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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » A Brief Guide to Multiplayer Scenario Design
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Topic Subject:A Brief Guide to Multiplayer Scenario Design
murdilator
Skirmisher
posted 07-13-10 10:56 AM EDT (US)         
Welcome!

Please excuse the pictures not showing. They either say they are wrong formatting, but I think they may be a bit wide. I hope everything goes well. Anyways, I thought of writing a small guide to scenario design for onlookers and people curious to find just what it is about. Let us start with a series of questions.

Part 1

So, is it hard? Not really, unless you attempt to make a single player campaign.

What do I do about multiplayer maps? It really is not way too hard. As the Official Strategy Guide puts it, "place two town centers, resources beside them, with an explorer. Create a river dividing the map using the river tool. Use waypoints to align the river as you want, and widen it to a moderate degree. Then hit place" (paraphrased). Continue to press build river. Create a shallows with the shallows tool, make sure it is at least seven units long. Make three crossing points. And voila, you have made your first map. However, this is the first stage and just an example. I will give true direction in a little bit.

What are triggers? How do I use them? Triggers work like math proof problems. They are simple, powerful, and occasionally annoying. However, in the scenario editor, they are more like Algebra II problems, since you literally plug and chug. Since coders and engineers made this game and its coding, we take them for their word. Triggers are to be used as their name implies. Not every trigger works as we want them to, but just make do with what you got. Age of Wiki describes many of these in detail.

How do I name triggers? Simply select the trigger, highlight the trigger name's text, press the text in you want, like "Fade To Color ON" and press the enter or return key. You can also name Conditions and Effects in the same way, if you want to be really specific, but in my opinion this is quite cluttery and can lead to mixing up in triggers. The trigger "Fade To Color ON" is used to give the loading some lagg time and give you a chance to present your scenario, with credit to yourself. "Fade To Color OFF" takes away the black screen to see the map. "Fade to Color ON" trigger also allows other key triggers, like placing town centers and explorers, a chance to take place before anyone can see them. Otherwise, generally people complain of why there is no town center yet and you have to explain for five minutes every time that it will appear in a second. This is a professional way to construct your scenario, and encourages others and yourself into making a custom Random Map, or RM.


!!! A Quick Tip !!!

Before we start talking about triggers, I have to tell you that the Scenario does not automatically place camera positions for players. Moshe_Levi, in his Tip's and Tricks Guide, explains a complicated way to do camera positions, but it has problems in team games. For this reason, I place the Camera Cut, which is in the far top right corner of the Scenario Editor in Cinematics, in the middle of the map, and place three gold mines there. I also place a Revealer To All, or a Revealer To Player for each player so they have that LOS. Only one per player is necessary to see all three fine. For this case, I have had no players complain of this one limitation of the Scenario Editor. It seems the gold made them seemingly forget and think it cool. In fact they don't ask questions when bribed like that. But be sure to make it equally good for every player. This three gold mines trick always works and is always valid.

Triple Gold Mine Trick:



--------------------------------

For non lame scenarios and multiplayer RMs, there are seven mandatory triggers:

1st trigger: (IMPORTANT TO MAKE THIS THE FIRST, otherwise you will have a split second with a person seeing the map and saying something. It also makes it look professional)

Trigger Name: Fade To Color ON (Active, HIGH PRIORITY)

Conditions: Always

Effects:

- Fade To Color On --> all parameters set to zero;

- Overlay Text --> ScenarioTitle, created by (USERPROFILE%, or your online name) --> put 3.75 for timer to fade out text.


2nd trigger:

Trigger Name: Fade to color OFF (Active, HIGH PRIORITY)

Conditions: Timer, 4.0 (seconds).

Effects: Fade To Color Off, all parameters set to zero.


3rd trigger:

Trigger Name: MusicStart (Active, Medium Priority - this is what the bar starts on)

Conditions: Always.

Effects: Music Filename --> Music (folder) --> (not battle or special music) --> Muptop (beginning song). (MUPTOP GIVES SENSE OF A REGULAR GAME).


4th trigger:

Trigger Name: FadeOutMusic (Active, Loop, Medium High Priority)

Conditions: Timer, 251 (seconds). This is enough for Muptop and most music to fade out well.

Effects:

- Fade Out Music, with fade at 4.0, not 3.0 on which it starts. These are seconds.

- Fire Event: PlayNextMusicTrack (leave this blank until you create the 5th trigger).


5th trigger:

Trigger Name: PlayNextMusicTrack (NOT ACTIVE, (uncheck mark by active), Medium High Priority.)

Conditions: timer, 4.0 (seconds).

Effects: PlayNextMusicTrack.


We're almost done!


6th trigger:

Trigger Name: SetPlayer1Defeated (Active, HIGH PRIORITY)

Conditions:

- Player Unit Count --> Town Center = 0;

- All Units Dead: Player 1, Timer 15.0 (to make sure you don't get defeated before your town centers are placed).

Effects: Set Player Defeated: 1.


Copy this trigger and name it SetPlayer2Defeated, changing the player numbers to 2.

---------------------
SAVE SCENARIO HERE. SAVE BEFORE YOU LOAD NICETERIUM, THE WINNING THEME MUSIC. IT ALWAYS BUGS THE FIRST TIME YOU LOAD THIS. SAVE RIGHT BEFORE YOU LOAD IT INTO A TRIGGER.
---------------------

8th trigger:

Trigger Name: EndGame1

Conditions: Player Defeated: 2 or player 2's entire team.

Effects:

- Render Fog Black Map: Both OFF;

- End Game;

- Win Message: (Victory is Yours!);

- Music Filename: --> music --> win music? --> Niceterium.


Copy this trigger for EndGame2, and reverse the teams. These are written out for 1v1. Be sure to save before you load Niceterium, as it will fail to load most of the first times. These are the nine mandatory triggers.

-----------------------------------------------------


Steps to design a map:

1. Get a circular object like a cup saucer, get a sheet of scrap paper, and draw two circles. These are two beginning sketches of your map. I made my Wilderness Road like this. Draw a river or two where you want one, and put a little bush thing for a forest, and whatnot. Make x's for treasures, etc.

2. Go Into scenario editor, then press new scenario. Make it large size (not small), which will start the map at 400x400 meters. For a 1v1 map, you want it probably 324 by 324, so, go to map size and downsize it by subtracting about 12 or 16 for each of the four slots every time. When it comes close, you should be fine, and can use 9 and stuff like that.

However, if you want to build a bigger map, make it positive numbers. You will see a small bug with the elevation, as if there is a hill. Go find Smooth (it is on the left side of the toolbar), and click the small box with the paint brush. Change the bottom brush to large so that the smooth effect is large. Do your job of smoothing out the buggy corners of elevation. I warn you that water and smooth have some problems with one another that get things buggy. If you want water, I give you the hint of not letting go of the mouse and going all over the place. If you run into trouble, try and use cliffs, and afterwards erase the cliffs with water. I will also warn you that you must increase your map size in the beginning stages of your scenario, or else you might run into serious bugs, such as a trade route not working.


3. Put in the nine key triggers.

4. Start building your map, leaving treasures until later.

5. Select World up on the toolbar, then select map types, and select the types of maps you think your map fits to allow what type of treasurers are chosen and how the AI plays the map. Check the boxes and press OK. Then Save you scenario.

6. Place Town Centers using the UNIT CREATE and selecting your designated spot for a town center. You could also put a cinematic block in the town center location, and simply use "Change Unit Type" to town center. Be sure to make the cinematic block the same player's tone center. Use HIGH Priority with a timer of 1 or 1.3, differing slightly with each player. If you already placed a town center, delete it. There is a bug with already stationed buildings with population bonus in scenario editor, so delete it so that you do not get negative 10 population when it dies. Place an AI start on all the Town centers of all the players except player 1, which is the scenario host, and as a matter of fact, you. Place a cinematic block by each Town Center, equivalent to where an explorer would be. You can also use the unit create effect for different explorers.

Repeatedly save your scenario. When you have finished the map, save a new version named "ScenarioTitle" V1. When you get the rest of the steps done, save a new version with a V2 ending.

This is the basic rubric to make a non lame multiplayer scenario/map. People will be IMPRESSED with your ability to create scenarios. In the future, you will make the explorer triggers, in which I hope to show in a bit about change unit type triggers with unit create. Change unit type triggers work faster and are not as laggy, but are more dependent. Use a combination of these to create monks and explorers. Copy these first and study them a little bit, then put your own spin on it.


Have Fun!




This is the end of part one of my Guide. I am done writing for the a day. I have edited it a bit. Latest Edit on Monday, July 12th, 2010.



Regards,




murdilator
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 2

Greetings again all !


I will proceed to explain Groups that hold triggers, Explorer triggers and also how I create and use them. Below on my signature I have four scenarios available for download. For this purpose I will require you to download 1v1OntarioV2, which has easy-to-read, non-complex explorer triggers. By itself it is an excellent 1v1 map, around 280x280 to 324x324 meters.

Link to 1v1OntarioV2:

http://aoe3.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=2213

When you download it, unzip (if it needs unzipping), and put it in this folder:

%USERPROFILE%/MyDocuments/MyGames/AgeOfEmpiresIII/Scenario/

Proceed to go into Age of Empires III and go to Options --> Scenario Editor. When you reach there, there is a load scenario button up in the top left corner (it is where saving and stuff like that is if you do that manually). Load 1v1OntarioV2, and press "t." This will get you to triggers. You will also notice that there are several groups of triggers if you click on "Ungrouped." If I recall correctly, all the vital triggers and Fade_To_Color triggers are in ungrouped, and on the side I have catagories named Balance, Random Natives, Explorers1, Explorers2, Dynamic Weather, and possibly some others.

I want you to look at the Explorers1 triggers. They should be named and ordered in my scenario triggers like this:

Trigger Group: Explorers1

AztecWarchief1
ChineseMonk(s)1
DutchEnvoy1
EuropeanExplorers1
FrenchScout1
IndianMonks1
IroquoisWarchief1 (Might place a discovery travois)
JapaneseMonks1
SiouxWarchief1
SpanishWarDog1

BE SURE TO LOOK AT THE CONDITIONS IN DETAIL. THESE ARE VERY SIMPLE BUT WORK WONDERS IN AOE III.

Diagram of in-scenario editor 1v1OntarioV3 (Later version of 1v1OntarioV2):

[JPEG, (231.52 KB)]


If you noticed any a's in front of the trigger name, like aEuropeanExplorers1, and bEuropeanExplorers1, this means that all a's are placing the Explorer units in the original location (Player 1's usual starting base), and b's indicate creating Explorer Units at another location (in a 1v1 like this one, at Player 2's usual starting base). This is because I often randomize my Town Center's starting locations in my scenarios in order to give the scenario more re-play value and adding the taste of a standard Random Map, or RM. However, this uses a bit more complex triggers called Quest Vars or Quest Variables that require about two other triggers to work. I plan to get into this a bit later after Explorers have been explained.

Now how exactly do these Explorer triggers work? I've seen your conditions and effects but how long does it take to make these? Also, how can I make sure that the computer understands what civilization (British, Dutch, etc.) I or other players are and create the correct type of Explorers for that team? When I make my triggers, I make a specific trigger for each Explorer type for each civilization for an entire player. However, the first step in this is creating additional trigger groups in the Group Editor, found where triggers and "Army Editor" are located.

The first step in this is creating additional trigger groups in the Group Editor. You will create two new groups, naming them Explorers1 and TC Randomizer.

Also in the Group Editor, you can exchange triggers between Trigger Groups, such as Ungrouped and Explorers1, for example. You can figure this easy enough on your own. For the Explorer triggers, I use the nifty Age0British, Age0Dutch, etc. triggers. These detect whether a player has the Age0Technologies available only to British, Dutch, etc. This is valuable for giving a civilization their correct explorer unit. A Sioux Player would not be happy with an Explorer. Also you will see that I use "Run Immediately," which makes the trigger come as fast as it can. I use medium-low priority for these triggers so that they 1) come fast, 2) do not interfere with the higher-priority triggers, and 3) prevent lagg when first starting the game. I will now show a rubric of the ten Explorer triggers:


---------------------------

Ten Explorer Triggers


1st Trigger:

Trigger Name: AztecWarchief1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> xpAge0Aztec (Age0xpAztec?) --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects: Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to xpAztecWarchief).

2nd Trigger:

Trigger Name: ChineseMonks1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> ypAge0Chinese --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects:

- Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to ypMonkChinese1);

- Unit Create: ypMonkDisciple


3rd Trigger:

Trigger Name: DutchEnvoy1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> Age0French --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects: Unit Create --> Envoy, Player 1, near town center, away from other Explorer Units.


4th Trigger:

Trigger Name: EuropeanExplorers1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

***Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> OR box checked --> Age0British, Age0Dutch, Age0French, Age0German, Age0Ottomans, Age0Portuguese, Age0Russian, Age0Spanish, ALL PLAYER 1.

Effects: Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to Explorer)


5th Trigger:

Trigger Name: FrenchScout1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> Age0French --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects: Unit Create: NatScout (may be NativeScout, I don't remember).


6th Trigger:

Trigger name: IndianMonks1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> ypAge0Indian --> Status: Active, Player 1

Effects:

- Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to ypIndianMonk1);

- Unit Create --> ypIndianMonk2 near the other monk, like a war dog, except leave a little more room because it is an elephant.


7th Trigger:

Trigger Name: IroquoisWarchief1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> xpAge0Iroquois (Age0xpIroquois?) --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects: Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to xpIroquoisWarchief).


8th Trigger:

***Trigger Name: JapaneseMonks1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions; Tech Status Equals --> ypAge0Japanese --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects:

- Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to ypJapaneseMonk1);

- Unit Create --> ypJapaneseMonk2;

- Unit Create --> ypBerryWagon1 opposite the monks on the other side of the town center possibly near a clearing of trees. If there are no berries on this may, use the Unit Create Multi trigger and create two ypBerryWagon1 units. They will begin in the same area (and be able to move into formation), but if you want more professional look, use two separate Unit Create triggers and place the Wagons near each other.


9th Trigger:

Trigger Name: SiouxWarchief1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> xpAge0Sioux (Age0xpSioux?) --> Status: Active, Player 1

Effects: Change Unit Type (Cinematic Block near the Town Center Area converted to xpSiouxWarchief)


10th Trigger:

Trigger Name: SpanishWarDog1 (Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority).

Conditions: Tech Status Equals --> Age0Spanish --> Status: Active, Player 1.

Effects: Unit Create --> War Dog, next to an Explorer Unit.


---------------------------

This is the basic rubric for Explorer Triggers. Other variants include a's, b's, c's, and d's for four randomized locations. The more players you have, the more creative you have to get. I would suggest creating the triggers in the order listed, as in the above list:

AztecWarchief1
ChineseMonk(s)1
DutchEnvoy1
EuropeanExplorers1
FrenchScout1
IndianMonks1
IroquoisWarchief1 (Might place a discovery travois)
JapaneseMonks1
SiouxWarchief1
SpanishWarDog1

Doing all your triggers in the same orderly fashion makes them easy for you to look at when doing other triggers (when doing Fire Event triggers, because the lowest triggers are the newest, and for randomizers, you need the fire event triggers). Also, it allows other designers to see that 1) you know what you are doing, 2) it is easy to follow, and 3) people respect you more and will be less prone to seize your work. When your name becomes known in Scenario design, nobody dares take your work, lest they actually risk getting banned.

However, apart from this, many of you were probably dying to see what that Unit Create Multi in this pic was:

[JPEG, (222.43 KB)]


There is a bug with placing Town Centers, houses, or any pop-giving building in the scenario editor for multiplayer scenarios: The game simply doesn't pick up that you have the building's population, so if you delete it, you have negative population. This means you start with 0 population of housing. As a matter of fact, though, you can use ypPopBlocks, also used on the map Honshu, to give +5 starting population. These cannot be destroyed, nor do they count as a unit ingame. You can make two of these with Unit Create Multi to compensate for placing your town center. However, this does not apply when you start with cinematic blocks and turn them into Town Centers or other buildings.

Creating your first set of Explorer triggers like this (for instance, all ten Explorer Triggers for Player 1) will probably take some fifty minutes. Afterwards, you do not need to create them, but rather copy them. This takes maybe twenty-five minutes per each player rather than fifty - a much better, but still strenuous deal. Trust me, only do four players' Explorer triggers at a time, or else you will be exhausted mentally. Be sure to do it in one go though, so that you keep track of where units are. That is also why order is important. When you copy, you first click "Copy," on the triggers you want (so that you can see them, and in this case, the ten Explorer Triggers). STOP, then go up in the right hand corner to the Group Editor, where you also do triggers and "Army Editor," and click on Group Editor.

Make a new group called Explorers2. IN THIS SAME PLACE, click on the groups on the left part, and get Explorers2 and Explorers1 to exchange the "Copy_of_EuropeanExplorers1," "Copy_of_AztecWarchief1," and all the other "Copy_of's" into Explorers2. Begin by first renaming them (so that you don't get mixed up) by highlighting "Copy_of" and pressing backspace or delete and highlight the player number (for this instance, the "1" ending) and either press backspace and press 2, then pressing the Enter/Return Key, or simply highlight the "1" and press 2, and press the Enter/Return Key. After this, go through the triggers one by one, changing the player's ownership of the conditions and effects from Player 1 to Player 2, and for Unit Create triggers, change the location from near Player 1's Town Center area to near Player 2's Town Center Area, where the Explorer Unit would be. Place Disciples and Wardogs nearer to the Explorer Unit, and place Envoys and Native Scouts on another corner of the Town Center Area.


Some Scenarios, like my War of the Five Indias V6, do not give Explorer units in the beginning. This is purposeful and saves quite a bit of time. However, if you are creating any regular map, THESE ARE A MUST. Now if you are toying around with the editor at this moment, you probably notice that there is a condition called Tech Available. Now, you ask me, what does this do and what is the difference between Tech Available and Tech Status Equals? They both do about the same thing, but Tech Available is more specialized and can be used in less strong terms than a player choosing a generic civilization. However, the important part is that Tech Status Equals is better, namely because it reacts 5 seconds faster, allowing you to get Explorers and other units down quick when you want them. Who wants to reassure players that there Explorer Units will indeed come in five seconds? Would you like to do that twenty times per game? No, my friends, you would not. That is why we use Tech Status Equals Conditions smile.gif.




I plan to answer a couple more questions here. I am practically done for the day. I may do some editing now and then. (Edited July 12, 2010).




Hope this helped some!



Regards,



murdilator

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 3

Greetings to all of you again!


I now conclude to write my third part of my guide. I will discuss and go through how to get trade routes and native trading posts. I realize that by now some of you are more curious and, having built your own map, probably wonder how to get Trading Post Sockets to work. So I have decided to reveal it.


Trade Routes

How do I built my very own trade routes? Pardon me that I have not said this earlier, as a trade route is a key factor in making an interesting map. Go to Objects in scenario editor, and you will see "Place Trade Route." Select that, and press create trade route. Click from waypoint to waypoint to build your trade route. I hope this is self-explanatory enough.

After you have built your trade route, you can go to "Place Objects" and select Embellishment. Once you are hear, start scrolling down and press "s" to get to Sockets. Select "Socket Trade Route" and place it near the trade route as a Gaia object. You can place more sockets in the same way. However, don't place a Native post right next to the trade route, or else the game thinks that the native socket is a trade route socket as well. Most of this seems like rather obvious stuff, but I have to say it to make the guide clear. I am sure you will find some stuff on your own.

!!! A Quick Tip !!!

There is a special tool, quite simple to use, that I think is under objects or right next to it on the scenario editor toolbar. It is called "Position Unit(s)". You can put this on and click an object and position it how you like. Also, using the middle wheel of a mouse rotates the object selected, and using the arrow keys slowly moves it. I personally use this for the triple gold mine, making it look neat, and clumped together. Also you can move town centers or cinematic blocks -- the cinematic blocks can be used for randomized trade route locations, in which case you would make a Quest Var. This can be done through Quest Var(iable) Randomize, in which you make a name for your variable, and built three other triggers that rely on this. So, I am introducing you to Randomized Trade Route Sockets. Like so:


Trigger Name: RandomizeTrdRts; Active, Medium-High Priority

Conditions: Timer: 8

QV Randomize; QV3, values 1-2, Rounding: ON

and


Trigger Name: RndmTrdRt1; Active, Medium-Low Priority

Conditions:
(tick NOT on the conditions checkbox)
Quest Var Check: QV3 value = 1,
Quest Var Check: QV3 value = 2

Effect: None (delete the effect here and leave it blank; this lets you have your original trade route locations)

-------------------------------
Trigger Name: RndmTrdRt2, Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority

Conditions: Quest Var Check: QV3, value = 1

Effect: Change Unit Type (for all current sockets, select cinematic block), Change Unit Type (for set #1 of cinematic blocks along the trade route).

-------------------------------
Trigger Name: RndmTrdRt2, Active, Run Immediately, Medium-Low Priority

Conditions: Quest Var Check: QV3, value = 2

Effect: Change Unit Type (for all current sockets, select cinematic block), Change Unit Type (for one set #2 of cinematic blocks along the trade route).

-------------------------------

This should, although it looks very complicated when I write it out, give you a decent measure of the use of Quest Vars and arouse your curiosity early about what they can do. Have different values for your Quest Vars if you decide to use a Quest Var, like QV1, more than once. However, apart from this strain of thought, I will go to Native settlements. The "Position Object" key is most important in this.



Native Sockets with Art

How do I construct Native Sockets? Why can I not build on them when I place them? There is a tool near "World" on toolbar that is called "Native American Manager." On this you will also find Mercenary Editor and weird things like that. Go to "Native American Manager;" you will get a list of the natives and of the Revolution Politicians. This list is a little big, and actually to big for the screen. Select the natives you want on your map, and then, drag it up, and click on any other natives you want, and then press "OK" to save your information. Save your scenario. Now you can place those native sockets in the editor and build on them ingame or in the editor. However, to activate this in the editor, you should save your scenario, go to main menu, and load it again.

Now how do I get that neat embellishment like native villages near my native post? In "Embellishment" you will find some tools for the Natives, which of them some can randomize a bit differently if you right click. These, however, do not have solidity; people can walk through them. You will find solid embellishment in the "Buildings" section, and even more if you look in "All" section. In fact some objects are uncharted as such, and are only found in the "All" section. This includes Berry Bushes and a couple Native objects, including a special object called "NATIVE OBSTRUCTION."

Here is a photo of one of my own native villages:





Men can walk through my Native village!!! What do I do? Found in the "All" section, NATIVE OBSTRUCTIONs are used to take up space, and do a pretty good job of it. However, they seem a large square and so do not seem so user-friendly. Stuff in the "Embellishment" section of objects can be placed on top of these, and the Native Obstructions are invisible. Well, we have the solution to the uneasiness of Native Obstructions. Remeber that nifty "Position Object" tool I mentioned earlier? We can use that to. Just find a near place where you can place a native obstruction. You can move them, rotate them, and overlap them using the "Position Object" tool. You can also move the Native Embellishment from the "Buildings" and "All" Section (some of which are the same) onto the area covered by the Native Obstructions using the "Position Object" tool. And, with this knowledge, I believe you can now moderately understand Native Sockets.

This is a computer generated native post on unknown in scenario editor:

[JPEG, (366.77 KB)]


Here you see a special block, 1x4. This is actually a 1x4 meter obstruction ingame, and these can also be used to stack on top of one another. You can use these with much greater versatility; they can rotate easier and take as much space as they look. They also don't block your trading post from being built on. I often use a lot of them in other scenarios. Also, 1x2 and 1x1 blocks exist. Honestly now, it takes about ten to thirty minutes to construct a good Native sight with full embellishment. You can also use the nifty "Great Plains De (a large dirt type object)" found in the Embellishment section. Use this and "PROP Native," found also in Embellishment, to make a nice, liveable village.

Here is when I went berserk on 1x4 and 1x2 blocks:

user posted image


Note that "PROP Native" can be randomized literally twenty different ways; either when you place one of these or right click you will get a different one. You can also copy these and paste. Also, if you click enough times the Native props will loop. These are not solid and men can walk through them, just to let you know. I am sure you will be creative enough on your own. Enjoy!


I hope I answered some crucial questions. I am done writing for the day so far. I may edit this here and there. (Edited July 12th).



regards,



murdilator

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 4

Greetings readers!


I now embark upon my fourth and last part of the guide. I hope you have been able to read my writing and understand most of what I said. In this passage I will go through treasures, AI, herd editor, modify protounit triggers, and, lastly, building decks in editor. My hope is to equip you to understand the editor and, in less than a year, become a superior designer.


Treasures

How do I get treasures? How do I make them the treasure I want them to be? First of all, you will find treasures in Objects, and in the All section. Scroll down, and when scrolling down, press "t." This, while scrolling down, brings you to the start of the "t" section. This is viable when you are looking for almost anything, except there are some buggy things in the ypAsian sections in triggers. Nothing detrimental though, just annoying. A treasure is placed like a building. It is best if you place it as a Gaia unit. If you delete a treasure, you probably have to delete its guardians.

Like so:

[JPEG, (180.81 KB)]


It is random treasure each time. With the treasure editor, found on the right hand side of the toolbar, under objects, where trade routes and herd editor are also found, you can edit these to be what you want. There is a long list of treasures, so I suggest you start trying a little things out. However, you may now think, "this is extremely laborious, why am I doing this?" Actually, there is a way to make just a couple types of treasures on your map. I will show you in a moment.

The answer is?---Map Types, found under World on the left side of the editor toolbar. These map types govern how the AI plays the map, and what type of treasures are chosen, and sometimes, what type of extra crates you start with. For instance, if I have a land map, related to great plains, I tick the check-boxes I want next to "land," "grass," and "great plains." THEN PRESS OK. Some maps do not have their own map type. Indochina is based on "borneo." That means if you want the type of treasures that you have on Indochina, tick Borneo and place treasures then.

[JPEG, (234.82 KB)]

!!! A Quick Tip !!!

I personally tick boxes I want to place treasures, and later on in making the scenario, I add another map type to enhance the AI's gameplay. If there is water, the AI hordes over it. This allows you to have what you want, when you want. I hope this helped some of you.


AI

How do I get the AI to work in my scenario as in like a regular game? The answer is simple and complex. There are several "ways" to do this. First, you must know about Player Data. This is found under Scenario, on the slight left of the toolbar, and previously could govern player resources and AI that you could command for campaign use. It does govern team names on multiplayer, but not player names. Now, as CSO, or Custom Scenarios Online has been enabled, this can govern and give an AI, but this AI can conflict with the online AI, or, even worse, if you have loaded it into human slot, the human and the AI will try to play the same team at the same time. We wouldn't want that to happen.

This AI I am talking about is none other than the AILoaderStandard. It is smarter than the regular AI, namely because you can, slightly online, give it commands to attack, and what units to train, but online, it conflicts with the regular AI. This is necessary for single player scenarios if they play like a regular game. You can click on AI box, and scroll down a bit slowly to find AILoaderStandard.

[JPEG, (188.46 KB)]

Like music, however, this ALWAYS bugs the first time you load it each time you come into the game. That means save before you load it. Also you will have to place the Player under control as "computer," not human, for it to work properly. However, in order for Any AI to work, you must place an AI start on its Town Center. What most designers don't realize is that online, you don't need the AILoaderStandard loaded. If you place the AI start for each Player except Player 1, preferably by Unit Create (randomizations), then if and only if a computer is in that slot will the AI start be active. That means you fix having humans and computers in the same slot. Rather, any can be in any slot! Voila, we have fixed it!

AI Strong Target Blocks and AI Weak Target Blocks can be used to govern AI movement and the strategic points they hold. Perhaps putting one at each player's base for each AI/Human Player except Player 1 is O.K.


Herd Editor

Ever wanted your herds to move when you shoot them? Here is the answer: under Objects, with Treasure editor and Place Trade Route on the same list, you find Herd Editor. Firstly, place some huntables, or find some already placed huntables, select the ones you want in a herd, and press "create herd." Do this for each herd. For a 1v1, have about 7 to 9 herds, with three to four herds on each side of the map, and a larger, middle herd, to give map control a good priority. Eight silver mines are also good, with a triple gold near the middle hunts mine to really spice it up.

[JPEG, (166.37 KB)]



Modify Protounit Triggers

I'm pretty sure you will understand what this means: it is what it says it is. This trigger type allows you to somewhat edit units, although it cannot by itself add attack. The useful fields it can do are these: hitpoints, speed, armor addition (3 types), population cap addition (for housing), population count (for elephants and other units), cost coin, cost food, cost wood, cost XP, cost ships (cost of HC shipments; forts could cost 1 shipment for Russia), cost export (consulate units cheaper), built limit (natives; Tashunkes), train points (1.0 train point -- 1 second). When you put in a number, you add (it is without a + sign), but if you place a minus sign, you subtract. Once again, NONE of the attack fields or attack bonus multipliers in Modify Protounit work. Use Set Tech Status, and ship a card like Iroquois Infantry attack to get infantry attack. You will find out more on your own. To get a (-) sign on vista, open word pad and copy a minus sign from there. Then paste it in the beginning of the trigger. To make it work, just make sure you have at then end of your number .0, like 100.0 Hitpoints added. Just putting 100 won't work. I believe you will get the jist of it.

!!! A Quick Tip !!!

You can ship a homecity shipment by triggers infinite times. This sets it active, but you can still ship it once regularly. It is similar with techs. If you want Veteran Musketeers to upgrade twice, meaning stack, first make a trigger that either has a condition waiting for Veteran Musketeers to be upgrading, or set it active, and have another trigger set it unobtainable, and still another after that making it active. Like so:

----------------------

(Supposing that Veteran Musketeers was just upgraded)
Trigger Name: VetMuskets1a, Active, Medium-High Priority, Run Immediately

Conditions: Tech Status Equals: VeteranMusketeers, Player 1, Active

Effects: Set Tech Status: Veteran Musketeers, Player 1, Unobtainable; Fire Event: VeteranMusketeers1b

Trigger Name: VetMuskets1b, Not Active, Medium-High Priority, Run Immediately
Conditions: Timer: 1
Effects: Set Tech Status: VeteranMusketeers, Player 1, Active.



----------------------

You have successfully made it upgrade again for a total of +40% HP and damage. You can also do this and use modify protounit to give -20% HP, so that you only get +20% HP, and +40% damage.


OR, if you would like a Shadow upgrade, or auto-upgrade, do this:

(Supposing that player hits fortress and you want auto-upgrade)

Trigger Name: VetMuskets1Shadow, Active, Medium High-Priority, Run Immediately
Conditions: Tech Status Equals: Fortressize, Player 1, Active
Effects: Set Tech Status: VeteranMusketeers, Player 1, Active.




This upgrades like Veteran Skirmishers and Veteran Dragoons, in the same way. Also, you can do this for Elephant Shadows, which are already in place. I personally boosted Mahouts and Flail elephants separately in my 3v3WildernessRoadV4 when I learned of this from KevtheGreat at Heavengames.



Building Decks in the Editor

How do I build decks in the editor? How long does it take? This, my friends, is probably the most annoying part of the editor I have ever experienced. It takes about as long as to build your own decks. Go to Scenario, and at the bottom of that list will be Homecity Editor. To use this, first click Homecity summary, replace 10 with 131, click OK (it will ask if you want to do this), then choose ALL the new cards. After you choose the new cards, click on Build Deck. Create at least six different decks, preferably eight -- Rush, Boom, Turtle, Land, %CivSpecialStrat% NR20, NR, NR2. For every civ, you must make decks. You can name your explorer here as well. Note that the second Indian Monk, the second Japanese monk, and the second Chinese monk do not have a custom name. However, watch out so that you don't run into the wrong British HC. It is at the bottom. DO NOT click on it. It doesn't do much, but still adds a 10 HC London which doesn't really seem playable to your HC list on Multiplayer. Just a bug though. It's nice if you don't need that tagged along. I think, however, ever since RE 1.01, its quite unavoidable for new scenarios.

HC Summary:




Now when you build your decks for a civ, build them all at once. During that time in the editor, you can edit them to what you like. I warn you though, that once you leave the editor, you have sealed those decks -- you cannot edit them unless you want to redo them all over again. So, build about three to four decks at a time, and you will keep sanity. If you would like the AI to have a custom deck, you must make only one deck for that civ. And don't you place mass unit shipments or infinite shipments unless they are good - that means the AI will order other shipments until they are stacked away. Humans, though, like more than just one deck unless it is extremely versatile and balanced.

There are always times when you absolutely must revamp decks. I did so for my Wilderness Road when the Fan Patch came out; I gave 16 decks to Portugal; 8 non-FP, 8 for FP. That way it could be played either way. Other times, I revamped the Sioux deck on the Wilderness Road after TatlTael playtested it and told me that they were crap decks. So I looked at his, took screenshots, and put them in. This is useful when you don't know much about NR and want to see an expert deck. For instance, my friend Adrian_del_Sol was the best Chinese NR player, so I took two of his decks for NR. White_IrishKing was a great Spanish NR player and Legendary Sioux Player. I know India myself, on 300 and on NR, so I had my own spin on it. I also looked at Spinsane, a former Lieutenant Colonel with India who had prominent influence early with India. I took his rush decks for the most part. I built the turtle decks myself. I built the Portuguese decks, etc. I think I may have taken the FF from Ourk from a rec or something. Be creative. Think openly, and take offense at no comments, but be overjoyed when an expert helps you. To thank them, you could mention their name in the scenario as well, like "playtesting and balancing done by %SoAndSo%." They will be moderately surprised. You will gain a reputation and people will respect you. Through this we as scenario designers can influence the community to change balances we want done, build up our friendship with others, and build up our clans.

I do not use Reyk's editor of yet, nor any other custom editor enhancements.

I hope this helped some of you, and I wish the very best for all of you,


God Bless you all!


regards,


murdilator

http://www.hanson-family.ws/aoe3/icons/hc_cigar_roller.gif

(Click to see image)

That's right! I wrote it by hand.

[This message has been edited by murdilator (edited 08-20-2010 @ 11:18 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Lord Tahattus
Supreme Emperor
posted 07-13-10 01:11 PM EDT (US)     1 / 10       
Hum, what a nice guide! It's too big and I only read some parts of it, but it called my attention. Murdilator, many of the new RMs of our mod, War of the Triple Alliance, has/will have triggers coded. I want to invite you to join us and help us by coding triggers into those maps, what do you think? I believe that you can help us with your experience, specially to give us a more natural look to the effects.

Lord Tahattus - Register yourselves at the WotTA forum!
WOTTA WEBSITE!
War of the Triple Alliance Beta!
Flags for new Civilizations, The Asian Dynasties, Knights and Barbarians and Napoleonic Era
TWC Tutorials: Basics of Modding - The List of Modding No-nos - Adding a Nation - Music and Sounds - Initilization Failed

WotTA back to active!
sufjanfan
Skirmisher
posted 07-13-10 01:35 PM EDT (US)     2 / 10       
Yes, this guide is very detailed and very appropriate for beginners. One thing I noticed though is that you were talking about building native settlements. You don't need to do that. Just go into 'Edit', Load Built-In Grouping', and select a native site you want. There are five variations for each type of native, as well as some other misc groupings.
gunner1
Scenario Expert
posted 07-13-10 02:39 PM EDT (US)     3 / 10       
I hope this guide helps newbies learn to use the editor. Next someone should write a guide on how to make a scenario that is poular .

Scenarios I have made
Single Player-: CAMPAIGN - Christmas - Forest River RPG - Total Freedom
MultiPlayer-: Castle Blood Automatic - Mafia Hitman - Warrior Defence
ESO = sandstorm....................................................................................."I won the bet on 1.04!"
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 07-13-10 03:36 PM EDT (US)     4 / 10       
nice guide

the best trigger to start with is typeloader ;=)
There are things that makes live easier (custom triggers)
e.g. for explorers
<Effect name="SC Starter">
<Param name="PlayerID" dispName="$$22301$$Player" VarType="player">1</Param>
<Param name="Location" dispName="Location" varType="area">0,0,0</Param>
<Param name="UseExplorer" dispName="Use Explorer" VarType="bool">false</Param>
<Param name="UseTc" dispName="Use TC Wagon" VarType="bool">false</Param>
<Command>if(%UseTc% == true) trUnitCreate("CoveredWagon","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>if(%UseExplorer% == true) {</Command>
<Command> if (trTechStatusCheck(%PlayerID%, 480, 1)) trUnitCreate("Explorer","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>elseif (trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,11)) trUnitCreate("ExplorerDog","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>else if (trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,116)) trUnitCreate("xpIroquoiswarchief","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>else if (trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,119)) trUnitCreate("xpAztecWarchief","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>else if (trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,120)) trUnitCreate("xpLakotawarchief","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>else if(trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,148)) {trUnitCreate("ypMonkJapanese","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);trUnitCreate("ypMonkJapanese2","I am an Explorer", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);}</Command>
<Command>else if(trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,149)) trUnitCreate("ypMonkChinese","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);</Command>
<Command>else if(trTechStatusActive(%PlayerID%,150)) {trUnitCreate("ypMonkIndian","", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);trUnitCreate("ypMonkIndian2","I am an Explorer", %Location%, 0, %PlayerID%);}</Command>
<Command>}</Command>
</Effect>
->picks the correct explorer(s) (there is also a variant for hard core designer )
2. wait is another usefull effect
this might look light this:
[c]Trigger Name: Set up (Active, HIGH PRIORITY)

Conditions: Always
Effects
- Fade To Color On --> all parameters set to zero;

- Overlay Text --> ScenarioTitle, created by (USERPROFILE%, or your online name) --> put 3.75 for timer to fade out text.

Effects: Music Filename --> Music (folder) --> (not battle or special music) --> Muptop (beginning song). (MUPTOP GIVES SENSE OF A REGULAR GAME).

-wait (4 secs)

-Fade To Color Off, all parameters set to zero.

wait (247 secs ->since we allready waited 4 secs)

- Fade Out Music, with fade at 4.0, not 3.0 on which it starts. These are seconds.

- Fire Event: PlayNextMusicTrack (leave this blank until you create the 5th trigger).

...

Wait Codes:
<Effect name="Wait">
<Param name="Wait" dispName="Wait Time" varType="string">10</Param>
<Param name="tag" dispName="ID" varType="string">UniqueStringGoesHere</Param>
<Command>xsEnableRule("If%tag%");</Command>
<Command>xsDisableSelf();}</Command>
<Command>}</Command>
<Command>rule If%tag%</Command>
<Command> inactive</Command>
<Command> highFrequency</Command> <Command>{</Command> <Command> if((trTime()-cActivationTime) >= %Wait%) {</Command> <Command>xsDisableSelf();</Command> </Effect>

<Effect name="Wait MS Fixed">
<Param name="Id" dispName="Id" varType="long">1</Param>
<Param name="Timeout" dispName="Timeout (msec.)" varType="long">1</Param>
<Command>trQuestVarSet("Angry_PHTC_WaitRule%Id%_ActivateTime",trTimeMS()+%Timeout%);</Command>
<Command> xsEnableRule("Angry_PHTC_WaitRule%Id%");</Command>
<Command> xsDisableSelf();</Command>
<Command>}</Command>
<Command>}</Command>
<Command>rule Angry_PHTC_WaitRule%Id%</Command>
<Command> inactive</Command>
<Command> highFrequency</Command>
<Command>{</Command>
<Command> if(trTimeMS() >= trQuestVarGet("Angry_PHTC_WaitRule%Id%_ActivateTime"))</Command>
<Command> {</Command>
<Command> xsDisableSelf();</Command>
</Effect>


ESO2 Name:Sir_ConstantinESO Name:Sir_Pacman
Trigger Freak and Modder for AOE3

SCP Editor Tools---my map pack---Some incomplete stuff
My trigger Pack
murdilator
Skirmisher
posted 07-13-10 04:40 PM EDT (US)     5 / 10       
This Guide was originally posted in four parts. A friend of mine suggested that I stack it all together and post it on Agecommunity, HG, and RTS-Sanctuary. I realized that a long guide would be laborious, but now that I explain the four parts, I think you will understand. However, I also realized that there are many, many sticky things on this page, so to add another might be a bit --- much, as to say.

Thanks for the trigger things Mr_SCP. I am not really a scripter, but I can read and see a little sense of those things - as long as I see a unit name. I may use these triggers.

I would surely like to give it a try Lord Tahattus . I, however, can not give too many promises. I hope to give you what I can. Maybe its time that I dig into those things.


regards,


murdilator
As_Saffah
Scenario Reviewer
posted 08-15-10 03:23 PM EDT (US)     6 / 10       
I missed this while I was on vacation.

It should probably go in the Wiki.

If you want to put it in the Age Wiki, let Elpea know and he can help you set up an account. Or, if you'd rather have us condense it and put it up, we can do that too.

Crunkatog on ESO
Bart331 balance suggestion: aztec: remove civ
Voltiguer: Ender, Sioux in 1.04 will be a top civ, no matter how many layers of Sioux goggles you put on
schildpad on Elephants: ...their mansabdar unit sucks so hard it looks like a black hole
Crunkatog on Steam.
musketeer925
Skirmisher
posted 08-15-10 03:59 PM EDT (US)     7 / 10       
@ Tahattus: I could also code your triggers into the maps for your mod if murd cannot or does not have time.

Just in case you didn't know, I have extensive experience with triggers and have a little with RMs; I am also working of a mod of my own.
As_Saffah
Scenario Reviewer
posted 08-15-10 06:09 PM EDT (US)     8 / 10       
Just go into 'Edit', Load Built-In Grouping', and select a native site you want.
He specifically wanted one that units could walk through and that had extra sockets (for more total natives).
someone should write a guide on how to make a scenario that is popular
That would have to be you, people are still playing Warrior Defence and Tower Defence three years later.

Crunkatog on ESO
Bart331 balance suggestion: aztec: remove civ
Voltiguer: Ender, Sioux in 1.04 will be a top civ, no matter how many layers of Sioux goggles you put on
schildpad on Elephants: ...their mansabdar unit sucks so hard it looks like a black hole
Crunkatog on Steam.
murdilator
Skirmisher
posted 08-20-10 10:54 AM EDT (US)     9 / 10       
Thanks Saffah, as always. I would like to get in contact with elpea, as I have researched his history a little bit. However, I can only do stuff on weekends, and in a very limited way. Do you know how I could get in contact with the person? Any help would be appreciated.

EDIT: I think I found out how. Never mind about asking for help .



regards,



murdilator

[This message has been edited by murdilator (edited 08-20-2010 @ 11:07 AM).]

PearsonF
Skirmisher
posted 08-20-10 01:49 PM EDT (US)     10 / 10       
WOW! not a bad guide a great addition to age of wiki this shall be.

[This message has been edited by PearsonF (edited 08-21-2010 @ 05:10 AM).]

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