Scenario Design FAQ

Article written by Aro
Published on 03-13-2017; updated on 03-14-2017
Tags: Scenario Design FAQ

Don't be fooled; Age of Kings contains one of the most in-depth scenario editors in the RTS industry, that allows you to make your own battle scenarios or, for the advanced, make your own epic stories. Of course, any designer who starts out has questions, and if you have scenario design questions, you're at the right place!

How do I place gold and stone rock piles?

Make sure you have the player set to "Gaia" before looking for it in the list of usable objects. They're located in the "Other" tab.

How do you change unit stats (names, hit points, etc.)?

In the Age of Empires II Expansion pack, there are three triggers. One is called Change Unit Name, another Change Unit HP, and the third Change Unit Attack.

Change Unit Name - Changes the unit's name. Type the unit's name in the black box and then select the unit you wish to have it's name changed. Many Gaia units cannot be named, however.
Change Unit Attack - Changes the unit's attack. Type in the attack you wish to have this unit's attack raised by.
Change Unit HP - Changes the unit's HP. Again, you must type in the amount of HP you want to add.

If you do not own the Expansion, there is no way to do this short of a hex editor, and that's highly not recommended.

How do you change the population cap on a scenario to be greater than 75?

You can't. That feature was unavailable in AoK but it has been added in the AoK Expansion pack "The Conquerors", so if you have the expansion pack, this should not be an issue.

Where can I get a trigger tutorial that tells me what all of the triggers do?

You can read the Trigger Tutorial to get a list of what the triggers do and some examples of them.

My units move even when I use freeze objects and stop objects. How do I get them to stay still?

Try downloading Zanzard Lothar's Immobile Units AI. It should freeze all units, yet they will still be able to attack when a unit goes near them.

How do I make an island sink, or make a mountain form?

You can not alter the terrain with triggers (except farms). However, you can pull some tricks to make something sink, such as putting flowers in the water and then making them disappear. You can also create water by creating a bridge and removing it with triggers.

How do I make snow terrain?

How do I make snow terrain? With the original AoK, you have to use a "ModPack"... there are many in the Blacksmith to choose from. Snow terrain was added in The Conquerors so if you have the expansion pack, this is no longer an issue.

How do I delete farms? I put one down and then deleted it but it is still there!

The presence of the farm is shown by the green square around the farm area. When you create a farm, the editor also changes the underlying terrain. Deleting the farm deletes the farm, but doesn't put the terrain back. You have to do that yourself.

How do I make it so that someone can't buy something unless they have the money?

Use the "Accumulated Attribute" condition, so that you can only buy the item if you have the required amount.

How do I do a "silent tribute", where it shows no message when somebody tributes to me?

You can copy a - and paste it before the number you want. Make sure that you are tributing to somebody that's willing to lose that many resources. When you tribute to them, it deduces their resources and gives them to you without a notification message.

How do I task units to do something when they don't exist yet? (I am creating them in another trigger.)

Put all the created units in an area and when you do Task Object, select the area where those units are.

My units that are garrisoned in the editor immediately exit the building once the scenario starts. How do I keep the units garrisoned?

Download Zanzard Lothar's Immobile Units AI. It should make all units on the map stay still, as well as freeze the units inside of the building.

I am trying to stop a unit from moving by using Freeze Object, but it doesn't seem to work!

Freeze Units only sets those units on the "No-Attack" stance. They are still able to move. Again, you should try downloading the Immobile Units AI as an alternative.

How to I make a unit follow another unit?

Set up a looping trigger. Add the Task Object effect on the following unit with the location set to the unit to be followed.

How do I make units patrol?

Use the "Patrol" trigger and select all of the units to get the units to patrol together.

How do I... start?

If you want more help with tricks and such, check out the tips and tricks in the Scenario Design forum.

Whenever I start my scenario I get a message telling me "If this is an all-land or island map please set thy AI accordingly." How do I get rid of that?

Set the personality for the player giving the message to "None" instead of "Standard".

How do I set an area as visible to the player?

Use flags belonging to the player around the area you want to reveal. You can also use map revealers as an alternative (they're not visible to the player unlike the flag), but they are difficult to delete.

How do I make myself lose?

Use the "Declare Victory" effect on an enemy player. If you want everyone to lose, Declare Victory for the player "Gaia".

How do I do movies?

Movies should be in .avi format. You need to put them in a folder called AVI directly under the Age of Kings folder. However, the movies won't play when you're playing the scenario as part of a campaign, only when you play a it as a single scenario.

How do I let units other than monks to pick up the relics?

You can't.

How do I suppress certain messages? (Like if I have a trigger where someone tributes to a player and I don't want the message.)

There is no easy way to do this. Here is a workaround: in the trigger where this happens, add about 10 Send Chat effects with blank text after that generates the message. This will cause it to scroll rapidly enough that it's not seen.

How do I zip my scenario in such a way that if you unzip all files into your default Age of Empires II folder, all the files will automatically be placed in the proper locations?

Refer to the design article "Effective Winzipping" in the University.

How do I make my allies invisible to my team?

The Age of Kings Map Editor has a feature that allows you to disable technologies (go to the "Options" button within the editor). Disable the "Cartography" technology if you want your allies to become invisible to you (invisible meaning you will not share LOS).

How do I create custom AI?

Download the AI Editor if you would like. It makes AI somewhat easier to do. Of course, you can always stick to using NotePad. To find a guide, right-click on your CD Drive when AoK is in (located in My Computer if you use Windows) and open it. Look for the DOCS folder, and then open the CPSB tutorial. It also contains a Random Map Scripting tutorial named RMSG.

How do I make the Display Instructions text a different color?

This is a feature only available in the Expansion pack. You must put a <COLOR> tag before your text. Here is a list of the different colors you can use:

<AQUA> = Cyan
<BLUE> = Blue
<GRAY> = Gray
<GREEN> = Green
<ORANGE> = Orange
<PURPLE> = Purple
<RED> = Red
<YELLOW> = Yellow


Please note that has a bug which creates an > before the text, making it <TextHere if you put <RED>TextHere. Check out the University Display Instructions article for more information.

What if I cannot find an answer I was looking for in this FAQ?

Feel free to visit the Scenario Design Forum and ask it. There's also a very large FAQ within that forum with tons of questions compiled by forumers.