus less special)
3. You know where their boars are, making laming so much easier (not something you really want to give a bonus for)
4. Never run into wolves unprepared
5. And to top it all off, since the LoS will remain regardless if the animal moves or dies, you have constant visibility on a quarter of the map or more (especially Wolf LoS on high difficulties)
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 03-24-17 09:22 AM CT (US)     321 / 597       
Is there any AGE2017 tutorial or AGE2 tutorial in general
Vardamir
Huskarl
posted 03-24-17 12:25 PM CT (US)     322 / 597       
There's assorted tutorials for specific tasks on the University.

This is probably the closet thing to a general guide, though it's pretty out of date

AoK: Realms
Adds Armenians, Balts, Bamars, Bohemians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Chimus, Dutch, Helvetians, Jurchens, Khmers, Malays, Mandinkas, Moors, Muisca, Tamils, Tufans, Turcomans, and Viets

Proteus and Genie Converter - AKX installers for modern times
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 03-24-17 02:31 PM CT (US)     323 / 597       
Thanks
Mahazona
Squire
posted 04-11-17 01:50 AM CT (US)     324 / 597       
Does anyone know from where I can find these empty sails?
http://media.moddb.com/images/members/2/1382/1381808/profile/image054.jpg
The_Old_Breed
Squire
posted 04-11-17 11:30 PM CT (US)     325 / 597       
In rise of history mod
Mahazona
Squire
posted 04-12-17 08:33 AM CT (US)     326 / 597       
Can someone give them to me?im sure that enkil did not make these himself.
Possidon
Slayer
posted 04-12-17 09:54 AM CT (US)     327 / 597       
When I add SLPs to the gamedata_x1_p1 drs the slp file names automatically goes to a high number like 54229. How can I get it to just follow on from the previous slp of the turlte ship in that file, 5219?
Vardamir
Huskarl
posted 04-12-17 12:25 PM CT (US)     328 / 597       
Turtle pack numbers new entries to a drs after the values in all forms, so deleting 54228.bin will make entries start at 5221. Once you've added in your new stuff, you can add the bin file and change its ID back using the Modify ID command.

Alternatively, you can use the Modify ID command on the new entries you've added, though it must be done individually.

AoK: Realms
Adds Armenians, Balts, Bamars, Bohemians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Chimus, Dutch, Helvetians, Jurchens, Khmers, Malays, Mandinkas, Moors, Muisca, Tamils, Tufans, Turcomans, and Viets

Proteus and Genie Converter - AKX installers for modern times
MefizTofel
Squire
posted 04-12-17 08:55 PM CT (US)     329 / 597       
@Possidon
You could just use DRSBUILD
Like Vardamir told me here

Just rename your file to xxxyyyyy.zzz

x=first three letters of your .drs file's name
y=number ID
z=file format

Example = gam00001.slp
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 04-14-17 02:34 AM CT (US)     330 / 597       
Just a quick question: Has anyone ever created a boar rider barbarian style unit?

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Mahazona
Squire
posted 04-14-17 04:27 AM CT (US)     331 / 597       
You want coc in aoc?

Dont think so we hardly have fantasy units here.
Saint_Michaels
Squire
posted 04-22-17 04:49 PM CT (US)     332 / 597       
I'm just wondering if there is any way to make it so that when you pick up a relic with a non-(common) monk unit, it does not change into the "Monk with Relic" unit (unit 286), but rather a different unit altogether?

I'm trying to see if I can circumvent around the hard coded healing animation to achieve unique monks for civilizations, based on a theory, but the Relic issue is kinda stopping me from doing this at the moment. I want to say this is probably a hard coded mechanic, but from what I heard, the scrapped 1.0d update was apparently going to make the Missionary to be able to pick up relics, so in theory, there might be a way to implement different relic units in the game, unless that was a hard coded change that Ensemble had access to...
Jineapple
Squire
posted 04-22-17 07:25 PM CT (US)     333 / 597       
That should be possible with UP 1.5 I think, but it's still in beta atm.
Saint_Michaels
Squire
posted 04-24-17 04:00 PM CT (US)     334 / 597       
Thought I found a way with "Task Swap Group" attribute in AGE, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Is this a function that only works with Villager Tasks (Switching to Farmer, Miner, Lumberjack, ect.), or is there something I'm missing?

[This message has been edited by Saint_Michaels (edited 04-24-2017 @ 04:03 PM).]

Vardamir
Huskarl
posted 04-24-17 06:24 PM CT (US)     335 / 597       
Task swap ID works with other abilities, but the id of the monk with relic is hardcoded and not part of the pickup ability.

I'm curious as to why the relic pickup is problematic, though. Monks with relics don't have any abilities with graphics, so you can change their graphics on a per civ basis without any workarounds. That does cause converted monks to change graphics when picking up relics, but that's a relatively rare case and how the Meso monks have always worked.

AoK: Realms
Adds Armenians, Balts, Bamars, Bohemians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Chimus, Dutch, Helvetians, Jurchens, Khmers, Malays, Mandinkas, Moors, Muisca, Tamils, Tufans, Turcomans, and Viets

Proteus and Genie Converter - AKX installers for modern times
Saint_Michaels
Squire
posted 04-24-17 07:33 PM CT (US)     336 / 597       
Task swap ID works with other abilities, but the id of the monk with relic is hardcoded and not part of the pickup ability.

I'm curious as to why the relic pickup is problematic, though. Monks with relics don't have any abilities with graphics, so you can change their graphics on a per civ basis without any workarounds. That does cause converted monks to change graphics when picking up relics, but that's a relatively rare case and how the Meso monks have always worked.
Thanks for the reply Vardamir. Well what I am trying to do is create region-based monks for my mod, much like the Mesoamerican ones. I'm trying to see if I can get around the universal healing task animation by making the Monks their own units altogether since I'm at a brick wall about the healing animation. The relic issue is the only problem I have with the concept. The problem isn't really that it changes into the (original) "Monk with Relic" unit, it's that once the Monk drops the Relic, he becomes the original Monk unit instead of the "Unique" Monk.

I've also tried using task groups with the "Monk with Relic" unit to see if it will change back to the unique monk, but that doesn't seem to work either.

[This message has been edited by Saint_Michaels (edited 04-24-2017 @ 07:35 PM).]

Vardamir
Huskarl
posted 04-24-17 09:06 PM CT (US)     337 / 597       
The solution is to upgrade the original monks into the region-specific ones.

You can also install WTEP, which can prevent alternate monk units from becoming the basic version after collecting and dropping a relic.

AoK: Realms
Adds Armenians, Balts, Bamars, Bohemians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Chimus, Dutch, Helvetians, Jurchens, Khmers, Malays, Mandinkas, Moors, Muisca, Tamils, Tufans, Turcomans, and Viets

Proteus and Genie Converter - AKX installers for modern times
Saint_Michaels
Squire
posted 04-25-17 01:28 AM CT (US)     338 / 597       
The solution is to upgrade the original monks into the region-specific ones.
It worked. Thanks for the help.
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-05-17 09:13 AM CT (US)     339 / 597       
I have a problem with my AGE 2017. The graphics just down show, no matter what I do. I have the tiny window open where the are supposed to be shown, but there is just empty white space, only the black outline of the object's square is seen. Any idea what to do?

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Jineapple
Squire
posted 05-05-17 03:48 PM CT (US)     340 / 597       
Sounds to me like it can't find the SLP files because there's an incorrect path for the data folder. Have you verified it's correct?
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-06-17 02:29 AM CT (US)     341 / 597       
Errr... Where exactly?

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Vardamir
Huskarl
posted 05-06-17 08:50 AM CT (US)     342 / 597       
strings/key-value doesn't have any graphical content. Your Path for DRS files should be D:\Programs\Steam\steamapps\common\Age2HD\resources\_common\drs

AoK: Realms
Adds Armenians, Balts, Bamars, Bohemians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Chimus, Dutch, Helvetians, Jurchens, Khmers, Malays, Mandinkas, Moors, Muisca, Tamils, Tufans, Turcomans, and Viets

Proteus and Genie Converter - AKX installers for modern times
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-06-17 09:30 AM CT (US)     343 / 597       
It works now. Thank you very much

It's me again with another problem. I created a new unit in AGE (id:947 I think). I chose all graphics (stand, walk, die, attack), set armor, attack and chose option to shown in editor. I can't find it in the editor. Neither units, heroes or other or buildings. Where did I go wrong? Could it be steam HD issue?

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa

[This message has been edited by Great_Artiste (edited 05-06-2017 @ 03:39 PM).]

The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-12-17 08:25 AM CT (US)     344 / 597       
Sorry for double post
Are there any good tutorials for copy-paste object modding? I'm getting interested in it. Thanks in advance.

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Jan dc
Squire
(id: Den cekke)
posted 05-13-17 05:02 AM CT (US)     345 / 597       
Units or buildings?
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-13-17 05:25 AM CT (US)     346 / 597       
Units

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Mahazona
Squire
posted 05-13-17 06:42 AM CT (US)     347 / 597       
The easiest way is to extract the slp files in to one sprite sheet using the merge and share option in slp editor and edit one by one.
Its not a five minute job and takes time and patients. Its easier if you have knowledge on image editing sw such as gimp or Photoshop
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 05-13-17 06:46 AM CT (US)     348 / 597       
The easiest way is to extract the slp files in to one sprite sheet using the merge and share option in slp editor and edit one by one.
Its not a five minute job and takes time and patients. Its easier if you have knowledge on image editing sw such as gimp or Photoshop
That's why I am looking for a detailed tutorial

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Jan dc
Squire
(id: Den cekke)
posted 05-13-17 07:23 AM CT (US)     349 / 597       
Don't think there are tutorials for it out there but I don't know what kind of tutorials could be made for it anyway. Copy paste units are tough, because you have to draw them pixel by pixel, trying to get the shading and light right. And this for hundreds of frames.
Mahazona
Squire
posted 05-13-17 07:55 AM CT (US)     350 / 597       
Yes that is the main problem what kind of tutorial to make. There are no fixed methods to make copy past units.

One easy way to make units is to use the merging method.few easy steps to do it.

Make sure you have 2 unit that has identical frames such as the militia lancer and ordnance lancer.
Using the merge and share option in slp editor extract the frames in to one sprite sheet with the same distance and width.There is an option to change the height and width of frame.
Once you have 2 sprite sheets that fits perfectly on one another can star editing.

Here is the outcome of the mixed unit.what I have done is copy and paste the player color parts of one unit over the other.

[This message has been edited by Mahazona (edited 05-13-2017 @ 08:09 AM).]

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