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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » AoE3Ed - Preview Release
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Topic Subject:AoE3Ed - Preview Release
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Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 05:56 PM EDT (US)         
Edit XMB files! See the fabled Learicorn! Marvel at some funky blue stuff!

This is the initial preview release of AoE3Ed, the successor to AOMEd. It should be enough to let curious people poke the demo's data files, though it doesn't do a lot else. Some previous modding experience is recommended. No artificial colourings. 97.4% less Perl.

The main features are split into two excitingly named programs:
* Archive Viewer - open BAR files; view previews of many of the data files (text, XML, XMB, DDT, WAV) contained within; and extract them for editing.
* File Converter - XMB<->XML, DDT<->TGA.
Their usage should be fairly intuitive; if not, you may wish to suggest improvements or just wait for a non-preview release.

There are various things that should be done and could be done, detailed below in a rough order of priority. If anyone considers a feature to be important, let me know and I'll possibly think of it as a higher priority. If you consider a feature to be really hugely important, bribes (perhaps of interesting topological surfaces or graphics cards) may help.

Suggestions of higher-level modding tools (like, for example, an HC-customisation-mod editor and installer) would also be of interest, for some indeterminate time in the future. Additionally, reports of whether the final AoE3 release will include anything to help modders would be useful, to avoid duplicating work.

Download the latest version here (1.1MB, est. 10 months by RFC1149-compatible pigeon).

----

Medium priority:
* Documentation.
* Find a new name, or at least abbreviate in informal situations to something like '3ed' which doesn't require so much bouncing on the shift key. (Any suggestions?)
* Find a permanent home (or at least as permanent as a web site can be) for the program, so people can get useful information without having to search through forums with inadequate search functions
* DDT<->BMP, because sometimes that's easier than editing the TGA alpha channel.
* Easier alteration of DDT subformat settings.
* See how AoE3's mipmaps were made, and reproduce a similar effect. (Consistency is more important than quality, although consistent quality would be nicest.)
* SCN editing - particularly converting trigger data to an editable format. (Is AOMEd's XML style nice enough? (but fixed so that it doesn't get confused by new conditions/effects))
* SCN uneditability (while still allowing the scenario to be examined in the editor, if at all possible)
* Make the source code available. (How many people would be interested in this? (It's all C++, and the non-UI parts are in their own library that could be used in other projects, which may save people a little effort.))
* Make the DXTC alpha compressor perfect when possible. (It should already do perfect RGB (when possible, i.e. when doing DDT->TGA->DDT), but I've not had time to fix the alpha, and so it messes up swizzled normal maps.)

Low priority:
* Convert GR2 to an editable format. (Partly fairly easy (e.g. for static meshes), but probably useless without the next item.)
* Convert back into GR2. (Slightly trickier, since I don't have any documentation or code for Granny, and have to just guess how its interface works.)
* Weird DDT formats that some people might care about (particularly cubemaps for skies).
* Document the file formats. (If the source code is released, would anyone care much about human-readable specifications?)
* Get rid of Xerces (or at least statically link it), because it's big and ugly and I really don't like it. (I haven't found anything else that's cross-platform and does DTD validation, though.)

No priority:
* Compatibility with pre-Win2K. (Does any AoE3 modder still do work on Win98?)
* Optimise S3TC compressor for specular+normal maps, since it's currently designed to work with visible colour. (Is anyone going to have the tools and skills to do decent normal-map work? And uncompressed BGRA DDTs should work better anyway, unless the 4x size difference really matters.)
* Weird DDT formats that I hope nobody cares about (particularly those with palettes).

AuthorReplies:
scipio_africanus
Skirmisher
posted 09-18-05 04:03 PM EDT (US)     51 / 83       
Really nice.

Thanks.


///scipio_africanus\\\
"Scipio rules. Nelson sucks." - Jax
"I have a shrine to Scipio in my closet."- Doitzel
"posting a link with no sort of comment or explanation is not something we readily condone in OD." - GillB
The Gamers' Manifesto|Welcome to HG!|The Sanatorium
Winner of the Order of Doitzel!
Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 09-18-05 04:38 PM EDT (US)     52 / 83       

Quote:

I thought I could live with it, but it's starting to get annoying. Why does the file converter close every time you converted something?

Go to your file and right click on it then click "properties". Change the "opens with" to the FileConverter.exe and then double click your file.

I asked Ykkrosh to have this feature, quite useful .


Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 09-19-05 04:58 AM EDT (US)     53 / 83       
Thanks Elpea!

|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
petard_rusher
Skirmisher
posted 09-21-05 02:18 AM EDT (US)     54 / 83       
what if you want to change the values in the xml, is there a way to change the XMB versions and then add them back into the BAR file?
Viruzz
Skirmisher
posted 09-21-05 10:36 AM EDT (US)     55 / 83       
Well, for creating .bar archives feel free to use my editor, but it's completely in German
http://aoe3.de/tools.php
Ryder25
Skirmisher
(id: tasev)
posted 09-24-05 01:01 PM EDT (US)     56 / 83       
scipio_africanus
Skirmisher
posted 09-24-05 01:03 PM EDT (US)     57 / 83       
AoE3ED does that.

///scipio_africanus\\\
"Scipio rules. Nelson sucks." - Jax
"I have a shrine to Scipio in my closet."- Doitzel
"posting a link with no sort of comment or explanation is not something we readily condone in OD." - GillB
The Gamers' Manifesto|Welcome to HG!|The Sanatorium
Winner of the Order of Doitzel!
Viruzz
Skirmisher
posted 09-25-05 07:41 AM EDT (US)     58 / 83       
>Can you make it extract bars?
Who do you mean? My editor can extract bar files and aoe3ed as well.
maxim1500
Skirmisher
posted 09-25-05 09:04 AM EDT (US)     59 / 83       
Good job guys!

But I have a problem: I would need to open gr2 files into 3DS to transform them into .x files for a DirectX school project. Actually, I would only need trees from the game. I tried to use MilkShape, but it crashed every time. Would it be possible for any of you to explain me how to load them in max, or at least transform two of those trees in 3ds for me? Thanks a lot!

Maxime

Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 09-25-05 09:41 AM EDT (US)     60 / 83       
Ykkrosh manage to get them into Max with a rather complicated way, don't know how he did it myself, though.

|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 09-25-05 01:19 PM EDT (US)     61 / 83       
He told me he used an import script for 3DS he wrote himself.

Quote:

Actually, I would only need trees from the game. I tried to use MilkShape, but it crashed every time. Would it be possible for any of you to explain me how to load them in max, or at least transform two of those trees in 3ds for me? Thanks a lot!

We can't open .GR2 files with AOE3ed, we need Granny 3D to open them. Which costs about $10K for a single liscence. We will have to wait for ES to give us something to work with .GR2 files. But they might not, since they don't own the rights to Granny 3D.

[This message has been edited by The_Assimilator (edited 09-25-2005 @ 01:24 PM).]

Ryder25
Skirmisher
(id: tasev)
posted 10-08-05 05:19 PM EDT (US)     62 / 83       
ParCorn
Skirmisher
posted 10-08-05 05:48 PM EDT (US)     63 / 83       
Great program!
BTW AoE3 Download Central is here.

Highlight The Flag and It turns Black!
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bojack
Skirmisher
posted 10-10-05 02:07 PM EDT (US)     64 / 83       
Can you use this program to replace units with other unit types? For example, could I replace the Spanish crossbowman with the railworker from the 3rd act campaign (the unit that throws dynamite)? How about replacing models only (like replacing the Spanish hunter dog models with sheep models)?

Grammar and such go a long way in these forums and I would hate to see heavengames lower it's high standards. - Shala_LoL
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 10-19-05 03:57 AM EDT (US)     65 / 83       
Ykkrosh, any news on the Granny thing? Or did you give up?

Could any mod move this to the modding forum?


|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 10-19-05 08:54 AM EDT (US)     66 / 83       
I think I've given up on that, and also on AoE3 in general
It sounds like the game still wouldn't allow me to install it (on Win2K, at my own risk), and I can't even install the updated demo after circumventing the version check (since the installer is quite stupid (starting with the 450MB InstallShield .exe extracting a 450MB .msi) and says I haven't got enough disk space - if it didn't insist on duplicating everything onto drive C a couple of times, it would have found there was plenty of space where I wanted to actually install to; but I've got fed up with messing around and trying to fix it, so I won't bother any more.)
I'll just assume AoE3Ed still works with the new versions of AoE3's data files, and rely on other people to report anything that has broken.
AoMPlayer000
Banned
posted 10-19-05 09:32 AM EDT (US)     67 / 83       
Nonono, don't give up: ES said you could install it with Win 2k when navigating to the setup.exe with the help of DOS and then typing setup /a I think. Try that first !
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 10-19-05 09:56 AM EDT (US)     68 / 83       
I agree with Grun. Don't give up! There is always a way!
AoMPlayer000
Banned
posted 10-20-05 11:27 AM EDT (US)     69 / 83       
There you go .
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 10-21-05 03:57 AM EDT (US)     70 / 83       
Nooo! Ykkrosh, don't leave us here standing in the dark. We need you!!

Did that sound hopeless, yes? Good


|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
ToMyBoY
Skirmisher
posted 10-26-05 00:13 AM EDT (US)     71 / 83       
I just downloaded this newest version of the "AgeED" tools and dude, you're the man!!!! I haven't really started to dig into modding the new game yet - just got it - but even being able to view the .bars without extracting them is an amazing feature. Just wanted to say thank you very much for another great tool. ES should put you on the payroll.

Quite asking poor Ykkrosh questions about how to mod units and stuff guys, he's given you the tools, now it's up to you to put them to good use. Like a carpenter asking Black and Decker how to build a table.

Oh Ykkrosh...ever take at stab at adding editor tools, he he he? We desparately need to change the pitch and zoom of the camera and resize units!!!

*Crosses fingers some talented coder saves us*

RiderOfEternity
Skirmisher
posted 10-30-05 12:27 PM EDT (US)     72 / 83       
I wonder if there's been a new version since the one when the thread was first opened?

Leader of Liquid Fire. Animator Seb C.

One does not simply leave HG
AoMPlayer000
Banned
posted 10-31-05 05:23 AM EDT (US)     73 / 83       
I wonder if he's still here ? Ykkrosh, it's possible to install AoE3 on Win2k, don't leave us...
Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 10-31-05 08:46 AM EDT (US)     74 / 83       
Since ES was aware of the situation after the demo (that people want to play on Win2K, and that the game did actually work for those people), but chose to continue actively blocking Win2K, they clearly decided that they don't want people like me as customers. Who am I to disagree?
AoMPlayer000
Banned
posted 10-31-05 01:40 PM EDT (US)     75 / 83       

[This message has been edited by Grün (edited 10-31-2005 @ 01:40 PM).]

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