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Scenario Design
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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » Adding Homecity Characters to Scenarios
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Topic Subject:Adding Homecity Characters to Scenarios
ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-01-05 11:52 PM EDT (US)         

Introduction

======================================================
Sorry gang, the original code as depicted in this post is interfering with the web code so it isn't displaying properly. Sorry about that. For best results just D/L any of the Home City Mods that are floating around. You can boost the code from the mod's proto.xml. If I get time I will recode the post. Rock on.
======================================================

The first time I added that goofy drunk character to my homecity, and saw its animation, I knew I wanted to put it into a scenario. I didn't see him in the main proto list and at first thought the homecity assets were treated differently than in-game/editor assets. Not so to my relief. I thought I would jot down the procedure since it lets you put the homecity characters, like the drunk sailor into your scenarios. This is a fast and dirty procedure intended to get us started by instantly importing the homecity characters into the editor/game. I'm not going to discuss the importance of file folder structure in the case where someone wants to update or distribute this mod, or if its included in a scenario released for download. It's up the individual modders to provide players with good instructions as to how to install any modded material.

Proto File

For my purposes I just edited the original c/Program File/Microsoft Games/AOE3/data/proto.xml. You'll have to unlock its read-only status so navigate to the file on your desktop, right-click on the file once, left-click once, and on the roll out, click preferences. Just untick the read-only box.

Open the proto.xml. We're just going to add a unit to the file, and since I'm not too worried about details at this point, I'm just going to copy the old coot character's proto information. It's not too long so here it is (note to see the code properly, click on the little paper and pen icon up top near the post date):


866
34594
34595
0.4900
0.4900
Body
1.7500
3.7500
land
18.0000
units\spc\old_coot\igc_old_coot.xml
Flesh
homecity\home_city_props\icons\coot
homecity\home_city_props\icons\coot
170.0000
170.0000
24.0000
Hero
LogicalTypeHealed
LogicalTypeNeededForVictory
LogicalTypeHandUnitsAutoAttack
LogicalTypeScout
LogicalTypeValidSPCUnitsDeadCondition
LogicalTypeGarrisonInShips
LogicalTypeRangedUnitsAutoAttack
LogicalTypeVillagersAttack
LogicalTypeHandUnitsAttack
LogicalTypeRangedUnitsAttack
LogicalTypeMinimapFilterMilitary
Unit
Military
UnitClass
AbstractHeavyInfantry
Hero
HasBountyValue
Ranged
CollidesWithProjectiles
ApplyHandicapTraining
CorpseDecays
ShowGarrisonButton
DontRotateObstruction
ObscuredByUnits
NotDeleteable
KnockoutDeath
RotateInPlace
Tracked
Delete
Garrison
Stop
SetHomeCityGatherPoint
SPChero.tactics

For this little project all we're going to change is these four lines:


34594
34595
units\spc\old_coot\igc_old_coot.xml

Of course if we want a really customized character we would do more editing to the old coot bit, or write a proto for our drunk character from scratch adding an icon, a history, new skin, etc. But for now we just want to slam the drunk character into the game. Alright, we need to find the animation file for the drunk, I found it in c/Program File/Microsoft Games/AOE3/art/Art1.bar, and its in the list as:Art\homecity\homecity_units\drunk\drunk.xml.xmb. We want to change the original old coot character's animation file to the drunk's. We need to also add a new unit number to the proto list, change the editor name and what the hell, lets give it a display name. So, change the four old coot lines to:


TomDrunk
TomDrunk
homecity\homecity_units\drunk\drunk.xml

You can use any name, but the one I chose seems appropriate. I saved the file as a new proto.xml, placed the drunk unit on a random map in the editor, and launched the game. I got a few laughs seeing my new character staggering around while his village mates were hard at work.

Potential and Homecity Animation List

Of course the next thing I have my eye on is the homecity skyboxes and who knows, maybe that dock trash girl, hehehe. To add the different characters you'd have to find their animation files and easiest way I know is to DL Ykkrosh's new AOE3ED. It lets you generate a list of the bar files, and preview them, without having to extract them. What a wondrous little proggy! Just look in the Art1.bar list around:Art\homecity\homecity_units\xxx\xxx.xml.xmb. The homecity units don't have death animations and other limitations exist so be aware. HF

[This message has been edited by ToMyBoY (edited 09-28-2006 @ 04:34 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
CaveTown
VIP
posted 11-02-05 02:22 AM EDT (US)     1 / 27       
Cool.

Former level designer at Reverie World Studios.
I still do some levels for fun, though!
dark_mace
Banned
posted 11-02-05 04:44 AM EDT (US)     2 / 27       
sounds awful complex.
on the flip side...means we can create citites in scns like the ones in the homecities.

Dragoster
Skirmisher
posted 11-02-05 01:23 PM EDT (US)     3 / 27       
Hmm, sound great
But when i edit the proto.xml with the new unit, the game dont start.
It just exits and shows a window with "Initialization Failed"
But when I replace it with the original proto.xml, the game starts normally

How can I make this Drunken guy appear in the game?


>To detrimine the fate of the Empire, you must conquer the New World<
Dragoster, editor of czech fansite ageofempires3.cz
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 11-02-05 05:24 PM EDT (US)     4 / 27       
unit ID numbers and DBID numbers have to be sequential. Your new unit should have a larger unit ID and DBID number that the unit above it.

For instance: the last unit in the proto file has unit ID 620 and DBID of 60. your new unit must have the following numbers: unit ID 621 and DBID 61, the displayname number also has to be sequential in this way.

The displayname and Editorname tags have to have numbers in them, such as Display name 11650 and Editor name 11651, these numbers refer to text entries in the stringtable.xml, putting words in these two tags will most likely cause IF (Initialisation Failed) errors.

[This message has been edited by The_Assimilator (edited 11-02-2005 @ 05:31 PM).]

ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-02-05 05:50 PM EDT (US)     5 / 27       

Quote:

It just exits and shows a window with "Initialization Failed"

Yeah, you just made a mistake in your code. Did the same thing myself a couple of times. Like Assimilator said, make sure the unit id is at least 621 since 620 is the last unit on the vanilla proto list. I didn't find I had to have a sequencial DBID number though, I left that the same. Also I used text in the display name and editor name with no problems. ES uses numbers there simply as a convention to call the strings. But I had no problems using letters. I didn't use spaces since I wasn' sure, but I don't think that's a problem either.

Also you can't have any lines or text after the final </Proto> end tag. I did that by accident too and got the initialization error. Easy to fix. If you follow the correct coding procedures, the game will launch and will accept the new character.

But don't forget, if you change the proto file, you'll have to change it back if you plan to play on-line, or plan to watch replays. If you don't, you'll get OSS errors. This method is meant to be fast and dirty. If you're planning to release this mod, more work has to be done to make it ready for release. Stay tuned, since if no one else posts a tutorial on releasing mods, I may do so later.

[This message has been edited by ToMyBoY (edited 11-02-2005 @ 05:55 PM).]

Byz
Skirmisher
(id: Byzantine_Warrior)
posted 11-02-05 09:15 PM EDT (US)     6 / 27       
This is an excellent discovery! I'm so glad to see it!

Do you plan on releasing a proto.xml file or even a mod if you add all of the characters into it?

Again, well done!


Byz
Tsunami Studios
"People are born to succeed, not fail." - Henry David Thoreau
TrituateXH53
Skirmisher
posted 11-02-05 09:41 PM EDT (US)     7 / 27       
Nice

ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-03-05 03:12 AM EDT (US)     8 / 27       

Quote:

Do you plan on releasing a proto.xml file or even a mod if you add all of the characters into it?

I'm reluctant to make any mod releases until someone like Ykkrosh kindly bestows upon us a bar mod like the amazing one he made for AOM/TT. I wish I was that smart to make one myself. Having a nice little extra .exe file to toggle between the vanilla and the mod versions of the game is absolutely brilliant. That solution alleviates OSS errors, and helps to overcome the reluctance casual gamers have to DL mods since they're scared away by pain in the ass installs.

LuCkyMaN
Skirmisher
posted 11-05-05 11:30 AM EDT (US)     9 / 27       
Oos you mean. That would be so cool though to have it actually work in multiplayer.
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 11-05-05 01:31 PM EDT (US)     10 / 27       
I was thinking earlier today while reading the art book, how cool it would be to add the HC buildings in the same way, so you could have a HC as a scenario map, simulating the invasion of a Home City or something, but the same problem remains; the buildings, like the units, don't have damaged or death animations, so they'd just fade when destroyed. It still would be cool to have them though.
fuzzydude45
Skirmisher
posted 11-07-05 04:56 PM EDT (US)     11 / 27       
The Drunks Convention


http://img306.imageshack.us/my.php?image=thedrunkenconvention5pb.jpg

[This message has been edited by fuzzydude45 (edited 11-07-2005 @ 04:59 PM).]

ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-07-05 07:00 PM EDT (US)     12 / 27       

Quote:

The Drunks Convention



LOL

Try this one. It's complete with dirt rooster tail and flames spit out of the exhaust! A bit OPed but funny.


[This message has been edited by ToMyBoY (edited 11-07-2005 @ 07:01 PM).]

Moosefood
Skirmisher
posted 11-07-05 08:29 PM EDT (US)     13 / 27       
I like my version better.
kook
Skirmisher
posted 11-07-05 10:58 PM EDT (US)     14 / 27       
I acutually found a way to build the homecity in the game! I will psot my pcis tomorrow. the flip side is, is that the buildings aren't closed at the back, so they are opened.
Latino heat III
Skirmisher
posted 11-08-05 01:26 AM EDT (US)     15 / 27       
I did this with the demo. It works for some home city buildings but ones like the spanish cathedral need to have textures manually applied.

____________________________________________________________

Latino Heat III

____________________________________________________________
septon
Skirmisher
posted 11-08-05 01:29 AM EDT (US)     16 / 27       
Just wondering what program you should use to view the .bar file.
ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-08-05 04:02 AM EDT (US)     17 / 27       
Cool you guys, we shall build our homecities into our scenarios, and post away your screenies.

We all use AOE3ED to veiw the bars. God's (Ykkrosh's) gift to all of us.

destromat
Skirmisher
posted 11-08-05 07:03 AM EDT (US)     18 / 27       
Well I basically love this concept of customisation of HC. Very good concept indeed. I was making a scenario and i wanted some help. If you guys could just wanna team up and make a very good scenario then please contact me. Or pm me in my site

Link edited out - no advertisements allowed. Kor

[This message has been edited by Kor (edited 11-08-2005 @ 07:56 AM).]

Sirsinalot
Skirmisher
posted 11-14-05 10:08 PM EDT (US)     19 / 27       
I never really realized how many units are in the homecities that aren't in the editor, not to mention some of the textures and skyboxes that are also omitted. It would be great to see the little things in the homecities that havent made it in yet, such as the plant urns and the fountains and statues and all those little eye pleasing tidbits. Heres a little screen I was compelled to do from the first release of homecity objects. http://img318.imageshack.us/my.php?image=screen69bp.jpg
king of ages
Skirmisher
posted 11-14-05 10:41 PM EDT (US)     20 / 27       
They can be controlled then with regular triggers right?

ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-15-05 01:21 AM EDT (US)     21 / 27       
Sirsinalot that screenie is nice! Doesn't even look like AOE3.

Pretty sure you can control the HC units with triggers, within reason. Since most of them just have "walking around" animations I don't really think they're good for anything else.

=================================================
Edited

I tested to see if the HC characters' animations could be called with the set animation trigger and they can. I tested the painter and sure enough all his animations could be called in the editor. If I get time I'll try to whip up a mod for people to DL. I may also include an animation list if I have time.

====================================================

[This message has been edited by ToMyBoY (edited 11-15-2005 @ 03:10 AM).]

superknijn
Skirmisher
posted 11-15-05 12:37 PM EDT (US)     22 / 27       
I rmemember that there whas a home-city unit (the harbormaster) it the 'Hurricane' thing (?).
This means that that unit should have been placed with the scen editor.(!)

(\__/)
(O.o )
(> < ) Corn for the Corn God!
Shizzle
Skirmisher
posted 11-15-05 12:48 PM EDT (US)     23 / 27       
you should make 1 big mod with all hc units .
tomyboy: how did you render the smoke behind the monstertruck?? ANd do you know by any chance how to create an explosion?? without using the weapons cache?
ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 11-15-05 11:37 PM EDT (US)     24 / 27       
I submitted a small mod with four of the units and one building earlier today Shizzle. It should be up on the DL section soon. I'll add units to it as time permits and update it. It takes quite a bit of time to hunt down the animation files so I do a little here and there. I'm sure the mod will grow to include a lot of units eventually.

The monster truck is a cheat unit that is already in the game so I can't take credit for doing anything other than using the unit replace feature in the editor. The stuff aft of the wheels is actually animated mud being thrown up by the tires.

As for the smoke and other particles in game, I've been working on trying to add them manually to the game and units but no luck so far.

SoulMaster
Skirmisher
posted 12-16-05 05:06 AM EDT (US)     25 / 27       
@ ToMyBoy

you wrote:

... easiest way I know is to DL Ykkrosh's new AOE3ED. It lets you generate a list of the bar files, and preview them, without having to extract them. What a wondrous little proggy! Just look in the Art1.bar list around:

.........


I'm looking for that Ykkrosh's new AOE3ED program. Haven't found it yet. Ho can I get it?

Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 12-16-05 06:30 AM EDT (US)     26 / 27       
http://www.google.com/search?q=aoe3ed, and the very first result

Edit: Hmm, how come no search engine except Google finds that page on the HG forums? Here's a direct link for people who would otherwise be inconvenienced by that

[This message has been edited by Ykkrosh (edited 12-16-2005 @ 06:36 AM).]

TitanHeart
Banned
posted 12-16-05 07:47 AM EDT (US)     27 / 27       
That reminds me, I havent downloaded AoE3ED yet

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