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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW1 Mod Packs » Realms of Magic Mod
Topic Subject:Realms of Magic Mod
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posted 01-13-04 03:18 PM EDT (US)         
Iīm currently working on my "Realms of Magic" Mod for AOW1. My intention is to do a "big one", there will be about 100 new units, 50 new buildings and many other changes.
In this thread Iīll post important things I find out while doing the mod work, and You can ask questions if You have any...
posted 01-13-04 04:35 PM EDT (US)     1 / 73       
OK, first thing:
I found a strategy to transform AOW2 units into AOW1 units with AOWCgE, ILBEditor and AdobePhotoshop (I think other graphics programs will do the job too, but I`ll give the instructions for Photoshop here). Unfortunately, this strategy only works well for human-sized units. For larger units there are some additional problems, but Iīll inform You when I found out how to transform these.
1. Open the .ILB of some "normal walking" unit with AOWCgE
(I took the Azrac Archer) and export it as a BMP file
2. Open this BMP file with Photoshop. In the "View" menu
enable "Show Rulers". What comes now is the most annoying
part: You have to make a grid of guide lines (simply drag
them from the rulers). The first horizontal as well as
vertical guide must be set after 64 pixels, the second
after 128 pixels and so on. I recommend to use a
calculator :-)
3. Take the "Eyedropper" tool and click with it on the
purple background. Now take the "Magic Wand" tool, set
its tolerance to 0 and click with it on the purple back-
ground. Hold the shift key pressed and click again with
the Magic Wand on the light purple area below the image.
Choose "Select" - "Inverse", and then "Edit" - "Fill" -
"Foreground Colour".
4. Save the Image as a PSD (Photoshop)image. I called it
5. With ILBEditor, open the AOW2 .ILB you want to transform.
Select then "Export all" (by right-clicking on the .ILB).
You will get a new folder in your AOW2 images folder that
has the name of the .ILB
6. Open that folder in Windows Explorer. You only need the
following images (delete the others if you want).
"IDLE": numbers 000,100,200,300...
"WALK": WALK01, ...03, ...05,07,09,11,12,14
"ATTACK": numbers 062,162,262,... and 065,165,265,...
(for some units I used different Attack images. Look in
ILBEditor which ones you think are the best)
"HIT": numbers 073,173,273,...
"DEAD": I havenīt done "Dead Unit" gfx so far
7. Go to Photoshop again. You have to do the following
steps with all the BMP images I listed above:
"Image" - "Size" - 63% (some I made even smaller)
"Image" - "Canvas size" - 64x64 pixels
I recommend to create an "Action", you`ll save lots of
clicks (and time...)
8. Now open the PSD image you created before. If you donīt
see your Guide Lines, swith them on again.
You now can copy & paste your size-changed BMPīs into
your PSD image.
The first 8 images in the first row must be the "0..WALK"
BMPīs, next is the "000IDLE" BMP, then follow the 2
"0..ATTACK" BMPīs, last is the "073HIT" BMP.
Do the same for the second row. Here you need the images
whose numbers start with "1", in the third row with "2"
and so on, ītill you reach the last row where you need
the "5..." BMPīs.
Save your image as a new PSD. You may need that later
if you have to do any corrections.
9. Check if "Image" - "Mode" is "Indexed Color". If not,
convert it to Indexed Color. Select "Layer" - "Flatten
Image". Take the "Eyedropper" tool, click with it on the
blue background, then take the "Magic Wand", set the
tolerance to 70 and click with it on the blue background.
Select "Edit" - "Fill" - "Foreground Colour". If there
are any purple spaces remaining between the blue squares
they have also to be filled with blue.
Now save your image as a new BMP.
10.Import this image as a .ILB with AOWCge and save it into
your AOW images folder.
11.Create your new Unit GFX in DevEdit and check if
everythingīs OK.

Good luck, If you have any questions, just ask.

posted 01-14-04 08:58 AM EDT (US)     2 / 73       

"DEAD": I havenīt done "Dead Unit" gfx so far
7. Go to Photoshop again. You have to do the following
steps with all the BMP images I listed above:
"Image" - "Size" - 63% (some I made even smaller)
"Image" - "Canvas size" - 64x64 pixels

Some notes:
for 'Dead' frames simply take the last frames from the death sequense and put them at the end of each row in the new ilb. So you have got the dead body oriented in 6 directions and in the same ilb with new unit.

For scaling note that all 128*128 AoW2/SM units could be simply scaled to 50% (so they become 64*64) and will exactly be tall as AoW1 units. For other units you must before do a lot of cut & paste. Some software can apply anti-aliasing during scaling, so evaluated in which way it is better.
If someone use Corel Photo-Paint, I could post my scripts which make quite all job byself.

Actually I imported also graphics from Diablo, Warcraft2.
Next to do is importing from Heroes of M&M IV, Age of the Empires 1&2, Diablo2 and Starcraft (it's possible).
Now I must only write the scripts to do the jobs.

[This message has been edited by Dhuval (edited 01-14-2004 @ 09:00 AM).]

posted 01-15-04 05:57 AM EDT (US)     3 / 73       
To Dhuval:
Thanks, Iīll try this 50% thing! Which software did you use to open Diablo GFX [if itīs not a secret :-)]...
There is another game with really grat units, in German itīs called "Mana", I think itīs "Magic&Mayhem" in English.
Would be cool to transform some of these too.
posted 01-15-04 07:02 AM EDT (US)     4 / 73       
Oh, I think I already have the tool for Diablo...
posted 01-15-04 08:32 AM EDT (US)     5 / 73       
I've imported many units already, so maybe we should be put together our works.

Request for Moderators
It's possible open a download section where upload new .ilbs? At least for units from AoW2/SM?

Here what I've imported:

From AoWSM:
DElf -Hydra
Dwarf -Steamtank -Crossbowman -Warrior -Engineer -Runesmith -Slayer
Elf -Treeman -Cavalry -Druid -IronMaiden
Frostling -Fenrir
Human -Crossbowman -Warrior -Militia -Knight -Scout -Inquisitor
Undead -Deathknight -Deathlord -Hero
Machine-Ballista -Cannon -Catapult -RepeaterBallista -Flame Tank -Galley -Transport -Pioneer
Monster -BoneDragon -GreatEagle -Minotaur
Nomad -Barbarian -Horse_Archer -PitGuard
Orc -OrcHero -OrcCavalry -OrcGlutton -Troll
Tigran -Manticora
Wizard -all
plus all other 128*128 units not list above

From Diablo:
black dmage goatlord goatla goatmace mage mega scbs scheleton King scheleton shield sklbw sneak zombie
whd wmd wla shh shd

Actually all these ilb are oversized, in fact there are too frames which cannot be used in AoW1, but only yesterday I've written a script to fixed this surplus, so in next future I'll compact them all.

About HoMM4:
technically I exported the unit gfx from this game, but the tool that do that saves each frame in a different bmp, which not share the same size with others. Unfortunally Corel Photo Paint script system is not help in this case, so I think I'll not import them.
Maybe if someone knows as write an efficient script for his software or he likes manual cut&paste then he ask me for extracting tool.

posted 01-15-04 11:55 AM EDT (US)     6 / 73       

Quoted from Dhuval:

Request for Moderators
It's possible open a download section where upload new .ilbs? At least for units from AoW2/SM?

Not at the moment. There are lots of improvements I would like to see for the downloads section though, but don't hold back on any releases while waiting for that to be implemented...

Further discussions about this forum and site should be in the Website Comments forum. That's the only place where I'm sure to see it, and definitely the only place I'll find old comments/suggestions when improving things here.

posted 01-16-04 08:08 AM EDT (US)     7 / 73       
to Dhuval:
I've imported many units already, so maybe
we should be put together our works.

Yes, would be cool to make some exchange. I think I have done much less than you did till now. The only units Iīve finished are (from AOW2):
DwarfRunemaster, ElvenRanger, UndeadSwordsman, ArchonTemplar (colorchanged)
I could send these to you via e-mail, cause I donīt like to enable them for download before my mod is released, cause I want to get a "surprise effect".
I would be especially interested in AOW/SM units, cause I donīt have this game.

posted 01-16-04 09:14 AM EDT (US)     8 / 73       
Just yesterday I start working on a mod for AoWSM ('cause a friend lend it to me, so now I've also the cd, not only the .ilb), so my AoW1 mod will have a stop for a quite.
It's a pity, but my aoW1 mod needs an AoWCGE with a custom import function, but Smurfhero is quite slow on release a new version.

So for now I'm working on Diablo MOD for AoWSM.

posted 01-19-04 10:25 AM EDT (US)     9 / 73       
Dhuval, for what do you need a custom import function? Itīs possible to import most graphics as Unit GFX, at least it works for structures and terrain.
White Wolf
posted 01-24-04 03:25 PM EDT (US)     10 / 73       
Dhuval: You said you've finished converting those (many) units from AoW2? I don't suppose it would be possible for me to test them? I get awfully bored and would like a challenge, something new. Anyway, I'd be happy, nonetheless.
posted 01-24-04 03:33 PM EDT (US)     11 / 73       
basically to change races'shields. I already change them, but there are some problems when displayed.

White Wolf:
what type of unit do you like more?
However just now I see you are from Florence, but is it Italian Firenze?

White Wolf
posted 01-25-04 03:46 PM EDT (US)     12 / 73       
I prefer any unit that works, to be honest. If it is new and all that, gimme!

Florence, Italy? I wish, I'm from a tiny town in USA...we Americans are so unoriginal we had to steal all the good names from you. Haha.

posted 01-27-04 12:26 PM EDT (US)     13 / 73       
Now a short overview of my Mod work:

What has been done:
-changed the stats, abilities, sometimes names, of almost all existing units
-took many units (machines & creatures) out of cities and replaced them by new ones
-GFX done for ~30 new units (some from AOW2, some "self-made" like Laurentius` ones, e.g. Cyclops and Ninja)
[I`m really not sure if I can keep myself from pre-releasing some of these :-)...]
-GFX done for ~20 new places (most are "Shipyard-clones")
-Added many new terrain tiles, e.g. Water Vegetation and Swamp
-Added lots of new Hero Faces
-replaced Frostlings by Barbarians
-excel file with all unit stats

What will be done:
-GFX for many more new units, places, terrain
-SFX for the new units
-more Hero Faces, as well as Unit Faces for the new units
-a new Library for each Heroes and Items
-several Hero classes, esp. Creature Heroes
-a detailed readme
-maps (and a campaign?) for the mod

What I would like to do but wonīt work:
-make new Exploration Places
-enable production at elemental nodes
-make scrolls work ;-)
-"multi-functional places", eg. Mages Guild where You can build Wizards AND buy spells
-make Abilities from spells (eg. Flaming Arrow, cause there are no "Fire Bolts")
-enable the hidden abilities like Petrification that didnīt make their way into the released game
-make different "Construct"-Abilities

Arctic Wolf
posted 01-30-04 01:12 AM EDT (US)     14 / 73       
I've just skimmed your post so forgive me if this is irrelevant, but you mentioned that you wanted new production facilities for Elemental units.

In the list of Ilb files there are five ILB's not used which were originally going to be used as some type of mana battery. These files are called MG-Blk,MG-Cha,MG-Wht,Mg-Nat,and MG-Sor. The files can be easily adapted to be builders guilds to be used for Elemental production.

I have also adapted EPL_Dung to be a new dungeon, although it is better suited to being a Lair.

Also EPL_PMID is a new pyramid for exploration

I am using FHOLE as a builders guild for Poison Dragan Construction. (Using the smoke ilb in the background layer)

PRO-gate is a new teleport

Pro-Drgn is quite weird but interesting.

STR-INN is useful as a guild building.

Str-Mage is useful as a clerics guild or a new tower.

STR-NRCK is a good reflecting pool or healing pool

STR-POd is the one I'm using for an Ancient reflecting pool (I'm using the background frames from the original reflecting pool)

What I've learned is that any object can be used as any structure if you map out the frame functions properly and choose suitable frames for each possible event.

When no raised structure frames are available in the ilb for instance, I am using explosion effects and rubble frames for the picture. You don't have to get all the frames from the same ilb, they just have to be mapped properly.

Hope this post is of use!!

posted 01-30-04 07:08 AM EDT (US)     15 / 73       
Thanks Arctic (!) Wolf. Iīm already using most of the GFX you mentioned. For example, FHOLE.ilb I use for "Swamp Sanctuary" (producing Slug, Lurker,...). What actually concerns me is that the existing Fire Node, Air Node,... have the option to produce units there (just like a Builders Guild), but this doeīsnīt work. I would really like to let elemental units be produced THERE, but I think it wonīt work
Arctic Wolf
posted 01-30-04 10:38 AM EDT (US)     16 / 73       
The only way I can think to make it work, is to make a builders guild and then replace the ilb with the ilb for the node. Unfortunately you could not purchase them with mana but would need to use gold.

BTW You are probably the first one to spell ARCTIC correctly!! (Smiles)

[This message has been edited by Arctic Wolf (edited 01-30-2004 @ 10:39 AM).]

posted 02-02-04 10:02 AM EDT (US)     17 / 73       
Worked on terrain the last few days. Swamp vegetation, wooden brigdes and many other things are now availiable for map-making...
White Wolf
posted 02-02-04 02:15 PM EDT (US)     18 / 73       
Speaking of bridges, would it be possible to make it so that bridges can be (re)built and destroyed? Like towers and the like... Just a thought.
posted 02-03-04 09:52 AM EDT (US)     19 / 73       
Iīm still playing with the options. Till now my bridge isnīt a real bridge, itīs just an Ice tile that looks like a water tile with the bridge...
Bridges and roads are not so easy to handle it seems...
Arctic Wolf
posted 02-03-04 10:32 AM EDT (US)     20 / 73       
Bridges and roads are completely different tiles from the rest. If you download my Tides of Golgatha Mapset and look at the Signature map, "The Tides of Golgatha" you can see some interesting things I've done with roads in the underground. Until that map was released no one had to my knowledge placed road tiles on earth tiles, yet I found a way to do it. The trick was to first make the path for the road with wasteland. Place a road on the wasteland and then copy and paste dirt tiles under the road.

The same tile I created using those three steps can be created in DEV Edit. Simply use the wasteland road graphic and replace the underlay with dirt instead wasteland.

I have no suggestions for bridges though, I have found them unstable after I futz with them.

BTW I tested all of lauretius' units and they are stable. My initial problems with them were merely the result of me not understanding how to map the ilb properly. If you select a frametable out of the ilb's range it crashes the editor.

posted 02-04-04 05:50 AM EDT (US)     21 / 73       
to Arctic Wolf:
thanx for that "Dirt Roads" thing! I added this to my mod and you will certainly be mentioned for that. It was really VERY easy to do!
I think bridges are so special because they consist of two parts: the bridge itself and the "pillars".
Arctic Wolf
posted 02-04-04 11:18 AM EDT (US)     22 / 73       
Your Welcome! The Dirt road you created can also be placed on the suface as I did with "A Cry in the Heartwood Forest".

Another feature you might be interested in is one I adapted in my map "Inioch's Garden". I discovered that any vegetation or rock can be placed with any underlay. Cactus plants growing in dirt look good especially mixed with other desert tiles.

I made Jungle tiles by placing the palmtrees and heavier desert vegetation over grassland and steppe tiles. Great Transitionary tiles between snow and steppe are possible by underlaing the trees and such from steppe with snow. (The same works for steppe to wasteland) I use all these tiles in my map making using the current release file, but it would be oh so much easier if they were built into the mod.

I remember one comment I got in a map review where the reviewer was questioning whether I used the same editor as everyone else. It was because the plethora of mixed tiles gave the map a totally unique look.

You may want to experiment with the mixing and matching of tiles to increase the variety of vegetation types and rock formation types.

posted 02-05-04 04:28 AM EDT (US)     23 / 73       
Thanx again Wolf, but Iīve already done that. Except for using snow tiles on grass or steppe: I want to make something like "light snow", just a little bit of white that grass or steppe can be overlayed with. Iīve also imported many vegetation tiles from AOW2, theyīre a little bit oversized but they look great.
posted 02-06-04 07:16 AM EDT (US)     24 / 73       
Yesterday I finished surface terrain, now I can continue my work on units. Maybe Iīll try to make some animated terrain later.
Arctic Wolf
posted 02-06-04 03:42 PM EDT (US)     25 / 73       
This is just a suggestion which you can totally ignore if you like. But I have about 5 unrelesased maps kinda 90 % complete that I'm planning to make into a mini campaign. I like the sounds of your Mod a lot, and would like to finish the campaign using your Mod when it's done. If it works for you, let me have a copy of your Mod when its done. Let me work with it two weeks, and we'll realease the Mod with the Campain built into it. Your Mod, my maps!

Depending upon complextity I could probably work some of my single player and multiplayer maps into it also. Say three maps of each single and multiplayer, plus the campaign.

If it turns out you don't like the maps you could just omit them!

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