Heroes of Might and Magic Community
visiting hero! Register | Today's Posts | Games | Search! | FAQ/Rules | AvatarList | MemberList | Profile


Age of Heroes Headlines:  
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
6 Aug 2016: Troubled Heroes VII Expansion Release - read more
26 Apr 2016: Heroes VII XPack - Trial by Fire - Coming out in June! - read more
17 Apr 2016: Global Alternative Creatures MOD for H7 after 1.8 Patch! - read more
7 Mar 2016: Romero launches a Piano Sonata Album Kickstarter! - read more
19 Feb 2016: Heroes 5.5 RC6, Heroes VII patch 1.7 are out! - read more
13 Jan 2016: Horn of the Abyss 1.4 Available for Download! - read more
17 Dec 2015: Heroes 5.5 update, 1.6 out for H7 - read more
23 Nov 2015: H7 1.4 & 1.5 patches Released - read more
31 Oct 2015: First H7 patches are out, End of DoC development - read more
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
[X] Remove Ads
LOGIN:     Username:     Password:         [ Register ]
HOMM1: info forum | HOMM2: info forum | HOMM3: info mods forum | HOMM4: info CTG forum | HOMM5: info mods forum | MMH6: wiki forum | MMH7: wiki forum
Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: [Tutorial] Heroes III Modding
Thread: [Tutorial] Heroes III Modding This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Age of erwins is over
posted February 15, 2014 12:07 PM
Edited by LizardWarrior at 18:11, 15 Feb 2014.

[Tutorial] Heroes III Modding

               
                 
                                       
                 


Modding includes any graphical, statistical, code change you make in a computer game. In Heroes III it ranges from modifying something simple like a hero's name or a creature's stats to adding entirely new content into the game like new towns or modifying the source code. It can be accomplished by using special software. Before starting, I'd like to add that in order to master modding it requires lots of practice and you shouldn't "jump in it", you have to start with something easy then start evolving, it all needs to be done in small steps, for example starting directly to add a new town is a bad idea, while things like modifying a hero's portrait or a creature's stats are easy and suitable for rookies. In order to start you'll need to acquire the software:

Software for Heroes Modding:(*note: if you have downloaded Era, all of these and many more are located in Tools folder)
- awesome tool made by GrayFace, it is needed for opening .lod and .snd files which contains (almost) everything in the game
- very important tool, it allows to use .bmp frames to create .def files which are animations
- another important tool, used to open .def files
- used for editing heroes .txt files, such as creatures stats, heroes names&bios, dwellings' name etc.
- Event Related Model editor, used for implementing all sorts of changes by coding

Software used for Graphics
-Adobe Photoshop- I consider it the best graphic editing software on the market, use it for editing any kind of graphic files, however it isn't free ($$$)
-Gimp- a free alternative of Photoshop, of course it isn't as complex as PS, but it is great for editing graphic files (free)
-Paint.Net- another good and free software for graphic editing, it replaces the old windows paint (free)
-3ds Max- great 3d editing software, you can use it to make 3d models from scratch or extract them from other games, however there are 2 serious drawbacks: it requires lots of practice and it costs a fortune ($$$)
-Blender- a free alternative of 3ds max, it still requires lots of practice
(free)

Extensions and Files in Heroes 3
======================================================================
.lod- contains almost everything in Heroes III, from text files to graphics and animations, found in "data" folder. Open with MMarhive

H3sprite.lod-contains all animations in Heroes III, buildings, portraits, skills & specialty icons, map objects etc.
H3bitmap.lod-contains all .txt files, heroes portraits, buildings shadows&outlines, campaigns bonus icons and maps, puzzle pieces etc.
H3ab_spr.lod-the same as H3sprite.lod, but contains only content from the Armageddon's Blade Expansion

H3ab_bmp.lod-the same as H3bitmap.lod, but contains only content from the Armageddon's Blade Expansion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
.snd- contains all sounds not located in mp3 folder, such as creatures sounds, located in "data" folder. Open with MMarchive

Heroes3.snd- contains all sounds not located in mp3 folder
H3ab_ahd.snd-the same as Heroes3.snd, except it contains only content from Armageddon's Blade Expansion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
.def- animations and static images (but that can be animated such as buildings and map objects), most graphics are in .def files. Open with DefPreview. Includes:
C****.def- creature combat animation
C0***.def- animation for spells and creatures' abilities
AV***.def- adventure map object
AH***.def- hero on adventure map
TB***.def- in-town building graphics
CH***.def- hero in combat
CR***.def- cursor

---------------------------------------------------------------------
.pcx- when extracted, it converts with .bmp. Open with graphic editing software( PS, Gimp etc.). Includes:
HPL****.pcx- heroes large portraits
HPS****.pcx- heroes small portraits
TO****.pcx- buildings outlines
SG****.pcx- walls graphic during siege
TB****.pcx- town background
PUZ***.pcx- puzzle pieces

----------------------------------------------------------------------
.txt- contains all texts in the game, creatures stats etc. Open with Text Editor. Includes:
CRTRAITS.txt- creatures names, stats, cost and growth
HOTRAITS.txt- heroes' names and starting troops
HEROBIOS.txt- heroes' biographies
RESTYPES.txt- resources names
DWELLING.txt- creatures dwellings' names
BUILDING.txt- buildings cost

======================================================================

PROGRAMS OVERVIEW
======================================================================
Def Preview
Def Preview is used to open .def files, it can be used as well to extract frames from them as .bmp, here you can also see if your background is truly transparent or if you have forgot to add shadows&outlines in Def Tool.





1- Open button, it's obvious what it is for
2- Save as button, this is obvious as well
3- Extract Picture button, it extracts the selected frame(s)
4- Export DefTool Deflist button, it extracts the .def's deflist, I'll tell more about it in the DefTool section
5- Extract all for DefTool, does the same as buttons 3 and 4
6- Strech button, zooms the image
7- Transparent Background, makes the background transparent (if the color is chosen right in DefTool)
8- No Shadows/Outlines button, as long as it is selected, the animation won't show creatures' yellow outlines( in standing and mouse over animation) and shadow
















[UNFINISHED]
___________________________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Age of erwins is over
posted February 15, 2014 12:47 PM

{reserved]

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted February 15, 2014 01:49 PM

Yes, it looks promising but I think the thread should be cleaned of meaningless spam or congratulating messages including this post of mine. They are distracting when reading tutorials. Don't post junk here.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 15, 2014 06:16 PM

If you finish it, could be stickied then maybe will help someone. Or not.

The problem with Heroes modding is that you have either to know how to work with graphics editing, or how to work with ERM. Both things require long months/years of practice. So, when someone already know how to work with PS layers he does not really need to have a tutorial as he already covered 95% of the necessary knowledge and how to open defs is a cake to learn. But if he does not know how to work with layers, your tutorial will be as helpful as a tutorial on Chinese dialects, in chinese, for Japanese people.
____________
Era II mods and utilities

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Age of erwins is over
posted February 15, 2014 06:23 PM
Edited by LizardWarrior at 18:24, 15 Feb 2014.

This is for beginners that wish to mod but don't know where to start, not everyone knows about graphic editing or ERM, so a place to start is more than needed. You have seen how many newbies open new threads about how can they mod or that they have only ideas.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 15, 2014 06:41 PM

Me and you have already enough experience to know that those spamming dozens of threads about how to mod, aren't really interested by modding.

On a subjective personal note, I find the lack of tutorials a positive thing, as it keeps the modding "secrets" only for those really motivated, thus the forum remains healthy and not infected with noobs gibberish.

Although I saw the overall quality severely droop those last weeks.

But keep it, you have the skill and patience to create a profitable thread about.
____________
Era II mods and utilities

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Herry
Herry


Bad-mannered
Famous Hero
100% Devil
posted February 15, 2014 07:08 PM

Salamandre said:
Me and you have already enough experience to know that those spamming dozens of threads about how to mod, aren't really interested by modding.

On a subjective personal note, I find the lack of tutorials a positive thing, as it keeps the modding "secrets" only for those really motivated, thus the forum remains healthy and not infected with noobs gibberish.

Although I saw the overall quality severely droop those last weeks.

But keep it, you have the skill and patience to create a profitable thread about.


ERM? you mean modding in HoMM3 is like making a map with ERM, but ERM is used in all maps instead of a specific one or something like that? this gets even more interesting...
____________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 15, 2014 07:12 PM

You have zero chances of becoming a modder as long as you still use "quote reply" for simple answer.

Modding means using intelligently resources you dispose.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Orzie
Orzie


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Reinventing the Steel
HC SUPPORTER
posted February 15, 2014 07:48 PM
Edited by Orzie at 19:48, 15 Feb 2014.

Quote:
-Adobe Photoshop- I consider it the best graphic editing software on the market, use it for editing any kind of graphic files, however it isn't free ($$$)
-Gimp- a free alternative of Photoshop, of course it isn't as complex as PS, but it is great for editing graphic files (free)
-Paint.Net- another good and free software for graphic editing, it replaces the old windows paint (free)
-3ds Max- great 3d editing software, you can use it to make 3d models from scratch or extract them from other games, however there are 2 serious drawbacks: it requires lots of practice and it costs a fortune ($$$)
-Blender- a free alternative of 3ds max, it still requires lots of practice (free)


You know, the instruments for graphics can be chosen much more freely ;D


 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
revolut1oN
revolut1oN


Famous Hero
posted February 15, 2014 08:01 PM

Sorry for spamming in your thread LizardWarrior, but I can't resist. I must ask you Orzie, is that some kind of prank or are you remaking Forge in TSW? It would be too awesome!

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Orzie
Orzie


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Reinventing the Steel
HC SUPPORTER
posted February 15, 2014 08:04 PM
Edited by Orzie at 20:06, 15 Feb 2014.

Much closer to the first statement. And to prevent spamming, I must explain that this is the example that acceptable graphics can be done in MS Paint too.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Herry
Herry


Bad-mannered
Famous Hero
100% Devil
posted February 15, 2014 08:24 PM

a great thread but moderatores must clean this properly, i don't why, spammers around the world gather here
____________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
revolut1oN
revolut1oN


Famous Hero
posted February 15, 2014 10:19 PM

Okay, but why do you spam this topic with already 2 useless posts if it bothers you so much?

As for the topic, I think it would be cool to lock it and delete all comments when LW finishes and then make it sticky.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Orzie
Orzie


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Reinventing the Steel
HC SUPPORTER
posted February 16, 2014 06:35 AM
Edited by Orzie at 06:36, 16 Feb 2014.

Quote:
On a subjective personal note, I find the lack of tutorials a positive thing, as it keeps the modding "secrets" only for those really motivated, thus the forum remains healthy and not infected with noobs gibberish.


I totally agree with this point. I also think that simplifying the modding process leads to overall decrease of quality in the mod masses. This is what we can see in the snowy Polish town projects under VCMI - the majority of those guys are not so aged, and they often use snowy graphics, stealing, frankensteining and all that, and they are okay with that.

Still, when you make a mod, you want it to look good. The mod lives unless no one plays it, and making things professionally ensures your mod's long life.

Moreover, it's good to have a countable amount of cool qualified mods than to seek a gem in a pile of snow. It can be really time-consuming.



However, that does not refer to Era modding which still needs ERM programming. Only a motivated person would start learning ERM, so it ensures the increased level of quality. Yet, not so many cool new graphics is still present even in Era mods, but LW's info is only for good. I support this.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted February 16, 2014 07:53 AM
Edited by Warmonger at 07:53, 16 Feb 2014.

Quote:
Only a motivated person would start learning ERM, so it ensures the increased level of quality

The thing is, making things harder doesn't increase motivation.

Thus enforcing ERA mods won't increase their quality, at most decrease the number of low-quality mods compared to VCMI.

My opinion is: better let people do something poor and learn from it that do nothing and leave Heroes forever.
____________
The future of Heroes 3 is here!

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Hobbit
Hobbit


Supreme Hero
posted February 16, 2014 10:17 AM

But there's a very important question, that is: Do people actually learn anything if they make lots of poor, low-quality mods?
____________
Horn of the
Abyss on AcidCave

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted February 16, 2014 10:39 AM

Were people who made high-quality mods all born genius?

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Hobbit
Hobbit


Supreme Hero
posted February 16, 2014 10:45 AM
Edited by Hobbit at 10:45, 16 Feb 2014.

Of course not, but they had to learn a lot if they wanted to be modders and actually do anything. Are there any modding geniuses who started with VCMI?
____________
Horn of the
Abyss on AcidCave

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Macron1
Macron1


Supreme Hero
posted February 16, 2014 11:29 AM

Hobbit said:
Are there any modding geniuses who started with VCMI?


Macron1, for example

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
rtx
rtx

Tavern Dweller
posted February 16, 2014 12:08 PM

Macron1 said:
Hobbit said:
Are there any modding geniuses who started with VCMI?


Macron1, for example


I lol'd.

I think, that people should learn through practice and constructive criticque.
However everyone is different - Macron thinks, that everything he does is super and everybody else is idiot.
I'm a perfectionist - I see flaws in everything I do and I want it to be perfect. However, I'm also aware that nothing can be ideal. Generally this leads to depression and hating myself.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Jump To: « Prev Thread . . . Next Thread » This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
Post New Poll    Post New Topic    Post New Reply

Page compiled in 0.0959 seconds