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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Design
Thread: Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Design This thread is 9 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 · «PREV / NEXT»
Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted May 21, 2011 08:09 PM

Quote:
@Cepheus
I know you are swamped with work. I now see that we have picked a very complicated piece of work with the eight skill enhancement. So it would be perfectly fine to have the interface without the detailed view from the town/hero tabs. Just the part you already showed us plus the perks display on the main hero screen. No urgency though.


No problem, sorry I haven't made much progress. I think I uploaded that version already? If not, I still have it, let me know.

The most logical place to start in creating a new town is Sanctuary since it has a place in the H5 setting and there are already assets developed for it.
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"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted May 21, 2011 08:16 PM

Quote:
I know you are swamped with work. I now see that we have picked a very complicated piece of work with the eight skill enhancement. So it would be perfectly fine to have the interface without the detailed view from the town/hero tabs. Just the part you already showed us plus the perks display on the main hero screen. No urgency though.


I have been thinking about this and I think there are simpler solutions that are also more balanced.

Option 1. Go for 7 skills instead of 8, since the racial or class-specific skill is already on its own page. In that case the perk window needs only one extra row.

Option 2. Remove logistics from the game and give all heroes small movement/water and sight bonuses with every level up. Since logistics is pretty much an obligatory pick this creates one extra slot without the need to change anything.
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magnomagus
magnomagus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted May 21, 2011 08:55 PM

I Did some more extensive testing and concerning the compatibility with RPE I have no further complaints. However as strange as it may sound at this point I would still prefer the 3.1 AI over this one for a simple reason: it is too weak. The HoA map I sent you clearly reveals that. The challenge for the AI on this map is that it is very far away from the human player and needs to break through some very strong garrisons before it reaches you. The old AI was capable of doing that much faster than myself and often got me pinned in my castle fighting for my life. The current build is not capable of that despite the fact that it smarter and faster calculated (which are the good things). Only with huge starting resource bonuses it develops roughly at equal speed and in balanced mode it develops a lot slower,  likely because it cannot match the combat map performance of a human player.

Some more things I noticed:

-I noticed some AI players played with two heroes from the start. while others played with only one even after acquiring a second castle.
-Some of the AI players that took two heroes divided there power too much over both to challenge a human main hero.
-One AI player (fortress) pretty much killed itself at some point I noticed only one hero with a very weak army remained. It probably had lost way too much creatures in a battle vs neutrals.
-The AI cleans the area around its castle better not leaving much artifacts behind (I still noticed one incident)
-In late game your Ai becomes still quite slow, but I guess 8 players are hard to take.

To conclude, please reintroduce cheating and i'm looking forward to the search depth settings
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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 22, 2011 01:31 AM
Edited by Quantomas at 01:32, 22 May 2011.

Quote:
I think I uploaded that version already? If not, I still have it, let me know.

I checked the EternalEssence-EightSkills-V2.pak. It has 8 skill slots, but lacks the appropriate slots in the abilities and perks tab, currently there are five only. Technically, we would need seven, but the available screen space is not sufficient for this. I did a bit more research, and there are at least two viable solutions:

1. If you know how to do that you could just add a forward/backward arrow pair that would work as buttons to switch pages. There is a bit of space in the upper right corner of the perks window. All other things will then be handled by the .exe.

2. Alternatively, you could use the scrollable container from the hero's biography tab. It would require to make the arrows from the skills to the abilities a bit shorter but otherwise it should work cleanly.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 22, 2011 01:53 AM
Edited by Quantomas at 02:10, 22 May 2011.

Quote:
I Did some more extensive testing and concerning the compatibility with RPE I have no further complaints. However as strange as it may sound at this point I would still prefer the 3.1 AI over this one for a simple reason: it is too weak. The HoA map I sent you clearly reveals that. The challenge for the AI on this map is that it is very far away from the human player and needs to break through some very strong garrisons before it reaches you. The old AI was capable of doing that much faster than myself and often got me pinned in my castle fighting for my life. The current build is not capable of that despite the fact that it smarter and faster calculated (which are the good things). Only with huge starting resource bonuses it develops roughly at equal speed and in balanced mode it develops a lot slower,  likely because it cannot match the combat map performance of a human player.

Some more things I noticed:

-I noticed some AI players played with two heroes from the start. while others played with only one even after acquiring a second castle.
-Some of the AI players that took two heroes divided there power too much over both to challenge a human main hero.
-One AI player (fortress) pretty much killed itself at some point I noticed only one hero with a very weak army remained. It probably had lost way too much creatures in a battle vs neutrals.
-The AI cleans the area around its castle better not leaving much artifacts behind (I still noticed one incident)
-In late game your Ai becomes still quite slow, but I guess 8 players are hard to take.

To conclude, please reintroduce cheating and i'm looking forward to the search depth settings

I am currently conducting my own test run of HoA, quite a brilliant map I must say. I play on hard with equal resources for the AI, only the elven faction set to defensive AI. So far I have progressed to week 7, and judging from the hero stats and armies displayed in the tavern (you can count the primary attributes) the AI makes faster progress than me.

What is true, the AI does look only seven days worth of travel into the shroud, so on huge and impossible sized maps it might appear passive at present.

But that will be resolved with the strategic end stage which will look 2/3/4 weeks ahead and will have the AI develop active strategies. You will have nothing left to desire regarding AI difficulty once this is done. This is the truly important work that needs doing. It's a pity that all those bugs and interface issues plus the organisational tasks keep me back.

Regarding the speed, what makes the AI slower in the later game is that it switches from 5 to 6 and then to 7 lookahead days. It's an exponential rise in the computation cost that is associated with this. If you would like to do this feat with the original AI algorithms, you would probably need all the super-computers of the US national laboratories and secret services to do it in the same time. This is not to say that the code originally from 3DO is not fairly efficient. I say that only to give you an idea how much computation the AI truly does and on what level the included optimizations are.

Once the strategic end stage is in place, we have much more flexibility to adjust the AI performance and processing speed. The end stage is sort of a rough estimate over all strategic paths and ways to build the factions power. The lookahead processing mentioned above is technically a full permutation over the heroes visiting any object on the adventure map (in the lookahead travel range) in any order. This is a very powerful finely tuned estimate what the heroes can do on the map. With the strategic end stage, we will be able to say for example, let's just do lookahead range 3 days and the rest performed by the strategic end stage, which will yield very fast response times. In addition the AI can measure the performance of the player and adapt dynamically its lookahead depth against the strongest players, the master strategists.

Cheating is out. Not part of the project. Full stop.

But that said, I will finish my current tasks on the interface and known bugs, i.e. only do what's scheduled, not less, not more, and switch to the really important work on the AI.

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted May 22, 2011 09:24 AM

Just jumping in to say how much I'm still looking forward to this. Broke my copy of the game and have been busy with school so I haven't been able to contribute as much as I would like, but am looking forward to getting back into it soon.

Great work everyone, esp. Q.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted May 22, 2011 12:45 PM
Edited by magnomagus at 12:47, 22 May 2011.

Quote:
But that will be resolved with the strategic end stage which will look 2/3/4 weeks ahead and will have the AI develop active strategies


Doesn't that make the AI much slower? Is the end stage calculated in one ultra long turn? and how do you know when the strategic end stage has to start if every map is different?
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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 22, 2011 05:47 PM

Quote:
Have you tried Elvin's duel map with 3.1b? What's the problem?


well, for now, scripts don't seem to work, so I can't play it at all.

but would the AI figure the rules? like it has to visit the sphinx to gain level? and it has to wait for you on the middle ground and not camp in his castle for example?


I tried the duel mode, it seemed harder than usual. or maybe the AI just didn't have deflect arrows in its spellbook, because it's usually the only spell it casts

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mfdoom
mfdoom


Hired Hero
posted May 22, 2011 06:31 PM

Let's add H3 Fortress with Gorgons.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 22, 2011 10:27 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Have you tried Elvin's duel map with 3.1b? What's the problem?


well, for now, scripts don't seem to work, so I can't play it at all.

but would the AI figure the rules? like it has to visit the sphinx to gain level? and it has to wait for you on the middle ground and not camp in his castle for example?


I tried the duel mode, it seemed harder than usual. or maybe the AI just didn't have deflect arrows in its spellbook, because it's usually the only spell it casts

I will make a mental note that we should do something smart here. A good opportunity will come if we have finished the Hall of Decision special mode. A lot of things we haven't seen yet will become possible around this time.

Magnomagus mentioned that you had recolored towns. Did you actually work with the town models?

@TheBaron
No problem. Everything here moves in its own time.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 23, 2011 12:09 AM

now, we have no other way to create a town than to replace an existing one if it what you asked. so yeah, I had to modify the creatures, the heroes, the buildings...

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 23, 2011 12:27 AM

Quote:
now, we have no other way to create a town than to replace an existing one if it what you asked. so yeah, I had to modify the creatures, the heroes, the buildings...

The reason I am asking is to understand whether we have the knowledge how to create new town models. I have the know-how to make new town screens from that. So if you know how to do the modelling stuff we can create indeed new towns.

In the data.pak is a folder /Arenas/Town/* where the * stands for the town type, e.g. NewHaven or Academy. That's the place from which the game database starts loading the designs for a town. There are a lot of .xdb and texture files and references to the real models. Would it be possible for you to set up a new folder, something like /Arenas/Town/Sanctuary and create all the required files within this folder and those referenced as models? If the answer would be yes, I can have them imported into the game proper as a new faction.

If this looks too complicated at the beginning, we could also start with a very basic town layout just to start and check out whether we are on the right track.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 23, 2011 02:11 AM

perhaps it could be as simple as copying an existing town, but under a new name and folder? like with creatures. once they are done, there is very little to modify to move them from a town to another.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted May 23, 2011 11:42 AM

Quote:
The reason I am asking is to understand whether we have the knowledge how to create new town models. I have the know-how to make new town screens from that. So if you know how to do the modelling stuff we can create indeed new towns.


I think you are missing something important here. There are of course many people in this world who can create models in 3ds max or maya. But the problem is (was?) to import them in H5. The models are not located in arenas\towns, but bin\geometries. Please read this thread, it contains more knowledge than I have about the subject:

http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=31210

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 23, 2011 01:39 PM

Quote:
perhaps it could be as simple as copying an existing town, but under a new name and folder? like with creatures. once they are done, there is very little to modify to move them from a town to another.

This would be a logical assumption to start with. My question was rather directed at what power you have over it. Can you for example use an Academy building in a Haven town? Simply copying the files from the Academy will most likely not suffice. Some other things will need adapting, the locator settings for example, that the building appears at a suitable position. The next question would be, can you alter the model of the building as you see fit?

@Magnomagus
What I am looking at is how to import the town models into the .exe. The models are referenced directly or indirectly from the /Arenas/Town/*. This is the essential stuff how the town models get into the game database. I am hard pressed for time, what I am trying to do, is to assist you guys so that you can actually make progress, things that weren't possible before. Please don't expect me to go hunting for bits of information.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 23, 2011 02:14 PM

Quote:
Can you for example use an Academy building in a Haven town?

didn't find out to do that. all I could do was use adventure map buildings and creatures (and only as effects)

Quote:
The next question would be, can you alter the model of the building as you see fit?

we can't alter any model

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 23, 2011 02:19 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 14:19, 23 May 2011.

Quote:
Quote:
Can you for example use an Academy building in a Haven town?

didn't find out to do that. all I could do was use adventure map buildings and creatures (and only as effects)

Quote:
The next question would be, can you alter the model of the building as you see fit?

we can't alter any model

Thanks for the clarification. As long as we can't do that, we cannot move forward on this front.

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted May 23, 2011 03:22 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 15:38, 23 May 2011.

Quote:
Thanks for the clarification. As long as we can't do that, we cannot move forward on this front.


I would say that we sure can. Custom models have been imported into Heroes V (no replacements). I would guess this applies to buildings too.

I'm unsure how the town models correspond to the .exe - as far as I know you can create an all-new arena without .exe modification of any kind. Importing custom town graphics is not, I believe, a hardcoded issue. The problem is getting the game to recognise the new town as a ninth/tenth town in itself, program the attributes of custom buildings, get it to play new music, and so on.

Quote:
1. If you know how to do that you could just add a forward/backward arrow pair that would work as buttons to switch pages. There is a bit of space in the upper right corner of the perks window. All other things will then be handled by the .exe.


I will go with this solution and upload a version ASAP.
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 23, 2011 03:48 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Thanks for the clarification. As long as we can't do that, we cannot move forward on this front.


I would say that we sure can. Custom models have been imported into Heroes V (no replacements). I would guess this applies to buildings too.

I'm unsure how the town models correspond to the .exe - as far as I know you can create an all-new arena without .exe modification of any kind. Importing custom town graphics is not, I believe, a hardcoded issue. The problem is getting the game to recognise the new town as a ninth/tenth town in itself, program the attributes of custom buildings, get it to play new music, and so on.

Quote:
1. If you know how to do that you could just add a forward/backward arrow pair that would work as buttons to switch pages. There is a bit of space in the upper right corner of the perks window. All other things will then be handled by the .exe.


I will go with this solution and upload a version ASAP.

Cheers, Cepheus.

This would leave only stumbling block #1. Do we have volunteers who could experiment a bit and see what happens if the .xdbs of one building in the /Arenas/Town/NewHaven (or another town) are replaced by one from another faction? I wouldn't want to put this on your shoulders as well, Cepheus. We really need to find a way to share the load sensibly.

The reason for this is that I checked how the .exe loads the town screens. The path goes along /Arenas/Town/*. The .xdb files in those folders for each town reference what needs to be loaded for each building. If we can make sense, how this indirection mechanism works, we can add a new town here (the .xdb reference files really, the models can be created in another place), and with this data I can direct the .exe to load the models into a town screen. The interactive sections and the UI elements would be the next step then, but that's relatively straightforward. If we have all the elements for a new town done, I can then add it as a new race/faction and the game will recognize it.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 23, 2011 03:58 PM

Quote:
If we have all the elements for a new town done, I can then add it as a new race/faction and the game will recognize it.


don't the few factions that were made count?

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