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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Modding Discussions » The Tutorial Database
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Topic Subject:The Tutorial Database
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peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 09-30-10 10:29 AM EDT (US)         

by peugeot407


Welcome to the Tutorial Database, a list of all tutorials written on the subject of Age of Empires III modding. They have been ranked according to difficulty and split into three categories, Beginner, Advanced and Expert. It is recommended to read Beginner tutorials first, before advancing to more advanced levels of modding.

For convenience's sake, the tutorials have been given special tags to give some more information about them. The basic tutorials that are needed for many different sorts of modding and can be advised to everyone are labeled Modding Essentials. Tutorials that are really easy to understand, even for secondary or tertiary speakers of the language are labeled Simple English, this also applies to translations of the tutorial. Lastly, tutorials are also labeled according to their age, with Very Old signifying that a tutorial may no longer have working pictures or that its writer may no longer be part of the community, while tutorials tagged as Brand New will likely have excellent support, with the writer still very much around and available for questions.



Beginner "Introduction to modding"
Creator: BilboBeutlin
URL: HeavenGames Main Site
Description: The most basic of basic tutorials, this tutorial does little more than tell you exactly what modding actually is. It also includes some useful tricks
Tags: Modding Essentials, Simple English
Requirements: Basic knowledge of English
Kitchener says: For true raw recruits without any experience, this is a real must-read.

What programs do I need to start modding?
Well, modding is mostly about editing XML files, so you will need a proper programmer's notepad. Windows' Notepad will work, but another tool worth trying is Notepad++. Bear in mind you can also use your notepad to edit XS and TACTICS files.

Secondly, if you want to alter any textures in the game, you'll need Graphics software like Adobe Photoshop or Jasc/Corel Paint Shop Pro. GIMP will also work, with the added advantage of it being free.

Lastly, although it's perhaps the most important program in modding, is AoE3Ed for Windows or Mac. It consists of two little tools, one can be used to view and extract BAR files, the other can be used to convert XML to XMB and TGA to DDT (and vice versa).
Does modding require any skills?
Not really. A basic understanding of how XML works might come in useful, as might some experience in working with Photoshop-like software. None of this is strictly needed though, as most AoE3 material is really easy to understand, and you'll probably have grip on it in a few.
I can't play on ESO2 with my modded game. Why is this?
Modding is all about Single Player and LAN Multiplayer. Multiplayer through ESO2 would work, but ES (the makers of AoE3) cut us off there. Not too surprising either, given the fact that all players require exactly the same game version for a multiplayer match to work.
I've modded AoE3, now when I start the game I get a message box saying "Initialization Failed"!
Read the first few posts of this discussion, and you should know how to fix it.



Beginner "The most important tutorial of all"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: HeavenGames Forums, Clan Spetsnaz
Description: This tutorial describes exactly how Age of Empires III handles modded files. Be that sound, art or data files, XMLs, DDTs or BARs, this one covers it all.
Tags: Modding Essentials
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: A proper command structure is everything. This is just like it, I think...



Beginner "Using the Granny Viewer"
Creator: peugeot407
URL: HeavenGames Forums, Clan Spetsnaz, Knights and Barbarians forums
Description: This tutorial gives a short summary of what a modder can do with the Granny Viewer, a powerful tool that's often overlooked.
Tags: Modding Essentials
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Granny Viewer software
Kitchener says: This is for looking at models! Don't start taking a three-hundred and sixty degree look at real grannies...



Beginner "Creating a new Unit I"
Creator: Argalius
URL: HeavenGames Main Site
Description: Not surprisingly, this tutorial tells you how to create a brand new unit for the game. Don't worry, it's easier than you think.
Tags: Simple English, Very Old
Requirements: Basic knowledge of English, Very basic knowledge of XML code
Kitchener says: Military innovation, I like it. Go and create those new units!



Beginner "Creating a new Unit II"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: Eye Candy Guild
Description: This tutorial is slightly older than that of Argalius, but still useful. It's probably a bit easier to understand if you're not too familiar with XML, that's a plus.
Tags: Simple English
Requirements: Basic knowledge of English
Kitchener says: More new units? Yes, please!



Beginner "Everything related to sound"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: HeavenGames Forums, Clan Spetsnaz
Description: This easy tutorial tells you all you need to know about sound in Age of Empires III, not only the actual sound files, but also the XML files that control them.
Tags: -
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: The noise of cannon fire is as much a nuisance as a boon. Scares the enemy blind, you see...



Beginner "Homecity Editing"
Creator: irishlegend8
URL: HeavenGames Main Site, Clan Spetsnaz
Description: Every AoE3 player must at one point have looked at level 40 homecity cards in jealousy. Well, there's a way to reach them without playing with that HC for the rest of your life. This tutorial explains how.
Tags: Simple English, Very Old
Requirements: Basic knowledge of English, Basic knowledge of XML code
Kitchener says: I myself prefer the front lines, but support from the home city is truly crucial. Get working on it.



Beginner "Adding a custom flag"
Creator: ToMyBoy
URL: HeavenGames Forums
Description: A tutorial that explains how to change the flags on top of buildings. It's jolly old and the pictures don't work, but it might be useful nonetheless.
Tags: Very old
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in using graphics software like Photoshop
Kitchener says: A well placed Union Jack can demoralise the enemy like no soldier can.



Advanced "Texturing"
Creator: Tilanus Commodor
URL: HeavenGames Main Site
Description: Texturing isn't hard, and pretty self-explanatory, but there are certain things you should know about it. You guessed it, they're in this tutorial.
Tags: Simple English
Requirements: Basic knowledge of English, Experience in using graphics software like Photoshop
Kitchener says: Every once in a while, uniforms have to be reconsidered, don't you agree? Don't forget to add khaki...



Advanced "Player Colour and Transparency"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: War of the Triple Alliance Forums
Description: Player colour and transparency are both extremely useful in creating textures. This tutorial will tell you all about them
Tags: Brand New
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: Colour? I'll have khaki. Mess dress should still be scarlet, of course.



Advanced "Texturing Issues"
Creator: peugeot407
URL: HeavenGames Forums
Description: Texturing is quite ok, but if you're having problems with your texture's XML file they're often hard to find. Read this tutorial if you want to give it a try
Tags: -
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: Ah, proper difficulties, and a lack of luck. They truly test one's skill...



Advanced "Creating proper flags"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: War of the Triple Alliance Forums
Description: Creating ingame flags is a difficult business. Unless you've read this tutorial, then it's easy
Tags: Brand New
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: The Union Jack is a glorious little flag, don't you agree?



Advanced "Cultures"
Creator: peugeot407
URL: HeavenGames Forums
Description: This tutorial explains what you have to do to get your brand new civ a unique set of buildings. It's a bit bugged, sorry for that.
Tags: -
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in working with XML code
Kitchener says: Frankly, if Paris had a parliament looking just like that of glorious London, the world would be a bland place...



Advanced "Enabling arbitrary units to gather and claim resources"
Creator: BilboBeutlin
URL: HeavenGames Main Site
Description: Ever wondered why military units can't pick up treasures? Well, they can! After you've been through this tutorial, that is.
Tags: -
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in working with XML code
Kitchener says: There's no denying that looting is an efficient way of keeping an army going. Take those treasures!



Expert "Importing custom 3D models"
Creator: Yomgui
URL: HeavenGames Forums
Description: Adding custom 3D models to AoE3 has long been deemed impossible, but it's not, it turns out. Read this tutorial to see how.
Tags: -
Requirements: 3DS Max 7 software, Exportron plugin for 3DS Max, Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in working with 3D modeling applications
Kitchener says: Importing attachments? Surely that doesn't mean I am going to have to wear a pickelhaube?



Expert "Modeling"
Creator: arcalion
URL: War of the Triple Alliance Forums
Description: You already knew how to import new models, this tutorial will take you through their creation.
Tags: -
Requirements: 3DS Max 8 software, Granny Viewer, GLXtractor, Photoshop, Granny Import/Export Plugin for 3DS Max, Nominal knowledge of English
Kitchener says: Adding new models? Getting ambitious, are we?



Expert "Creating a new civilisation I"
Creator: Argalius
URL: HeavenGames Main Site
Description: It is possible to add new civilisations to AoE3, though it is hard and quite labourous. Overcome those issues, then read this tutorial.
Tags: Very Old
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in working with XML code, Daring to alter things that might ruin your game if you do them wrong
Kitchener says: A new civilisation? Let's just make sure it is under proper British patronage.



Expert "Creating a new civilisation II"
Creator: Lord Tahattus
URL: HeavenGames Forums
Description: This tutorial is slightly easier to understand than the one above. Still, adding a nation is no peanuts.
Tags: -
Requirements: Nominal knowledge of English, Experience in working with XML code, Daring to alter things that might ruin your game if you do them wrong
Kitchener says: More new civilisations? Will there be an empire left after all this???



Tutorials only available in other languages

Changing the game's language
3D Modeling with Blender
How does modding work?



In case you are aware of any tutorials that have not yet been listed, please tell me, and I'll endeavour to make sure it's added to the list. I mean to keep this database as complete a list as possible, so any help with it will be hugely appreciated.


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)

[This message has been edited by peugeot407 (edited 11-19-2012 @ 12:27 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-24-12 11:57 PM EDT (US)     26 / 46       
But I need to replace the original, make the function of a package in the programm AOE3Ed, please
anterior2
Scenario Design Expert
posted 07-25-12 01:33 AM EDT (US)     27 / 46       
We currently have three languages: English, Spanish, German and Dutch.
That makes four.....

StormComing (to me): "Seems like you're way under-ranked"

Check out my series of guides for the scenario editor in the link below! | Best Otto TR score

The definitive collection of my scenarios, along with my scenario editor walkthrough, recorded games, and much much more!
peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 07-25-12 11:28 AM EDT (US)     28 / 46       
Must have forgotten to change that. Thanks for noting...


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-25-12 02:37 PM EDT (US)     29 / 46       
the lack of package files in the archive .bar - one of the reasons why it is impossible to play the mod on the ESO
ESO uses of files from the archives .bar, but what is written inside it completely useless, excluding the new civilization
package files are needed, by the way, as if the guys from Age of Dynasties were able to create your own archive?
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 07-25-12 03:14 PM EDT (US)     30 / 46       
read carefully the tutorial:

http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=14,34098,0,all

This explains you why you dont need to repack


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
peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 07-25-12 08:50 PM EDT (US)     31 / 46       
If you desperately want to repack, you can do that, but as Mister SCP correctly pointed out, there's absolutely no need to. And no, ESO doesn't exclusively read the files inside BAR archives, it reads them from folders as well, just like if you were to play singleplayer.


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-26-12 01:07 AM EDT (US)     32 / 46       
let the modified file is Home city in the folder Data
I go to the ESO, select a city, select a new card that have not yet seen, it appears in the decks, but when re-entering the same city - disappears, because there are two files,
for the sake of experiment I want to pack the archive and see how it will work on the ESO
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 07-26-12 01:06 PM EDT (US)     33 / 46       
ehm, homecity files from eso are stored at the ES servers,


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
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-26-12 03:27 PM EDT (US)     34 / 46       
Mister SCP
I do not think so, because the "improvement mod" on ESO played, and said that works fine, but the problem with HC Card the same there, which is why I asked you to help with packing

[This message has been edited by Roman2211 (edited 07-26-2012 @ 03:28 PM).]

peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 07-27-12 02:16 PM EDT (US)     35 / 46       
I don't mind if you try to rearchive the game, I think that's fine. However, the notion that the game would only read files inside BAR archives is just completely wrong. In fact, it's so wrong that if it were to be true, there would be no protoy, techtreey and stringtabley, as none of them is in a BAR file.


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-28-12 00:13 AM EDT (US)     36 / 46       
but it does not work as you say, ESO read inside archives, to pack and see how the ESO will react
peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 07-28-12 04:38 PM EDT (US)     37 / 46       
ESO2, like singleplayer AoE3, reads files first from the patch BAR file, then from the corresponding folder, then from the archive BAR file.


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)
Roman2211
Skirmisher
posted 07-29-12 00:47 AM EDT (US)     38 / 46       
I do not understand you, I am asked to help pack the files, you said that you can pack, but did not explain how
checanos
Skirmisher
posted 09-22-12 02:31 PM EDT (US)     39 / 46       
is there no tutorial on editing the actual homecity?
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 09-22-12 03:29 PM EDT (US)     40 / 46       
if you mean hc buildings then it is in general the same as with animfiles. HC ground have tons of bones where you can place/exchange stuff (no hc exclusive tutorial i could have found)

if you mean cards then you can use http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-forgotten-empires/tutorials/the-forgotten-empires-homecity-tutorial


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

[This message has been edited by Mister SCP (edited 09-22-2012 @ 03:30 PM).]

checanos
Skirmisher
posted 09-23-12 06:37 AM EDT (US)     41 / 46       
yeah I mean a tutorial about how to edit the home city buildings and visual stuff, becuase I tried to edit it and it turned out all black...
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 09-26-12 10:41 AM EDT (US)     42 / 46       
if ALL is black you have a by 99% a syntax error in your xml file


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
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 11-01-12 01:11 PM EDT (US)     43 / 46       
Tutorial: Scaling AoE3 Models


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
Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 09-01-13 05:05 AM EDT (US)     44 / 46       
AoE3 Modding Tutorial: Tactics and Abilities (Part 1)

(Part 1 => Units, Part 2 will be about Buildings)


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
moda20
Skirmisher
posted 09-01-13 12:10 PM EDT (US)     45 / 46       
wrong place sry

[This message has been edited by moda20 (edited 09-01-2013 @ 12:11 PM).]

Mister SCP
Scenario Reviewer
posted 01-11-16 03:47 PM EDT (US)     46 / 46       
I'll add them to the official post when i ve time

Add advanced Material

Tutorial by Titan Joker
http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=14,39215,,20

Another video of mine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGBYsm5olH0


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

[This message has been edited by Mister SCP (edited 01-11-2016 @ 03:47 PM).]

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