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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » Scenario file decompression? Methods?
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Topic Subject:Scenario file decompression? Methods?
Captain Keno
Squire
posted 06-03-20 05:11 AM CT (US)         
So, I have been all over the forums and the internet trying to figure out what programs use zlib and what methods could be use to decompress .scx and .sc1 (Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns) files into an understandable format, maybe even a programming language for something I can understand and I haven't even figured out what goes. Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

I am dog tired of running blindly trying to find something and I even tried some of DiGiT's tools and that worked miserably and now All I am asking for is a little help. Aohh and his friends figured out how to reverse engineer .scx files so he can write out his own editor in PHP coding language and Harrisson figured out how to make an editor in python that does similar functions! Can someone help me out. I figured the files are compressed in zlib and please don't say "Just use a hex editor." I've already tried two and it's not working and frankly, getting a bit old.
The only think I can think of is to build a whole new program or application out of the zlib library available and try to see what to do with that. I have some access to visual studio and might give it a shot, but can someone please tell me what ways did you guys start reverse engineering the scenario files for Age Of Empires 2?
AuthorReplies:
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 06-03-20 09:38 AM CT (US)     1 / 4       
What do you plan to do? It would help if you mention what you want to achieve. You should know pretty much everything that can be done with 'reverse engineering' a scn/scx has been done already, or can be achieved easier with userpatch (like elevation 12 which is the max) or the world map creation tool for example.

Edit: I guess you know about the following but I added it nevertheless.

If you want to have a go at decompressing/compressing you need 2 tools:

- DiGiT's Trigger studio, and...

- Just use a hex editor Seriously, download Cygnus.

I made a tutorial on hex editing for AoE1. It is far from perfect but it explains all of the basics. The exact same principle can be applied to AoC. Follow the steps carefully and you should be fine.

Trigger studio includes a document that explains most of the layout of the scn data structures in AoK/AoC, you definitely need to take a look at that. It can be quite overwhelming at first but once you get used to what the data parts are and do it's pretty fun actually. Good luck



[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 06-03-2020 @ 10:48 AM).]

Captain Keno
Squire
posted 06-03-20 09:00 PM CT (US)     2 / 4       
I was just about to bump this thread until I saw you answered. So, thank you, Mr. Beta. It was better than nothing at all.
What do you plan to do? It would help if you mention what you want to achieve.
I apologize, I thought I did. I have plans on making, pretty much a PHP script editor like AOHH did and an editor for python so that I can help other designers expedite the process of scenario design for SWGB. I know I am grabbing ideas from Harisson, AOHH, Azzzru and a few others. If trigger studios can decompress a scx like you said, then I missed that detail and will check it out right away!
You should know pretty much everything that can be done with 'reverse engineering' a scn/scx has been done already, or can be achieved easier with userpatch (like elevation 12 which is the max) or the world map creation tool for example.
I never saw or ran into world creation map before and I have checked out a small discussion from age of mythology who said they already have the process completed mostly. but I read your guide and I guess you're right. I have missed a few details on these topics, so I'll inspect them more thoroughly. Also, to be fair, Galactic Battlegrounds doesn't have or use userpatch but they do have a near equivalent. either the all-in-one patch or Expanding Fronts could be considered as one since EF changes the entirety of the game to modernize it.

Already have hex editors: HxD and it works pretty well for me. PsPad I need to think about but I'll keep it.

[This message has been edited by Captain Keno (edited 06-03-2020 @ 09:08 PM).]

Captain Keno
Squire
posted 06-05-20 01:49 PM CT (US)     3 / 4       
Okay, so I don't know what I did wrong, but every time I try to edit a file, the files not only fail but when I try to find them, they're in the directory I am working on, but not only am I not able to open them, but they even have a padlock symbol on them and they're invisible when I try to find them without using the program. I don't know what is going on here but I can't even attempt to decompress them. I know Windows 7 (32-bit) shouldn't be causing this program grief, maybe it is the security functions on this os but I suddenly am having trouble even decompressing. I am now in the process of re-installing Trigger Studios, due to systems failure.
Zungen
Squire
posted 07-08-20 06:20 PM CT (US)     4 / 4       
Why don't you take a look at Trigger Studio source code?
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