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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:
Mr Wednesday
Cavalier
(id: matty12345)
posted 08-30-17 01:23 PM CT (US)     1366 / 1611       
That's perfect scripter! Thanks again for like the hundredth time. And the maximum time is more than any scenario will likely be running.

Tanks, thanks and yes I realized that. It shouldn't matter for what I'm doing here though.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
Rico_jolla
Squire
posted 08-30-17 03:18 PM CT (US)     1367 / 1611       
Hello folks,
so lately i've been scratching my head around this:

here you see two versions of the same triggers. the one on the left doesn't work, the one on the right does.




the two versions are:
left-
an allied cart comes to a certain place, where gaia will tribute me 37 gold.
the same trigger will also remove the cart and activate another trigger, which loops the first one after a time interval.

right-
an allied cart comes to a certain place, where gaia will tribute me 37 gold.
the same trigger activates another trigger, which loops the first one after a time interval, and removes the cart.

What is strange here, is that i have the cart disappearing, but the tribute not coming!
I have to say that...it worked, up until i decided to check why sometimes it was bugging out, giving a double tribute.
Mr Wednesday
Cavalier
(id: matty12345)
posted 08-30-17 05:07 PM CT (US)     1368 / 1611       
Hey, scripter, I tried your up effect...no success.

The unit I am trying to alter is the Bamboo stump, it normally lasts 180 seconds, I need to alter that time. I am using up effect 0,0,737,21,1000,1 for example. I've also used 12 not 21, and adjusted the number to be lower or higher than 180, no success any way.

Any ideas? Or is this unit handled differently than corpses?

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 08-30-17 09:50 PM CT (US)     1369 / 1611       
Try up-effect 0,-1,737,21,1000,1

Bamboo stump is a Gaia object, so you might need to use -1 for GAIA_SET_ATTRIBUTE

(I don't know, It's not explained why these are separate)

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
scripter64
Wolved
posted 08-31-17 01:52 AM CT (US)     1370 / 1611       
I just tried up-effect 0,0,737,21,32767,1 and it definitely lasted more than 180s. I also tried 2 instead of 32767 and the bamboo stump pixels vanished after 2s. Is the Display Instructions effect set with Number 9, Timer 99999999? Are these stumps from naturally cutting the trees or directly placed on the map? I tested with a villager cutting a bamboo forest tree with aegis and watching the stump after all wood was taken. If these are directly placed on the map, then some changes may be required to commit ATTR_STORAGE_VALUE 21 for #12 corpse decay time for existing objects like the stone amount in a mine.

[This message has been edited by scripter64 (edited 08-31-2017 @ 02:33 AM).]

BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 08-31-17 06:47 AM CT (US)     1371 / 1611       
Ah yea!

After your up-effect, matt. Do a second one that sets the resource to -32. This will update all existing bamboo stumps, as changing the resource amounts doesn't affect it until it's re-created (Because in the vanilla game, Only farms do this)

So;

up-effect 0,0,737,21,32767,1
up-effect 0,0,737,21,-32,1

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010

[This message has been edited by BF_Tanks (edited 08-31-2017 @ 06:47 AM).]

Mr Wednesday
Cavalier
(id: matty12345)
posted 08-31-17 07:23 AM CT (US)     1372 / 1611       
Ahh, that explains it. I was placing them by unlocking them in AGE for the editor. I'll try this out tonight.

Thanks guys! There should probably be a dedicated thread where we can discuss up effect and up attribute.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 08-31-17 08:52 AM CT (US)     1373 / 1611       
I've been thinking of writing some guide for it. Scripter's documentation isn't terrific and there's a lot unexplained, which you can only really know about through looking at his past release notes or something.

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
Mr Wednesday
Cavalier
(id: matty12345)
posted 08-31-17 09:09 AM CT (US)     1374 / 1611       
Such a guide would be a great idea. It should also include guidance for toggling the various modes, the effect of each number in conditions and effects, weather effect, etc. A complete user manual for UP would be a terrific help for a lot of people.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
scripter64
Wolved
posted 08-31-17 02:20 PM CT (US)     1375 / 1611       
Enabled ATTR_STORAGE_VALUE -32 to safely work for Corpse Decay Time #12 and changed the Timer 99999999 to just >= 99999 instead (I'm hoping no actual scenario uses a timer that high with Number set to 9 lol), so it should hopefully be easier to type. If you'd like to test this, please redownload the latest beta from http://userpatch.aiscripters.net/guide-beta.html. The downloaded zip file will be named UserPatch.v1.5.Beta.20170831-000000.zip. Thanks!
UserPatch v1.5 Beta has been released (20170831-000000)! This update adjusts the previous fix that enabled the ability to SET_ATTRIBUTE an object's ATTR_STORAGE_VALUE to -32 to commit the (FWGS) amount. This can now also be used to safely commit the Corpse Decay Time #12 amount, so scenarios can adjust the time that existing objects (placed by the editor) remain on the map. In addition, for up-effect, along with setting Number to 9, the Display Instructions effect Timer value only has to be >= 99999 now, instead of 99999999. This should hopefully be easier to type in. Thanks to Mr Wednesday on AoKH for attribute feedback and randomdude for Timer feedback! The multiplayer sync id has been updated, so all players in a game must have this build (5566) to play in multiplayer.
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 09-02-17 04:38 PM CT (US)     1376 / 1611       
It's a bit of a mess and long winded but I posted a guide up. I'll refine it as time goes on and I'll keep updating it. I still need to finish the section on Number field effects in triggers, then all the major pieces will be done and only testing and more accurate information will be needed.

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
scripter64
Wolved
posted 09-02-17 08:55 PM CT (US)     1377 / 1611       
Incredible work, BF_Tanks! I'm terrible at documentation, so I could never have done this in such great detail. I saw a few notes requesting clarification for things, so after you're finished, please let me know and I'll try to answer them all
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 09-03-17 09:46 PM CT (US)     1378 / 1611       
I've pretty much finished for the attributes.

There's a lot of testing I can still do to get further clarification on things but it's no big rush, I got the bulk of the post done

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
Bassi
Squire
posted 09-09-17 02:22 PM CT (US)     1379 / 1611       
You always learn new things! I wondered why my AI script didn't do anything with its villagers. I had placed Farmers and Hunters and apparently the AI did not recognize them as a Villagers. So they just stood around idly. Instead, I placed "normal" Villagers then - and lo and behold! AI immediately sent these villagers to work.
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 09-09-17 02:35 PM CT (US)     1380 / 1611       
Hunters are really nice with a cutscene of a village rebellion. I'll search but I think I have a screenshot somewhere, with hunters and miners and lunberjacks (axes pickaxes and bows) as rebel peasants.

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 09-09-2017 @ 02:36 PM).]

HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 09-09-17 03:24 PM CT (US)     1381 / 1611       
Ingo's Epilogue: The Animal Comes Out To Meet the Hunter, the cinematic sequel to When the Wheel Breaks has a great set of scenes using various villager types in an ambush of the shogun's convoy.

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
Bassi
Squire
posted 09-09-17 04:37 PM CT (US)     1382 / 1611       
Yes, I agree! That's an impressive cut scene. My favorite part is the clever use of the Fishers! Superb!
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 09-09-17 05:48 PM CT (US)     1383 / 1611       
Sadly, Hunters don't have a combat task so if you use userpatch to upgrade Villagers to Hunters they can't do anything.

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 09-09-17 06:14 PM CT (US)     1384 / 1611       
I had a prima strategy guide for AoE1 that actually recommended having villagers be tasked to hunt before engaging in combat because hunters had 4 attack in AoE while villagers had 3. I guess the author didnt try sending them to fight, as they revert back to 3 instantly... But book was filled with inane advice. His shang analysis was that they were the worst civ in the game...lol(they got nerfed in a dozen patches in a row and are still a good civ)

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 09-10-17 08:54 AM CT (US)     1385 / 1611       
Strategy guides should only be written by people with an understanding of how the game works, not a guide to how they play the game.

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
Rico_jolla
Squire
posted 09-16-17 11:43 AM CT (US)     1386 / 1611       
SO i have this mysterious bug, where the middle part of one gate becomes greyed by so said 'fog', even if it is within sight range, or with marco+polo.
therefore everytime i cross the gate i dont see it opening!
how can it happen?
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 09-20-17 11:38 AM CT (US)     1387 / 1611       
On of the few things I hate is how blocky terrain paints are. Water and sand are the worst to work with

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 09-20-2017 @ 11:39 AM).]

Rico_jolla
Squire
posted 09-24-17 09:47 AM CT (US)     1388 / 1611       
Hello!
Can I give an accuracy modifier to ranged units through UP?
I mean something like making ranged units dumb or snipers.
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 09-24-17 10:40 PM CT (US)     1389 / 1611       
Yes. Read this

Accuracy is Attribute no. 11

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
The Great Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
(id: Great_Artiste)
posted 10-02-17 01:24 PM CT (US)     1390 / 1611       
I've reached the point in my project where I can start making triggers, now I'm facing this question:

How to organize my triggers for max effectivness?

I know it's recommended to list renames and such first but what about afterwards. Each part in the cronological order?

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
Julius999
Imposter
posted 10-02-17 05:07 PM CT (US)     1391 / 1611       
Definitely. It creates massive confusion if you leave a section substantially incomplete when moving on to a bit of some other section.

1010011010
[ All_That_Glitters | Pretty_Town_Contest | Other_AoK_Designs | AoE_Designs ]
Member of Stormwind Studios
BF_Tanks
Squire
posted 10-02-17 07:24 PM CT (US)     1392 / 1611       
The way I do it, is Setup first, Systems and loops next, then gameplay/story stuff.

  • Setup Triggers
    Each trigger would have a timer condition, starting at 1. I'd make a list of priorities so each second a different thing is happening, making sure that all UP-Effects happen BEFORE Change Object triggers, and AFTER I've setup things that would be a waste of performance to affect.
    [Timer 1] -- I'd use this to set up eye-candy. Usually for removing wall-ends, knocking down trees, killing units for corpses, etc. In the description I'd explain what each block of effects is for. EG: "E#0-E#10 - Remove Wall Ends, E#11-#E#13 - Corpses, E#14 - Remove Bridge".
    [Timer 2] -- As I'm using UserPatch 1.5, I'll use this trigger for UP-Effects. If I'm not using UP 1.5, I'll probably go for Change Object effects.
    [Timer 3] -- Change Object effects and UP-Attribute effects. But take note, that I wouldn't want to cover my whole map in this one trigger. I'd stagger it out, depending on where my players' starting areas are. I'd change objects in their immediate vicinity, then I'd have a later trigger on a Timer 10+ condition to change objects further afield. Remember that UP-Attribute and Change Object triggers are the most performance demanding triggers, so you'll want to stagger it to avoid lag that could happen right when the map starts. (If you're using a lot, anyway. Nowadays I usually use UP-Effects where possible because the performance cost is minimal). If I'm not using UP 1.5, this will be where I change ownerships of units if need be.
    [Timer 4] -- As the timer increases, trigger priority should decrease. So here I would lock gates, or do other menial tasks like patrolling and tasking. Each trigger after this will be one second later, and less important. So all the performance heavy stuff happens right at the start to get it out of the way. I'd also have Change Object triggers for things the players won't see until much later set on timers like 20, 30, etc.

  • System Triggers
    If I'm needing looping triggers for checking kills and other resources, I'd have them here. I'd also have Civ checking triggers and their effects here, on a Timer of 1. Each of my civ checking trigger will deactivate that player's other civ-check triggers (I try to make sure I don't leave any trigger that will never do anything activated. The performance impact might be minimal with a handful of triggers, but I imagine if the game is checking every second for which active triggers can fire and what they're doing, I want that list to be minimal).

  • Gameplay Triggers
    I'd begin my gameplay and story triggers here, following the map progression and my intended player path. For an open scenario where exploration is allowed, I'd make sure to group my quest triggers in chunks based on their distance to the players' start positions


    I highly advise you name your triggers something meaningful, and fill in descriptions for large triggers where you might forget what effect is for what. If you're not using UP, you'll definitely want to note down where all your negative value triggers may be.

    It's also not entirely necessary to be strict about your performance and timing and deactivating useless triggers if you're doing a small project or something single-player. But I like to get as much oomf as I can.

    Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
    Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
    and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010

    [This message has been edited by BF_Tanks (edited 10-02-2017 @ 07:27 PM).]

  • Possidon
    Slayer
    posted 10-03-17 03:55 AM CT (US)     1393 / 1611       
    I always break up triggers with blank that go red which I rename with -------- to split up bulks of triggers into categories
    Possidon
    Slayer
    posted 10-03-17 05:21 AM CT (US)     1394 / 1611       
    BTW - How do you change the LOS of a unit through triggers with Userpatch? I can't seem to find the trigger which does it.

    Also I'm trying to create a Hold Off Unit but when I save the scenario in Trigger Studio the scenario won't show up in the game/ Any ideas why?

    [This message has been edited by Possidon (edited 10-03-2017 @ 05:41 AM).]

    Cataphract887
    Squire
    posted 10-03-17 08:33 AM CT (US)     1395 / 1611       
    Create a display instructions effect with 99999999 timer, and 9 in the value box. Then put this;up-effect 1,0,837,1,45,1
    The 45 is for LOS, which is actually capped at 20 I think. The 837 is unit id, a map revealer in this case. The 1 at start makes it effect only player 1. 0 would effect everyone's map revealer.

    You should read tanks guide on the forum though, very helpful

    "Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

    "Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
    Possidon
    Slayer
    posted 10-03-17 08:48 AM CT (US)     1396 / 1611       
    Cataphract887
    Squire
    posted 10-03-17 09:32 AM CT (US)     1397 / 1611       
    Only 1.5

    "Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

    "Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
    Possidon
    Slayer
    posted 10-03-17 09:45 AM CT (US)     1398 / 1611       
    HockeySam18
    Dúnadan
    posted 10-03-17 10:55 AM CT (US)     1399 / 1611       
    Changing an object's range also increases its LoS, but that's probably not what you want.

    The UP-effect is the best way to do it now, although since your scenario is already modded you had might as well just change the unit's LoS through AGE.

    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
    Possidon
    Slayer
    posted 10-03-17 11:31 AM CT (US)     1400 / 1611       
    OK I'll use the UP Effect.

    I don't want to change the Mod as it's not my Mod and I want to stay faithful to it. The data file won't be included in the upload as its already in the Blacksmith.
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