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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 23, 2011 04:05 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 16:06, 23 May 2011.

I apologise, I was mistaken. I thought it was already possible to switch buildings at will based on this old image where the Cloud Coliseum became the Conflux:



Thinking about it, I don't believe it was a "true" replacement though - I would have to ask Radar, but I think it is just an EffectInstance and not a real, loaded model.

Quote:
don't the few factions that were made count?


Almost certainly not if they don't involve new or different models, which is the purpose of the exercise.
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted May 23, 2011 04:58 PM

A version of the skills mod with left/right buttons added for the ability pane ("single" hero screen only):

http://www.mediafire.com/?60acro7to7l2q2j
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 23, 2011 07:56 PM

I have no idea. I personally used model instances for my refuge town. and Consus too for the conflux.

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Consus
Consus


Hired Hero
posted May 23, 2011 11:10 PM

In my conflux, I mostly used effect instances for the elemental effects, but yes, I used model instances too. Adding model instances is the only way to switch buildings now, and it isn't perfect (no highlight, lighting issues).

Even if we can't import custom models, I think making our "recolored towns" as playable new factions would be a good start...

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sokkur
sokkur


Hired Hero
posted May 23, 2011 11:54 PM

Test

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 24, 2011 10:10 AM

Quote:
In my conflux, I mostly used effect instances for the elemental effects, but yes, I used model instances too. Adding model instances is the only way to switch buildings now, and it isn't perfect (no highlight, lighting issues).

Even if we can't import custom models, I think making our "recolored towns" as playable new factions would be a good start...

I am pretty sure that new models can be imported. After all, the .xdb files in /Arenas/Town/* link to referenced models in other files and the link location is editable. We only have to figure out how all these things come together.

This also includes the configuration for the lighting, highlights and cameras. It's all there. Sokkur is right, test, figure out how this works.

I would do this myself, but can't spare the time. I will not support half measures. Either we do it properly or not at all.

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted May 24, 2011 10:34 AM

Quote:
I would do this myself, but can't spare the time. I will not support half measures. Either we do it properly or not at all.


Here here. If this turns out anything less than a significant revamp of the existing system, the enthusiasm will lag and people will forget the game altogether in favour of the newest flavour.

eyes on the prize people... no pressure

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted May 24, 2011 01:26 PM

Quote:
I would do this myself, but can't spare the time. I will not support half measures. Either we do it properly or not at all.


I agree, I think we should first make a realistic estimation of the possibilities now and in the future. If a new town is to be created for H5 likely a sanctuary (maybe blended with h3 fortress elements) would lead to most support from the fanbase and there may also be useful stuff available from H6. At this moment HC has practically no modellers and too few 2d artists, mapmakers, coders etc, so here are already many reasons given why we have no other choice than to wait for H6 and hope more people will come. After H6 we should hope a team can be assembled that is dedicated to a project like this, because without a strong dedication I don't think anyone is able to find all the issues that need to be solved by Quantomas to make a new town possible. For example we have not even talked about obelisk puzzle maps, siege combat and town special buildings.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 24, 2011 10:25 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 22:29, 24 May 2011.

I don't think it's difficult to do, that a college student can do it. What is required is diligence and a systematic approach.

While it may look daunting at first, for example if we look at /Arenas/Town/NewHaven there are 600+ files, the tasks can easily be broken down. The root file NewHaven.(ArenaDesc).xdb contains a list of the objects in the town scene.

Initially of interest are the buildings, the entries for ArenaModObject, e.g. Magic_Guild.(ArenaModObject).xdb. The database is hierarchically organised, i.e. one file contains links to another, this again links to another file and so on. The file for the magic guild, Magic_Guild.(ArenaModObject).xdb, references other files of the pattern MagicGuild_u*r*.xdb, where the stars stand for the upgrade level (u) and ruin level (r).

Each of these have a *geom.xdb pendant that links to the model data. There are others (Material) and (Camera) that contain respective info. This makes for the bulk of the files. Instead of 600+ files, this breaks this down into roughly 25 groups that are structured nearly identically, corresponding to the town buildings and major environment objects in the scene.

In each group are files for the individual upgrade and ruin levels. Ruins are currently not used, and upgrades can reference the same model. so technically you can pick the file for the magic guild level one and experiment with it.

Change its position. Reference another model to change its visual appearance. Change the camera. I actually would suspect it's a good deal of fun. Even with this alone, you can create towns that contain all kinds of models from the game.

The rewards are huge. You get a fully functional 3D model of a new town. Consus what approach did you use before? I would guess it should be relatively straightforward to modify NewHaven to transform it into the Conflux town you have. You can set cameras, lighting, highlights, rotate objects and have the entire selection of models available.

On top of that you can consider the function to import new models for granted. Even if we would not be able to reference new models from 3ds max or maya right now, I can easily direct the .exe to look in more locations for the model files.

I doubt we have to wait for H6 to get this going, neither should we. Let's get a new town rolling, the next EE upgrade will contain a few surprises, let's do the Hall of Decision and then the Right of Conquest new end games, and I am nearly there to refocus on the AI. 3.1.9 is around the corner, probably next week, and in the next month we should have a very powerful build with a truly capable AI. Once we have that and launch 3.2 it should become easy to attract more talent.

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Consus
Consus


Hired Hero
posted May 24, 2011 11:35 PM
Edited by Consus at 23:42, 24 May 2011.

Quote:
Change its position. Reference another model to change its visual appearance. Change the camera. I actually would suspect it's a good deal of fun. Even with this alone, you can create towns that contain all kinds of models from the game.


It seems that position cannot be changed. If I'm not mistaken, the position of a building is defined by the model itself, by its position origin. That's why model instances (i.e. models as effects) are used, we can set their position offsets. For example, try to open /Arenas/Town/NewHaven/NewTavern_u1r0.xdb in the editor. Zoom out and you will see the building floating far away from the grid.

And don't get me wrong. I don't want to make a new town screen from scratch. I just asked about possibility to have a modded town in its form not as a replacement.
You work hard. If you think it's not worth doing, no problem.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 25, 2011 12:10 PM

Quote:
It seems that position cannot be changed. If I'm not mistaken, the position of a building is defined by the model itself, by its position origin. That's why model instances (i.e. models as effects) are used, we can set their position offsets. For example, try to open /Arenas/Town/NewHaven/NewTavern_u1r0.xdb in the editor. Zoom out and you will see the building floating far away from the grid.

Don't let your mind be clouded by the tools you use. Understand the structure of how things work. Don't make statements about things you haven't investigated proper. This holds us back, you and our project.

Of course, you don't change the coordinates of the model in its own model space, that's redundant. The town screen is essentially a reference coordinate system in which you place the models of the objects in the scene at their intended coordinates. This is what the /Arenas/Town/* stuff is about. It lists the objects in the scene and the corresponding files specify the models, location, lighting and so on.
Quote:
And don't get me wrong. I don't want to make a new town screen from scratch. I just asked about possibility to have a modded town in its form not as a replacement.
You work hard. If you think it's not worth doing, no problem.

Far from it. I am all for new towns. I know how much fun it is. Do you know Dominions? It's an independent TBS, graphically not advanced, but it has a neat gameplay model and an abundance of unique factions and units. The variety is awesome. I only stopped playing it, because the turn processing times became unacceptably long on large maps. But I have no doubt that a similar variety will give H5 a boost, and it will be fun to set up custom games with more factions to choose from, if they are each unique and have their own unique playing style. Right now, creatures are merely distinguished by their stats, and yes magic skills and abilites allow for more, but it's limited. If we have the magic elements in EE, this will change for the good.

But I am not going to implement a second mechanism to load a town into the game while we have already a fully working mechanism.

You did already all the design work for your Conflux town, if I understand correctly. You selected the buildings and objects you like to have in it, that's the biggest part. Why do you not go and use the proper mechanism as outlined above?

I bet it's more simple in the end than the way you currently use.

I am not talking about replacing a current town, that's for experimenting only. Once you have done your Conflux town proper, you can rename the folder to /Arenas/Town/Conflux and I will direct the game to load it at runtime and make a new faction that uses it.

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted May 25, 2011 03:07 PM

I would love to do some kind of audit of what is necessary for new towns but I simply don't have enough time right now. If nobody else volunteers for the task, I will do it sometime in the coming months.
____________
"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 27, 2011 01:09 PM

Quote:
I doubt we have to wait for H6 to get this going, neither should we. Let's get a new town rolling, the next EE upgrade will contain a few surprises, let's do the Hall of Decision and then the Right of Conquest new end games, and I am nearly there to refocus on the AI. 3.1.9 is around the corner, probably next week, and in the next month we should have a very powerful build with a truly capable AI. Once we have that and launch 3.2 it should become easy to attract more talent.


Ok, nothing beats enthousiasm, I hope you are right

@Cepheus,

I tried your new UI with buttons and it looks great

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted May 27, 2011 02:00 PM

is it getting near the time when we can post a new topic calling for people to do specific tasks? Do we have an idea of what tasks need to be completed and who's doing what currently? It might also provide some impetus if people can see the project developing in that way (though I suppose it could also do the opposite )

anyway, I think it would be nice to see how tasks are being delegated, and that it would be very visible to anyone flicking through the site.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 27, 2011 02:46 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 14:51, 27 May 2011.

Quote:
is it getting near the time when we can post a new topic calling for people to do specific tasks? Do we have an idea of what tasks need to be completed and who's doing what currently? It might also provide some impetus if people can see the project developing in that way (though I suppose it could also do the opposite )

anyway, I think it would be nice to see how tasks are being delegated, and that it would be very visible to anyone flicking through the site.

Yes, this would be helpful.

Technically, each category on the EE website has a tasks section, which shows who does what. But it's difficult to get people to commit to anything, especially if the tasks are not outlined clearly.

A new topic for this purpose, something like Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Current Tasks, could improve our organisation.

It really helps, if more people can do something. Thanks a lot, Cepheus. You sorted out how the UI design works and saved me a lot of time this way. I checked the .pak you provided, and realized that there are all the resource definitions I know from working with the code. That was quite the aha! moment, to see the real resources and connect the dots. I can indeed confirm that we have the capability to adapt and design new interfaces as we see fit.

The tasks that I think important right now are thus:

* 1 * We need someone who researches how the /Arenas/Town/* game database definitions work, to experiment with it as outlined above. I don't think that creating new towns (more accurately factions, races in the game) is as complicated as people think. We can always start out with copying an existing element, and then adapt it step by step. This is true for the town screen (the 3D scene), populating the town dwellings with creatures, the building screen and the special functions on the jog dials. The reason that I am asking people to research how the existing game database works is that we can employ this fairly quickly once we understand how it works.

* 2 * The Hall of Decision is an important element to boost the gameplay. The contest to design a map for it is a first start, but I am not sure whether people are actually working on it. But it is definitely important enough that I will go to create a map myself, if we don't have a good contender at the time I have finished working on all other stuff for 3.2. It would be good if someone else could shoulder this task.

* 3 * The Right of Conquest needs a smart designer with good ideas. As a first step we don't need a finished design, rather the brainstorming for it, what elements this gameplay mode should include. Things like a roster of combatants, an arena master, an artefact trader, how the combat rounds are scheduled, what boni the victors get in return. In each round the combatants suffer attrition and use mana, we need to find a smart way to factor it into how the minigame plays out. There are already bits of information and ideas in this thread and on the EE website. Technically, it can be quite extensive, it's a game designer job to create a powerful concept for this game mode. There is endless possibility from setting special rules to the arena master taking bribes to affect the schedule.

There will probably more that come to mind. Ideas?

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted May 27, 2011 03:04 PM
Edited by TheBaron at 15:10, 27 May 2011.

Quote:

Technically, each category on the EE website has a tasks section, which shows who does what. But it's difficult to get people to commit to anything, especially if the tasks are not outlined clearly.

A new topic for this purpose, something like Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Current Tasks, could improve our organisation.



Don't get me wrong the EE website is good, I just think that visibility on the board may be better. The website is excellent for getting a good understanding of the whole project and philosophy, while here you can get the colourful language and gruesome debate.

I wonder if it might not be better to organise a thread for each major task, the reason being that if you have 1 thread for all the tasks, discussion may get chaotic and confusing. However I can see the problem of potential thread spam if tasks get too compartmentalised. I think the best compromise would be to thread major tasks, design, bugs and releases. Even better if they could get stickied...

EDIT: major tasks should perhaps be broken into 3 or 4 topics eg. interface;
character and town editing;
hall of decision and right of conquest;
whatever other stuff.

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 27, 2011 03:09 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 15:09, 27 May 2011.

Quote:
Quote:

Technically, each category on the EE website has a tasks section, which shows who does what. But it's difficult to get people to commit to anything, especially if the tasks are not outlined clearly.

A new topic for this purpose, something like Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Current Tasks, could improve our organisation.



Don't get me wrong the EE website is good, I just think that visibility on the board may be better. The website is excellent for getting a good understanding of the whole project and philosophy, while here you can get the colourful language and gruesome debate.

I wonder if it might not be better to organise a thread for each major task, the reason being that if you have 1 thread for all the tasks, discussion may get chaotic and confusing. However I can see the problem of potential thread spam if tasks get too compartmentalised. I think the best compromise would be to thread major tasks, design, bugs and releases. Even better if they could get stickied...

Thoughts?

I agree.
Quote:
A new topic for this purpose, something like Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - Current Tasks, could improve our organisation.

Hence my idea to have one new thread that manages who does what, here on HC of course.

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted May 27, 2011 03:14 PM
Edited by TheBaron at 15:32, 27 May 2011.

what's the vibe with stickies? I don't understand forum etiquette enough to know what we should do in regards to that.

EDIT:
I think in the not-so-distant future, we should even consider getting a front page section for Heroes 5.5 Eternal Essences I mean heck, if WoG can do it, why can't we? The only real reason people would be against it is if they were traditionalist tyrants and hated change!

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Consus
Consus


Hired Hero
posted May 28, 2011 09:40 PM

I did some research concerning the town screen. Take a look at this:


Quote:
Of course, you don't change the coordinates of the model in its own model space, that's redundant. The town screen is essentially a reference coordinate system in which you place the models of the objects in the scene at their intended coordinates. This is what the /Arenas/Town/* stuff is about. It lists the objects in the scene and the corresponding files specify the models, location, lighting and so on.

ArenaModObjects and ArenaEnvObjects don't contain a conventional <position> tag. They have a placement tag, but it's always:
<placement>00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000</placement>
However, ArenaLocObjects have specific placement tags, for example
<placement>00000000000000000000803f79e19a43000000000000803f000000000ee7c441000080bf0000000000000000a13098c30000000000000000000000000000803f</placement>
but these files are only used for placing effects.

Hence my assumption that the building position depends on the model itself.
I also tried to change the placement tag of one building but nothing happened.

Quote:
You did already all the design work for your Conflux town, if I understand correctly. You selected the buildings and objects you like to have in it, that's the biggest part. Why do you not go and use the proper mechanism as outlined above?

Well, since my mod is academy replacing, the conflux has academy special buildings (treasure cave for example, but it increases earth elementals' growth of course). Are you able to set any special buildings effects for a new faction? If so, can you create a completely new effect of a building (for example, something like magic university in H3)?

Quote:
I bet it's more simple in the end than the way you currently use.

I am not talking about replacing a current town, that's for experimenting only. Once you have done your Conflux town proper, you can rename the folder to /Arenas/Town/Conflux and I will direct the game to load it at runtime and make a new faction that uses it.

We mustn't forget that a new faction isn't only the town screen. We would need a fully working new hero class. What about the racial skill? We would have two classes with the same racial. And the hero specializations? Of course we can use the existing ones, but in the new faction tier specializations wouldn't work...

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted May 28, 2011 11:45 PM
Edited by markkur at 23:51, 28 May 2011.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong the EE website is good, I just think that visibility on the board may be better. The website is excellent for getting a good understanding of the whole project and philosophy, while here you can get the colourful language and gruesome debate.


My two cents;

Cent One = I would think if a person was going to "invest time" to the project, wouldn't they be at Q's site keeping current?

Cent Two = However I know what you mean about the gruesome fun

Make the thread for "Tasks" and I bet will get there We can use it right now for the HoD and RoC work.

@All <Imho> If we get this rolling it will gain WoG-like status one day.

Edit= I've tweaked a version of the Hall of Decision , sort of a map-template to use as a base. I encourage all to dream up a Quest or story-line. I am not bailing-out and will brainstorm with anyone that gets an idea/ideas going. Just HCM me.

@Consus
Good Effort Wish I could assist but cannot.

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"Do your own research"

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