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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » The Designer's Tavern IV - Ask questions and discuss scenario design!
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Topic Subject:The Designer's Tavern IV - Ask questions and discuss scenario design!
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HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 07-04-15 04:56 PM CT (US)         




Welcome to the Designer's Tavern! After switching owners twice before and undergoing some time-consuming renovations, the tavern is now in our capable hands. Who are we? That's a good question! We are HockeySam18 and Mr Wednesday, your benevolent oligarchs hosts! Established by SonicShadow in 2005, taken over by Matt LiVecchi in 2009, and passed on to Lord Basse in 2010, the tavern is a place for the SD&M community to sit down, relax and have a sip of an imaginary pint of ale. This is the place for general discussion on scenario design; talk about whatever you want as long as it's related to scenario design, downloads in the Blacksmith, and the like. If you want to say something totally unrelated to scenario design, the Town's Crier is a fine place to go to instead.



Seminars_on_Designing_and_Trigger Tricks

Have a new discovery you want to share with the world? A design trick, a good way to design a fortress, or a trigger system? Perhaps you feel the need to address what you think is a problem with designing? Contact us via email or post a reply with the article! It doesn't have to be something brand new, but it shouldn't be something of common knowledge either, like "A Guide on Painting Water on your Map" (though that can propagate some interesting discussion in of itself)! Write a paragraph or three, add a screenshot and send it off, and we'll make sure it gets up here.

Past seminars:


Designing a realistic forest, by HockeySam18

Current seminar:

Utilizing off-grid placement to its full potential, by Mr Wednesday




Off grid placement is the most powerful tool to come along since Data editing. I opened AoKTS three times when doing my PTC entry, compared to hundreds or thousands of times when doing The Quiet Dawn. While all the effects I used in Smile No More (and that screenshot) were technically possible before, the simple truth is no one would ever have done them. When covering the Asian monastery to get only the statue, I could select trees that had the exact shape as the outline of the statue (or close enough) and essentially just paint over the stuff I didn't want. To do that once with AoKTS would have taken probably a couple days. I did it in dozens of spots.

Designers haven't really picked up on the full power of this yet I don't think. AoK has always had a very limited set of graphics, and we use the closest approximation to represent everything we don't have.

Except now, people need to start thinking of all the graphics as just 2D images. If any part of a graphic can represent what you want, or any combination of parts, you can make it happen. In that screenshot, the obvious choice for a treehouse is the Outpost. The sea tower is the next thing you logically think of. But the best looking part might be the Archery range, which is a perfect example of using one quarter of a graphic or less, and essentially making the rest disappear.

The only thing that matters anymore is the front image essentially, which consists of whatever parts are showing from all the images.

I'd caution that 99% of this is depth perception, so watch the shadows, where the bases hit the terrain, etc. Make sure there isn't anything showing that breaks the illusions you are creating.



Playtesters and Other Requests:

Feel free to ask here, I will add your request to the topic post if it doesn't get fulfilled quickly. Go ahead and link your project thread as well if you like!



Help with AI Scripting for Custom Scenarios

For anyone struggling with AI scripting, this tool by Jan dc allows you to generate a competent AI tailored specifically to the needs of your custom scenario.



Current Projects and Screenshots:

We'd love to see screenshots and hear teasers from your current projects or whatever you've felt like working on. Feel free to post them and we'll start up a list below!

- Storm on the Steppe - by HockeySam18

- The Battle of Senc Tor - by Aristeides

- Wrath of the Traibs - by Possidon

- Aethelflaed Modification and Campaign - by Mash

- Paradise Lost Remastered - by Devastator

- Pirate's Treasure - by PresterJohn

- Barbarossa - the campaign - by Paul_TD



Tavern Staff:
Owners - HockeySam18 and Mr Wednesday
Patron and Resident Viking - Leif Ericson
President of the Board - Dead_End
Board Members - Popeychops and John the Late
Chef - Major Helper

"Hot" Barmaids:
Prester John
Miathemother

Menu:
Steak and ale pie
Rack of lamb
Grilled venison
Roasted iron boar
Spam
Vegetable medley
...

Drinks:
Glass of wine
Pint of ale
Bucket of ale
Tub of mead
Cider
Tea
Coffee
Guarana

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1

[This message has been edited by HockeySam18 (edited 07-27-2017 @ 08:49 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 05:07 PM CT (US)     1 / 1611       
First I read it as "How to design a realistic Fortress"

Can someone make this a tutorial ? How to design a realistic castle ?

Edit: Also, here are some screenshots! (made with Chivalry)

Scottish Tower House

Village

Waterfall

The rubbles outside walls seem unrealistic, I know. I was too.. I don't know. Something happened and I put those

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

[This message has been edited by Aristeides (edited 07-04-2015 @ 05:10 PM).]

Devious Dev
Official Professional Qualified Noob
(id: dragonslayermcmx)
posted 07-04-15 05:08 PM CT (US)     2 / 1611       
Uh... make walls, put things

D E V A S T A T O R
Paradise Lost ~ Scored 1st in the ACSC12! ~ Voted Best Cinematic Scenario of 2013 ~ Official Rating: 4.7
Demon Town ~ Scored 1st in the HHC11! ~ "...as unique as an AoK scenario can get." - Panel ~ Official Rating: 4.2

Proud Member of BlackForestStudios
My AoE2 Youtube Channel
Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 05:18 PM CT (US)     3 / 1611       
I'm so happy right now that a thread like this exists! I've never seen this!

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Mike Oxhard
Squire
(id: Arnas)
posted 07-04-15 05:20 PM CT (US)     4 / 1611       
Can someone make this a tutorial ? How to design a realistic castle ?
Not a tutorial, nor am I sure if it's realistic. But heres a fortress from my project.

Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 05:23 PM CT (US)     5 / 1611       
Looks nice! Although.. lake in the middle of a fortress. Is that realistic ?

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Devious Dev
Official Professional Qualified Noob
(id: dragonslayermcmx)
posted 07-04-15 05:23 PM CT (US)     6 / 1611       
Nice screenshots Aris. Grass could use some more terrain mixing and some more eye candy. Water terrain mixing is good, although I do suggest adding some actual land to where those waterfall cliffs are. Right now, they look a bit like they're just hovering there

And nice fortress Arnas, although the elevated walls hurt my eyes

D E V A S T A T O R
Paradise Lost ~ Scored 1st in the ACSC12! ~ Voted Best Cinematic Scenario of 2013 ~ Official Rating: 4.7
Demon Town ~ Scored 1st in the HHC11! ~ "...as unique as an AoK scenario can get." - Panel ~ Official Rating: 4.2

Proud Member of BlackForestStudios
My AoE2 Youtube Channel

[This message has been edited by Defibrilator (edited 07-04-2015 @ 05:27 PM).]

Leif Ericson
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-04-15 05:24 PM CT (US)     7 / 1611       
Nice-looking fortress, Arnas. I'm not sure how authentic the mini oasis is, but it looks good anyway.

~`o´~|\  Join the fresh and exciting AI Ladder for its fourth season!
´ `  |_\
       |    Learn the joy of AI scripting in my guide: The World of AI Scripting
______|______
 \        /
   .....Hinga Dinga Durgen! - SpongeBob
  `-=<.__.>=-´
Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 05:27 PM CT (US)     8 / 1611       
Thanks for the advice Devastator! I'm working on something small again, will share some pictures here later. (Thought it's Ramadan so I gotta sleep early!)

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 07-04-15 05:38 PM CT (US)     9 / 1611       
Those look quite nice, Aristeides!

Rubble has many uses, actually. The most obvious is for a destroyed/besieged city/town/fortress etc, but I also like to use the off-grid feature of UserPatch to place them under walls, buildings, and even the edge of a forest so that they show just a little. I also use them as debris near cliffs and rocks (a trick first used by Dave_Earl, I believe).

I can put the fortress design tutorial as the next thing on the tutorial "to-do" list


@Arnas: That fortress looks quite good! I actually like the oasis - it makes sense for strategic reasons that a desert fortress would be built to control a rare and precious water source. Three pieces of feedback, though:

1. The perspective on that large rock on the right side of the barracks looks a bit odd. I'd just remove it, probably.

2. I tend to avoid using different levels of elevation on the same row of walls because it produces that annoying "cut off" effect that you can see in some places of the screenshot where the wall pieces are on different elevation levels. Even it out so that you get a long solid wall, if possible.

3. The style of the gate and towers clashes with the rest of the fortress and it also looks odd to have the wall ends with different sizes running into the gateposts. To fix this:

- Remove the fortified walls and replace them with regular stone walls (this is important since otherwise you'll end up still having the wall ends in addition to the gateposts instead of having the wall run fluidly into the gatepost).

- Trigger the research of the fortified wall and guard tower techs for that player.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1

[This message has been edited by HockeySam18 (edited 07-04-2015 @ 05:38 PM).]

PresterJohn
Squire
posted 07-04-15 05:41 PM CT (US)     10 / 1611       
I'm pretty sure I could pass off for a hot barmaid...

Nice screenshots, Aris and Arnas.

EDIT: Good forest tutorial too, Hockeysam. Sort of forgot the OP.

[This message has been edited by PresterJohn (edited 07-04-2015 @ 05:42 PM).]

Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 06:18 PM CT (US)     11 / 1611       
Entrance

The Dock

Coastal Town

Nature

Goodbye!

Made this just now. A Coastal Town. What do you guys think ?

Edit: I personally think I've used too much terrain mixing on this one. Especially near the coast

Edit 2: Ships doing ship things..

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

[This message has been edited by Aristeides (edited 07-04-2015 @ 06:26 PM).]

John the Late
Knight
posted 07-04-15 06:33 PM CT (US)     12 / 1611       
On the topic of designing a nice castle, I quite like this video by MrDanish177:




Nice-looking fortress, Arnas. I'm not sure how authentic the mini oasis is, but it looks good anyway.
I think it would make sense to built a fortress around a water source in the desert. And as you said, it simply looks good.

[This message has been edited by John the Late (edited 07-04-2015 @ 06:35 PM).]

Devious Dev
Official Professional Qualified Noob
(id: dragonslayermcmx)
posted 07-04-15 06:35 PM CT (US)     13 / 1611       
Edit: I personally think I've used too much terrain mixing on this one. Especially near the coast
Too little actually imo, but it can be difficult getting that right. Try making the water more like you have it in the Waterfall screenshot (mixed instead of layers), and don't be afraid to make the beach a bit wider. For the town, much road seldom looks good. I usually use dirt 1 as the main ingredient for roads with an occasional broken/fungus road patch here and there. The forest looks pretty good so far.

D E V A S T A T O R
Paradise Lost ~ Scored 1st in the ACSC12! ~ Voted Best Cinematic Scenario of 2013 ~ Official Rating: 4.7
Demon Town ~ Scored 1st in the HHC11! ~ "...as unique as an AoK scenario can get." - Panel ~ Official Rating: 4.2

Proud Member of BlackForestStudios
My AoE2 Youtube Channel

[This message has been edited by Defibrilator (edited 07-04-2015 @ 06:36 PM).]

John the Late
Knight
posted 07-04-15 06:40 PM CT (US)     14 / 1611       
Edit: I personally think I've used too much terrain mixing on this one. Especially near the coast
Too little actually imo, but it can be difficult getting that right.
Funny. I think it's just the right amount.
Lilthbehr
Squire
(id: Lildbehr)
posted 07-04-15 07:32 PM CT (US)     15 / 1611       
Made this just now. A Coastal Town. What do you guys think ?
I think it looks good.
But, the water sure needs a little more mixing, and the road need not always to be "road broken" or "road fungus" add in some ordinary patches of road in front of the church. (If they have brooms).
Another thing with laying out a road is that (this is just nitpicking) it in RL follows the landscape. In the image "entrance" just between the barrack and the statue, draw that road down from the hillside and closer to the two pines. Same thing happens in front of the market, but I would suggest lowering that elevation there instead.

AN EVIL TONGUE IS A MAN'S BANE.
(The above poster is right, did you know that?)
Proud associate of Monsoon Studios

[This message has been edited by Lildbehr (edited 07-04-2015 @ 07:33 PM).]

Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-04-15 08:37 PM CT (US)     16 / 1611       
Advice taken, and thanks for the compliments! I'm currently in bed right now and it is VERY VERY late (the sun will rise here after about two hours)

I'm thinking of creating a Greek island next! Also, do you guys think I should upload these to the Blacksmith ?

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 07-04-15 09:06 PM CT (US)     17 / 1611       
@Aristeides:

First screenie (entrance) is quite good, though something needs to be added to blend the road and dirt1 with the grass more smoothly. I usually use a mix of dirt1, dirt2, dirt3, and grass3 to do this.

Second screenie (the dock) is quite good, though the water could use some more mixing.

Third screenie (coastal town) merits the same praise and suggestions as the above two.

Fourth screenie (nature) looks great

Fifth screenie (goodbye) also looks good, but needs something to be added to blend the road and dirt1 with the grass more smoothly.
Also, do you guys think I should upload these to the Blacksmith?
I think it would be even better if you mapcopied them into a larger map and used them as part of a fully playable scenario

@John: Funny, I thought of MrDanish's videos as well when Aris was asking about the fortress tutorial

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
Nowhere
Squire
(id: NowhereT)
posted 07-05-15 03:51 AM CT (US)     18 / 1611       
Aristeides - how did you get these cliffs?

Forummer of the Year, All in All Winner, Nicest Forummer, The Sebastien-Barbarossa Medal (FotY-2011)
Most Missed Forummer (FotY-2012)
Shyam prasad
Squire
posted 07-05-15 04:27 AM CT (US)     19 / 1611       
I think he got it from here
Dead_End
Cavalier
posted 07-05-15 04:49 AM CT (US)     20 / 1611       
Yay, it's back!

*orders beer*
Miathemother
Squire
posted 07-05-15 04:57 AM CT (US)     21 / 1611       
"Hot" Barmaids:
Taking applications!
Still taking applications?

Rawr!
Nowhere
Squire
(id: NowhereT)
posted 07-05-15 05:08 AM CT (US)     22 / 1611       
Thanks Shyam prasad - they are much better than the HD cliffs!

Forummer of the Year, All in All Winner, Nicest Forummer, The Sebastien-Barbarossa Medal (FotY-2011)
Most Missed Forummer (FotY-2012)
Shyam prasad
Squire
posted 07-05-15 05:28 AM CT (US)     23 / 1611       
Of course,That cliffs are praiseworthy

[This message has been edited by Shyam prasad (edited 07-05-2015 @ 05:29 AM).]

Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-05-15 05:44 AM CT (US)     24 / 1611       
I used Age of Chivalry Hegemony while taking that screenshot, no other mpds

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Shyam prasad
Squire
posted 07-05-15 06:01 AM CT (US)     25 / 1611       
Then the AoChivalry team have used that cliffs.
Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-05-15 06:50 AM CT (US)     26 / 1611       
Yup!

Edit: Alright, now, do you think I should sign up to the Pretty Town Contest 2015 ? (judging from my screenshots)


Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

[This message has been edited by Aristeides (edited 07-05-2015 @ 07:03 AM).]

Leif Ericson
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-05-15 07:07 AM CT (US)     27 / 1611       
Enter the contest of you're interested. Whether or not you place well, you will still gain experience.

~`o´~|\  Join the fresh and exciting AI Ladder for its fourth season!
´ `  |_\
       |    Learn the joy of AI scripting in my guide: The World of AI Scripting
______|______
 \        /
   .....Hinga Dinga Durgen! - SpongeBob
  `-=<.__.>=-´
John the Late
Knight
posted 07-05-15 07:16 AM CT (US)     28 / 1611       
On the topic of designing a forest:

I actually prefer more... blocky forests, both visually and for gameplay reasons, being less obstructive and yielding more wood. Like here.
Lilthbehr
Squire
(id: Lildbehr)
posted 07-05-15 07:24 AM CT (US)     29 / 1611       
I actually prefer more... blocky forests, both visually and for gameplay reasons, being less obstructive and yielding more wood.
I agree with you John. Thick forests are better than loose ones.

AN EVIL TONGUE IS A MAN'S BANE.
(The above poster is right, did you know that?)
Proud associate of Monsoon Studios

[This message has been edited by Lildbehr (edited 07-05-2015 @ 07:24 AM).]

Dead_End
Cavalier
posted 07-05-15 07:39 AM CT (US)     30 / 1611       
I actually prefer more... blocky forests, both visually and for gameplay reasons, being less obstructive and yielding more wood
That would of course also depend on the type of the scenario. RPGs that do not involve the gathering of resources usually look better with 'loose' forests.
Devious Dev
Official Professional Qualified Noob
(id: dragonslayermcmx)
posted 07-05-15 07:42 AM CT (US)     31 / 1611       
Edit: Alright, now, do you think I should sign up to the Pretty Town Contest 2015 ? (judging from my screenshots)
There's not much time left, but if you want, give it a go.

D E V A S T A T O R
Paradise Lost ~ Scored 1st in the ACSC12! ~ Voted Best Cinematic Scenario of 2013 ~ Official Rating: 4.7
Demon Town ~ Scored 1st in the HHC11! ~ "...as unique as an AoK scenario can get." - Panel ~ Official Rating: 4.2

Proud Member of BlackForestStudios
My AoE2 Youtube Channel
Dead_End
Cavalier
posted 07-05-15 07:44 AM CT (US)     32 / 1611       
Definitely. Even if you fail to get it done before the deadline, don't be afraid to submit it to the Blacksmith under the 'projects' section.
Aristeides
Squire
posted 07-05-15 07:48 AM CT (US)     33 / 1611       
Alright, thanks. I will give it a go. I probably won't have too much time to design something big and fancy with incredible triggers and voice-acting, but I think I could do something on a small/tiny map.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Dead_End
Cavalier
posted 07-05-15 07:55 AM CT (US)     34 / 1611       
If you have any questions just ask.
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 07-05-15 08:56 AM CT (US)     35 / 1611       
*brings beer out to D_E*

@Mia: The applications of you and Prester John have been accepted!
they are much better than the HD cliffs!
Indeed! The first thing I do upon downloading a new patch in HD is to delete the "HD" cliff .slps, which causes the old ones from the CD version to show ingame instead. Miles better

@Aristeides: As the others have said, definitely sign up! I'd love to see an entry from you



Re the forests, I prefer a mix. It's good in some spots to have thick forests, while other spots can be glades with small clusters of trees but ample walking space, and there's also room for the method that Aristeides used. If I was doing a B&D scenario I'd emphasize the former two methods more, though, while in a RPG as D_E said the latter two are probably more preferable in many cases.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
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