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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: Index of Erm Help and Discussion thread
Thread: Index of Erm Help and Discussion thread This thread is 6 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 · «PREV / NEXT»
JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 21, 2012 04:11 PM
Edited by JimV at 05:23, 22 Jul 2012.

Perhaps four could be done then (two per level instead of four per level), with lots of empty space (black rock) between them.

Also, some map-makers are more frugal with object density than others.   (Not the ones who make the best-looking maps, of course.)

P.S. Another option, for those who are slaves to beauty and run up against number-of-object limits, would be new terrain tiles (a la Tile Temple), with red and yellow squares added as necessary, to simulate objects (as long as the objects aren't animated) - with the usual limitations on palette colors.  For examples, see the frogs and butterflies in "The Swords of Night and Day".

(The frogs are terrain tiles painted with TR:T.)

Some temporary decoration, with no palette limit, could also be added via XFiles (or other plugins).  For example some magical regions might become visible then invisible again.

Finally, a DL can be used to add a full-screen view with some limited interactive capability, such as Max's Dream in SF, or the Black Jack table in "The King In Yellow".  I can imagine a sprite being walked through a cave by pressing the keyboard arrow keys.

None of these ideas offer the full capability of an extra level in Heroes III, but they might satisfy some of the same desires for expanded scenery and more adventure options.

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master_learn
master_learn


Legendary Hero
walking to the library
posted July 22, 2012 09:20 AM

You give good ideas for the map-makers to implement,JimV!

What do you mean by magical regions visible and invisible?
Will this be through events or the real timer?
____________
"They made a Heroes V? "-OhforfSake

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majaczek
majaczek


Supreme Hero
Work at Magic Dimmension
posted July 22, 2012 11:27 AM

Yeah all the ideas are nice, thought I wanted universal solution not per map solution.
Once I'm bound to random maps in multiplayer (once wogified random maps seems most fair and wogification wouldn't screw mapmaker's idea), I would love not only wog objects to simulate 4-grid underground gates but also patch to RMG making it forced to use 4-grid scheme during generation ( adding a cross of rock terrain AFTER rmg seems not an option since it seems to make most maps unplayable without "passable terrain").

Objects limit is no more problem than it was before (if you want high density map you always can make smaller one and for low density maps XL patch exist so they still can be big).
Scrolling is only UI problem and is minor. More problem are DDs (yeah some players still use them ingame) which could make interdimensional skip to another level until the edge of 4-grid is at least screen-sized rock field. Also there is a problem with standard dungeon potal teleporting 4 levels at once until underground is different ordered than overground (surface).

I think the best way is use 4-grid, allow 3-4 virtual levels for technically one level map or 5-8 virtual levels for technically 2-level map, resign from standard gates in favour of new stair-up and stair-down (stair ups will be linked always with stair down at higher level, make sure game understand 4-grid,etc.), And patch the RMG to know that middle cross is actually edge of map level (so RMG area can't pass through), so I would call it complete approach, and rest is definately only UI problem which can be addressed by things like HD-mod.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 22, 2012 01:15 PM
Edited by JimV at 23:19, 22 Jul 2012.

Master_learn, such details are best left to the imagination of the map-maker.  One possibility would be to make the magical region appear at every other step within (x1 to x2, y1 to y2, level) using !?HM.

It occurs to me that at least 9 different 36x39 scenes are painted into the Quest Area in "300 Spartans", in addition to the original, so it has 12,636 map squares of extra scenery - equivalent to an additional level of 112x112.

I am still thinking in terms of custom maps, and usually RPG ones which don't have AI Heroes wandering randomly.

If I had to apply some of these ideas to random maps, I would probably approach it by scripting my own random map generator - since I am more comfortable doing ERM scripting than PC machine language or (ugh) C++.  (To each his own.) But I don't see the need for random maps to have such features, personally.  I would say, if you want to play four randomly-generated levels, play two random maps.  I see the need for more levels in custom maps, to offer the map-maker a larger canvas for bigger ideas.

Dimension Door is a good point (although not often used in custom maps these days).  There again, my solution would be a scripted one, replacing the internally-coded DD with something else, as is done in "300 Spartans" and "New Magic".

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majaczek
majaczek


Supreme Hero
Work at Magic Dimmension
posted July 23, 2012 12:39 PM

So you JimV prefer to do this as script or external program?
Well VCMI team reversed H3M format (mostly for reading the map by the engne), but they aren't going to implement RMG or MapEdit soon (but people may help them trying make somethng for all heroes3 fans not just VCMI).
The problem there's much code to write mostly the actual algorithm of generated random structures on map (it's random but according to scheme). I tested many times than non-structural random-map generator work pathethic for any game, so for maps beeing not-poor quality it needs sophisticated structural code compatible with some randomnes.
But no way I'm saying it's impossible since  H5 modders did RMG completely via map lua script (empty map with sophisticated script filling the map with data). But I worry XL map would generate via ERM about half an hour on decent computer. On other side wogification after internal RMG seems not viable once crossing some areas with rock make game sometimes unplayable because of one player inaccessible by another.
External program would require even more code but should succeed the task under 3 minutes, and you already said that C is not your strong side.
Yeah new RMG for VCMI compatible with H3M would be really cool (not only for VCMIers) but it's much hassle.

I think the least hassle would be modifing current RMG code to place cross of rock terrain and treat the 4 squares as complete level and do the job 4 times (it should be less than kilobyte of machine code, and assembler is enough) but most hassle here will come from finding the few addresses. Stairs may be applied directly from RMG but wogification is enough (but we need make AI understand them like portals or something similair).
This way we would be sure RMG will be similair but understand where virtual edges are. It may need some espansion of RMG template format anyway (if it makes difference between underground and surface it may be desired to dfferentiate between all virtual levels). I would try work on this if I were better at reverse engineering. The hook at position and size calculation + repeating shouldn't be so hard once you mostly know where RMG code lays (anyway harder than mere data manipulation).
I think forcing RMG to know where map edges are and doing WoG object to replace subterranean gate is mostly enough.
But if person sticking at the task have more time and lust to play with the code, native support for up to 127 levels could be done (with both mapmaker and game) since number of levels are stored in one byte in H3M format and it should work with more levels without important format changes, but it is obviously much harder task.

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Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted July 23, 2012 12:53 PM
Edited by Warmonger at 12:54, 23 Jul 2012.

Quote:
I see the need for more levels in custom maps, to offer the map-maker a larger canvas for bigger ideas.

Many people proposed this already, but so far no one came up with a solution - even theoretical. What will you do with underground gates (auto-pairing), underground toggle button, and, in general, all the code that assumes there are not more than levels (Cartographers, for example)? How would you edit such map?
____________
The future of Heroes 3 is here!

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted July 23, 2012 01:16 PM

More levels means bigger map. We can make today 252x252, which is more than enough for a map connected to Heroes original mechanics. As for modifiable areas through ERM, it is suitable for visual puzzles but will always hurt the eyes because poor design. The game is graphically rather old, so to keep it at top with recent games, we should find graphical enhancements also, not only focus on the scripting part.

In my opinion.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 23, 2012 02:20 PM
Edited by JimV at 18:32, 23 Jul 2012.

Warmonger, although you are quoting me, I think you are responding to Majaczek, because my suggestions involve virtual levels:  re-writable quest areas, bigger map sizes divided into virtual levels if that suits the custom map-maker (who could script changes to the Cartographer and Surface/Underground button), and full-screen DL's.  I agree with you and Solitaire345 that adding another actual level would be a formidible task requiring a team of geniuses (as is VCMI).

Salamandre, poor design is always a problem for some of us, but it is a problem with the map-maker, not the technique.  That is, there is no reason that a landscape generated by ERM commands in a custom map cannot be as well-designed as one generated by long hours in the Map Editor.  (E.g., create one in long hours in the Map Editor in a test map, and then generate ERM commands to reproduce it, by one of the methods mentioned previously*.)  I agree that 252x252 maps are one of the ways to give custom map-makers a bigger canvas, and probably the best way although it seems I heard some objection to this previously.

* to which I will add, as suggested by something Majaczek mentioned: get the actual data from the test map .h3m file, with the help of the VCMI team to interpret it, save it in an external file, and use an ERM script and/or plugin to read that data and re-plot it during a game.

Update (after waiting for someone else to challenge my mis-statement):  if fact, there are limitations on what can be done in ERM as far as landscape generation is concerned, so that the Map Editor can do a better job, currently.

However, in response to "we should find graphical enhancements also, not only focus on the scripting part", if we can't focus on scripting in a topic about ERM, where can we?  I would welcome more topics on how to do better graphics, though.

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solitaire345
solitaire345


Promising
Famous Hero
posted July 23, 2012 09:36 PM
Edited by solitaire345 at 21:36, 23 Jul 2012.

Quote:
What will you do with underground gates (auto-pairing), underground toggle button, and, in general, all the code that assumes there are not more than levels (Cartographers, for example)? How would you edit such map?


I think it would be wise to see how multiple levels are implemented in other games. There is at least one game, called "Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic", that has three levels.
The third one there is not an underground, but in that game's terms, another dimension or "Shadow world", so it has another type of object that can transport players from any of the two "real world" levels (these gates transport to exactly same X and Y coordinates, changing only L and you can't have shadow gates at X=0 Y=0 Z=0 and X=0 Y=0 Z=1) and a similar solution could be used here (unless someone has better ideas).

Here is how the devs implemented switching through three levels in the interface (buttons above minimap). The map editor has two buttons in the interface that switch view up or down by one level. The pathfinder can even plan route through all three levels quite well (though refuses to find any path at all if most of area around the edges of a map isn't filled with impassable objects).

Teleporters in that game work differently than HOMM3 - they are set to transfer a party to predefined coordinates even if there's no portal. By the way, the "level" coordinate for shadow world is 3, while levels for ground and underground are 0 and 1, which made me think that devs had 4th level in their plans (on the other hand that could have been done to prevent travelling to shadow world through dungeon entrances placed in dungeon). However in HoMM III teleporters work differently and there is a list of them somewhere in the memory (probably with their coordinates too), because IIRC you will never be teleported to a monolith, placed with ERM.

Other objects like cartographers would have to be to patched. For cartographers it would be probably one more iteration through a loop that checks for compatible terrain squares, for others.. I have no idea..

Of course there will be loads of incompatibilities, caused by another map level, in the old exe (and probably in current VCMI code too), but they can be fixed far more easier in VCMI than making multiple hacks in H3wog.exe, trying to preserve the fragile stability of it.
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majaczek
majaczek


Supreme Hero
Work at Magic Dimmension
posted July 24, 2012 10:20 PM

Maybe I repeat myself but:

I propose two new objects instead underground gate.
Would work exactly the same but one subtle detail:
stair up on lower level would be always bind to stair down on upper.

The detail is important because resolve all ambignouity in any number of levels (stair down on bottom level may either loop to top one or broken like current mechanics for unpaired gates which is matter of design).
Objects may be scripted so would work for virtual levels too (finding an output beeing a math algorithm)
features like cartographer should be either patched or disabled if doing physically more levels, or perhaps left as is if doing virtual level (4-parts-cross map may be divided into 4 upper and 4 lower levels beeing two basics groups threated together so it would fit current mechanism).

Of course XXL give some size more, but with multiple levels mapmaker and players wants deep, because 2 tiles in z dimension look really flat, didn't it?
Small map with 8 levels may be funny.... Or maybe do eternal tower map (127 levels smaller than S)?

Anyway we have to have some consensus how the feature would work, beeing scripted or deeply patching the binary code, to have  map makers, players, RMG algorithm, map editor program all satisfied.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 25, 2012 04:50 AM

Quote:
Some temporary decoration, with no palette limit, could also be added via XFiles (or other plugins).  For example some magical regions might become visible then invisible again.


For example (and this is slightly on-topic since XFiles was mentioned in the ERM Help thread):

In this demo map, Orrin is looking for the Lost Temple of Karnak.  If he stands on the right spot he can see it.





The demo map and associated files (for Era 2) can be downloaded at https://www.box.com/s/a8a7accc0b5436638aa5 if anybody wants to see it in action.  The map is a random map, which might be playable but is probably not very interesting other than for the demo.


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master_learn
master_learn


Legendary Hero
walking to the library
posted July 25, 2012 09:32 AM

Thank you for the demo map,JimV!
Good to see such an option for the map-makers/players.

Every question/answer on page one plus the UN:C commands is ontopic here,so its hard for a topic to become off!
____________
"They made a Heroes V? "-OhforfSake

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted July 25, 2012 12:21 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 17:24, 25 Jul 2012.

Thank you for the demo, but the install path will corrupt WoG mod, which is Era backbone. Nice trick with plugin.

HERE is safe install.

@Master_learn, this command from your UN:C list:

!?PI;
!!UN:C4255556/4/art_num;

!?GM0;
!!UN:C4255556/4/art_num;            [Grail changed to blank artifact]

is not safe, I would remove it unless a working code is provided.

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OxFEA
OxFEA


Promising
Famous Hero
feanor on DF2.ru
posted July 25, 2012 01:33 PM

Quote:


@Master_learn, this command from your UN:C list:

!?PI;
!!UN:C4255556/4/art_num;

!?GM0;
!!UN:C4255556/4/art_num;            [Grail changed to blank artifact]

is not safe, I would remove it unless a working code is provided.


!!UN:C4255540/4/art_num;

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dragon_hunter
dragon_hunter


posted July 25, 2012 01:33 PM
Edited by dragon_hunter at 14:02, 25 Jul 2012.

How to change the damage, the rate percent of spell in H3?

Ex: FireBall, FireWall,....  

And special is ''Ballista'' skill in H3 Complete - not WOG, It's very weak, even lean Expert Artillery. Ex: can attack 3 hit... Increase damage..?


Please let me now how to change it! Thanks very much!


That's is change SPTRAITS.TXT? But I don't see Ballista, First Aid, ... in that!

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 25, 2012 02:40 PM

Quote:
The install path will corrupt WoG mod, which is Era backbone.


Thanks, I guess I still don't understand Era 2.  In your method there is a beep before the temple appears, which is the plugin saying it can't find the temple BMP file (but then it does).  In my method this beep does not occur.  Also, I would think that maps which are compatible with an existing mod could be added to that mod's Maps folder, and plugins could be added to any compatible, active mod.  (Once the plugin is loaded into memory, from whatever starting location, it either corrupts or doesn't corrupt, depending if it is compatible with other active plugins or not.)  This must be bad thinking, but it is based on my reading of the Era manuals.  I agree it is always safer to add another separate mod, but this also seems an inefficient use of hard drive space.  (I should get over the fact that the first hard drive I owned had a 20 MB capacity.)

On my system, I will continue to use my installation, until I see some evidence of corruption - that way perhaps I will eventually learn why and how the corruption occurs.

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CrazzieGamerPL
CrazzieGamerPL


Hired Hero
posted July 25, 2012 02:45 PM

Hello. Can anyone help with shoot script? I need it to my "Dawn of War Mode".
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted July 25, 2012 02:50 PM

I have no beep at all when stepping on the hole. One reason may be there are still tracks from your original install in your wog folder.

It seems to me Era strength is about preserving WoG integrity, whatever mod is added. No one can guarantee that a new plugin added in wog will not conflict with some user mod plugin later, and WoG can not be disabled, unlike other mods.

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Bersy
Bersy


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 25, 2012 02:57 PM

JimV, Era intercepts only ANSI file system functions. Thus, ReadFileA will be ok if bmp is in Mods\xxx\Data, but ReadFileW (Wide = Unicode) won't. In h3 and most of h3 plugins only ANSI functions are used, so it's not a problem.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 25, 2012 03:03 PM
Edited by JimV at 15:29, 25 Jul 2012.

Dragon_Hunter, until someone more informed replies to your questions, here are my thoughts:

1) There is a new receiver in WoG 3.59, !!SS (spell support), which lets you change the parameters of any spell using ERM.  Download Solitaire345's WoG 3.59 ERM Help using master_learn's link on page 1 to read about it (or if you have Era 2 you already have the document), as an alternative to SPTRAITS.

2) That is for spell parameters.  Ballistas and Healing Tents are not spells, but "creatures".  You might find them in CRTRAITS (I am not sure), but again they have ERM commands such as the !!MA receiver and !!EA:B receiver which can be used to change their properties.  These are WOG 3.58f commands which are described in both of the ERM Help documents.

3) If you have a question about a specific command, after reading about it in ERM Help, that will be easy to answer.  A question which requires a whole, working script to answer is more difficult:  the script must first be designed, then written, then tested in a test map before replying, and in nine cases out of ten, the response will be "That is interesting, but it is not exactly what I meant."  Or it works in the test map but doesn't work in the asker's map because of conditions there unknown to the scripter.

I think the best way to get a general question (which requires a whole script) answered is to write up a complete description of what the script should and should not do under all circumstances and provide that along with a map to be used to test the script at a download link.  I realize no one will ever do this, but otherwise I for one will be reluctant to invest my time because events have proved that I am not a mind-reader.

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