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General Discussion & Suggestions
Moderated by ChowGuy, Swolte, Ziggurat Mason

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Topic Subject: Josh - questions about the editor :)
posted 07-24-02 06:54 AM EDT (US)   
Josh, on a few occasions you've said something to the effect that there might be a few more options added to the editor, in a future patch or expansion. Specifically, those which would allow mapmakers to set the maximum sizes and upgrade levels of cities, and as well to determine which individual structures within preplaced and player-built cities are available/unavailable for construction

Please tell me if this is still being considered.

Not to be a poop or anything, but, well, if Klingons care to hear about such things, I should have you know that I am a little frustrated presently, as far as making maps. Don't get me wrong, the game is great in so many ways and there's a lot of very cool new stuff in the editor to play with, like events and elevations and being able to paint entire areas of forest - all a blessing for which I am deeply grateful. Unfortunately, in the case of the first scenario I've been attempting to design, I just can't come to grip with the new approach to city-growth. That is, the inevitable growth of cities. It's so open-ended. There's no way to prevent any old hole in the ground from potentially rising into a full-blown metropolis, complete with a wizards tower and forcefield, etc by the middle of any game of decent length. Not that I mind how it works the way it does by default, I just think those options would really be *right on* and *nice* for promoting more variety. Maybe just my opinion here, or speculation, but I don't think the way it works is going to be promoting an awful lot of variety compared to the different styles of maps that were possible to make for the original, and which I had thought would at least be somewhat possible again.

For example, the map I've started is supposed to have certain locales that actually fit (at least sort of) with places laid out within a well-defined, well-known fantasy setting, some of them of particular strategic importance as well. Gondolin, for instance, is supposed to be the greatest city of the elves in Middle-earth. That being so, I would like to have it decked out with most of the upgrades from turn one, have it remain a unique and awe-inspiring place throughout the entire game, while all other cities that lie within the conceivable grasp of the player stay mere hovels by comparison...

Not possible without those options. Any outpost is a potential Gondolin after so many turns. In AoW, no brainer... Make Gondolin a static four-hexer, and most other cities one-two. Or forget Godolin, sometimes it's just fun as a player having no choice but to go up against the ultimate high-level bad guys using only your trusted level ones and twos. Something along those lines in a big, epic map is less doable in AoWII.

And on a similar note, would you consider making it so the ‘hurry' button can be disabled from within the editor?

Another matter of taste I suppose. Whenever there's even a modest surplus of gold starting to fill up the coffer, it just seems to me like there is too short a time before a player can make their way up through the build tree and start rush-producing some of the higher-level units. Not necessarily because they're a good player, no, but because of a magic button that makes it easy. Again, I think this is due in part to the open-ended approach to building and city-growth. Coupled with the hurry button, it's really changed the whole feel of the gameplay. Sorry, not for the better, and to the lessening of variety, imo. Compared to AoW, there's more of a ‘rush' mentality at work, which I was thankful not to find in the original. Others can disagree of course. Only I'll say that in the case of my old AoW maps, which apparently some people liked, I always started the player off with generous gold. They could use it to build many low-level units or take the opportunity to install the more powerfull units in a two or three hex city fairly early; providing it didn't necessarilly allow them to build up insuprable forces. In most instances of (imo) good AoW mapmaking there wasn't anything too lavish to spend on straight away - static two-hexers and the like prevented it. Yet the choices at hand when there was plentiful gold could make the game more interesting with those (often limited) things there were to do with it. By contrast, now I'm afraid to provide more than a smattering of gold anywhere, cities all by themselves make for riches soon enough.

So what say you now, Josh? C'mon, a wee little option for turning the hurry button off, and the other wee little options for cities... It would be more like old times again. I'd be more excited about making maps as the "problems" cited above would surely disappear. Not that I matter in the overall scheme of things... NO, REALLY, I DO MATTER!

Thank you for AoWII, btw.

Just hoping you are open to a few changes. Especially ones you said already are "possibilities".


PS ...And watercaves, and some non-poofing items. Please be thinking about those, too! And.. and... the depths... and a leaderless mode that places wizards in the void - still able to cast spells through towers and heroes, though not corporeally present on the map... begging your pardon if you think my ideas are targ fodder.

[This message has been edited by Fingers (edited 07-24-2002 @ 07:58 AM).]

posted 07-24-02 07:04 AM EDT (US)     1 / 22  
Quite the composed and level-headed post... hey, who are you, and what have you done with Fingers?!?

Seriously, we've seen these suggestions, and while I don't think any of them made it into the v1.10 patch, it doesn't hurt to keep tossing the ideas around, as there may yet be more work done on this AoW thingy before we're through...

btw, editor options are much more likely to be considered than big chunks of additional engine work... just in case you wanna focus your energies...

Josh Farley
Triumph Studios
posted 07-24-02 07:52 AM EDT (US)     2 / 22  
Great post Fingers, again! (And you got a quick dev response by leaving your mountain-brush idea out! )

The option to limit city size and structures is my number1 AoW2 possible improvement for the editor, as well. The possibilities for gameplay and strategic depth will increase. I hope a future patch (or expansion?) can grant that wish.

Options wanted by Swolte in (above expectation fun! ) editor out of his memory that will hopefully require less engine work:

1. -> Place independent heroes beyond level 20!!!

2. -> (or) Items only usable with particular hero/ unit.

3. -> Possibility of copying events AND conditions (or is this already possible? I don't know how?).

4. -> Not just triggering storms but several other spells as well! Like wetland or raise terrain.

5. -> 'Yes' or 'No' event clickable messages. Like I want to cross a bridge. The bridge keeper will let me through if I pay 500 gp. If I won't, he will attack me or call help.

That's all for now.

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 07-24-02 08:20 AM EDT (US)     3 / 22  
Excellent post, Fingers.

The ability to limit town size and available structures is far and away the top priority for improving the editor. In the absence of an RMG, players have to rely on other people's creations, and the more editor options available the greater the chance that we'll all find maps that we enjoy.

posted 07-24-02 08:36 AM EDT (US)     4 / 22  
Hear hear.

Guess we just have to repeat and repeat it. In patch 1.37 there will additions to the editor
Limitations on city growth and structures are BY FAR the most important issue, all the rest are nit picking compared to that. Is this something that does not require (much) additional engine work?

edit: Swolte, let's keep to the really important additions at first, so as not to let it drown in all kinds of creative (and good) suggestions. If we repeat the important stuff, it will be a priority. Other additions can come later.

edit:edit: I sense the rise of a new spawn of BTOOIC here.

[This message has been edited by Rorschach (edited 07-24-2002 @ 08:42 AM).]

posted 07-24-02 08:56 AM EDT (US)     5 / 22  
I stand behind Fingers. Just giving us the ability to cap the maximum population and to ban certain buildings can allow us to create unique maps that will give HoMM5 a run for its money.
posted 07-24-02 09:04 AM EDT (US)     6 / 22  
Side-question: can we make maps now, and edit them when the patch is out? Or is that non-compatible. I heard that it works for saved games from earlier versions.
posted 07-24-02 09:52 AM EDT (US)     7 / 22  

Quoted from Swolte:

3. -> Possibility of copying events AND conditions (or is this already possible? I don't know how?).

You can already, using keyboard shortcuts ctrl-c and ctrl-v. Read about it here.

Quoted from Swolte:

5. -> 'Yes' or 'No' event clickable messages. Like I want to cross a bridge. The bridge keeper will let me through if I pay 500 gp. If I won't, he will attack me or call help.

Great idea. I'm sure it'll be a low priority, but perhaps we'll see it in patch 1.73.

Quoted from Rorsach:

If we repeat the important stuff, it will be a priority. Other additions can come later.

Yes, I would bet most mapmakers will agree: limiting town size and structure is THE most-needed improvement to the editor!

posted 07-24-02 10:15 AM EDT (US)     8 / 22  
Yes, I must admit the repeat tactic is better and limiting town sizes is TOP priority. TOP priority!!

I guess I was falling for Joshs' "focus your energies...". I hope the devs have this one on paper too. Like a memory note hanging on the fridge..

(hehe.. I've repeated it twice now. Score 2 for Swolte!!)

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 07-24-02 10:59 AM EDT (US)     9 / 22  
What about these too, Josh?

1. Independent player can trigger events. (should be fairly ez to do since independent player can be specified in other things)

2. Spells other than storms can be triggered.

3. A script to random spawn units in a random location. (this is already in the game for quests, but not in the editor for just spawning units)

4. Spawn and remove AI blocks.

5. Ability to script AI to rebuild a structure, and/or allow activation/deactivation of transporters. (Probably too hard to for you to do)

6. Limit what units a given city may build...I get tired of seeing AI's build nothing but stacks of cannons. (this would probably work out by limiting what structure a city could build)


posted 07-24-02 01:52 PM EDT (US)     10 / 22  
Since we seem to be collecting editor suggestions here...:

1) disabling of certain units in a Dwelling, e.g. prevent building of any flying unit; I may want to play without the Archon Pegasus, but I want the Titan and Charioteer, so I can't just knock off the Champion's Guild. (Top Priority)

2) disabling of certain Buildings for a Dwelling (Next To Top Priority)

3) limit Dwelling size (Also A Top Priority)

...ok, and now for the miscellaneous stuff...

4) Altars...? Or, maybe allow targetting of overland Event Storms...?

5) Event that allows an ambush, e.g. hero picks up items, 3 Warlords materialize and all hell breaks loose.

6) Scripting for units, e.g. move army A along this road to point B.

Ehem, oh, hey, Fingers! Long time, no see. Good post! Started to look at the editor myself a little, and you know, those things you and the other folks are mentioning would make for a jolly good time, map making. Hehe, never hurts to asks, right?

It is roaming the depths in eternal hunger, devouring all and everything, far from the light, lost in the shadows, alone, wandering, searching, evermore...

[This message has been edited by ZombieEater (edited 07-24-2002 @ 02:05 PM).]

posted 07-24-02 11:52 PM EDT (US)     11 / 22  
I agree with Fingers that I would love to be able to limit population sizes and more important limit the availability of units and structures. As long as the city structures are limited (thus, the unit could be limited as well), it would be wonderful. I think an option would be also great idea. Maybe there could be an override control for players who wish not to play that way. Then everybody would be happy and not forced to play one way. It would make maps more interesting.

Quoted from Fingers:


posted 07-25-02 08:05 AM EDT (US)     12 / 22  
All i ask from the devs is that they let us mapmakers have the power to disallow the building of structures in cities, like the war hall and champions guild.
posted 07-25-02 06:33 PM EDT (US)     13 / 22  
I think this needs to be a sticky topic. Why not?
posted 07-25-02 09:18 PM EDT (US)     14 / 22  
Thumbs up for that.

- All you need is love -

The Wizards of Creation

posted 07-25-02 11:34 PM EDT (US)     15 / 22  
I think the top 3 I would like to see are

1. Limitable city size and bannable buildings (kinda go hand in hand)

2. Trigger any spell on as many units/cities/whatever you want.. there is only so much you can do with Storms, and having a plague suddenly strike your whole empire when you defiled a haunted crypt would be quite a waker-upper

3. ANY kind of event scripting, as mentioned above (ambushes and yes/no situations, maybe able to set a unit as an avenger only focused on one other unit or group, like an assassin or hunter.. could make for some interesting "Flee the Dread Reaper" situations )

Just my 2.. well 3 cents.

Pot - It's whats for dinner.
posted 07-26-02 06:59 AM EDT (US)     16 / 22  
Ah, nice to come back and find so many enthusiastic affirmatives. Yes!

Josh, hey, thanks for the reply. Alright then, from here on out I will try to focus my posting energies on the types of additions that won't require much engine work for you. Of course as a perfect ignoramus in the world of coding I'm not certain I can always distinguish, so, sorry in advance if there's a slip.

Perhaps though... Please, if you care to illuminate a few examples of what is possible, to serve as guidance for future thoughts on patches or the expansion, you could help us all avoid that mistake.

Here now, your comments on this should get us going on the right track. Here's a short list of suggestion-features, which I have grown to suspect wouldn't be too horrendous to implement:

1) An "all portraits from AoW" picture pack - ?

2) Watercaves - simply a cavern entrance in the water, allowing boats and water-bound units to travel up and down map levels. Different tile art would be required. Perhaps this could be made without the aid of a professional artist by taking the existing tile graphic for a razed waternode and modifying it slightly in an paint program. Doesn't have to be anything fancy. Its TC map could be the same as for any water hex. The ingame "Enter watercave entrance?" interface would be nice if it showed a watery tunnel painting, but that's not so important. (Watercaves were a nifty little feature of Warlock's mod, btw, in case anyone missed it.)

3) Altars - of all the old AoW tile graphics I think altars alone might look okay if they were reused, if that's possible and they wouldn't resemble crud at closer levels of zoom. No, it's not a silly idea at all, is it? The old interface art could certainly be reused, no shame in that. Cut and paste the old code, too? J/k. TC map could be plain terrain, I don't care. (Thanks for bringing it up again, ZombieEater. )

4) Shipyards placable outside of cities - In AoW they were sooo useful. I'd put them all over the place on my maps, in many instances where I didn't want there to be any cities. Or if I gave the ai players dozens and dozens of shipyards they would eventually produce so many boats, even on rare occasions they would load an army into one and launch an invasion by sea. Giving the ai players dozens and dozens of cities with the shipyard "upgrade" is not a good option, imo. The computer doesn't appear to know how to build any boats, period, with its cities. Unlike altars, probably the old tile art wouldn't fit the game's ‘look' with structures like mills and their much higher level of detail, so I guess your artists would have to go to work again. Interface art, use the old. TC map, plain.

5) Another unit-producing structure outside of cities, I don't care what - ?

6) Mountain paintbrush - ?

All would be great fun to play with in the editor, and add even more potential for great fun to an already awesome game, imo. To me they don't seem like they could be too huge in terms of changing engine stuff, but you are the one to say. Please, please comment. I absolutely HATE myself for always bothering you.


[This message has been edited by Fingers (edited 07-26-2002 @ 07:25 AM).]

posted 07-26-02 07:14 AM EDT (US)     17 / 22  
New structures would not be likely to appear before an expansion.

A "Picture pack" would likely require the ability to import pictures, which would also not be likely to be added to the current game.

Josh Farley
Triumph Studios
posted 07-26-02 08:20 AM EDT (US)     18 / 22  
Even if you can't do some of these for game right now, Josh. There are certainly some excellent additions for an expansion pack. AoW2 would be the perfect game in my mind with many more scripting options, portraits, and hero sprites etc.
posted 07-26-02 10:52 AM EDT (US)     19 / 22  
Ooh ooh! Shipyards, I miss those little babies. I don't like the fact that if you want to give someoen the ability to build ships, you need to place a whole city next to the water. The little shipyard was so nice.

- All you need is love -

The Wizards of Creation

posted 07-28-02 10:30 AM EDT (US)     20 / 22  
I miss the shipyards too, but they're not likely to add an buildings ...unfortunately.
posted 07-28-02 08:03 PM EDT (US)     21 / 22  
Please be thinking about our suggestions as work begins on the expansion. I think the return of those structures that existed in AoW outside of cities, as well as maybe a few new ones too, would be considered a plus to a lot of people.

Still hoping those city-options for the editor make it in pre-expansion.


posted 07-28-02 08:54 PM EDT (US)     22 / 22  
I agree with Fingers, aPothead, Swolte, EQ, and, well, most of you other guys!

Bring back the shipyards, add a disable buildings and limited city-growth feuture, make/get/bring back more Heroe-pics and buildings outside the cities, and the game will be perfect!

Tell me, Lucifer Morningstar... Ask yourselves, all of you... What power would Hell have if those here imprisoned were not able to dream of Heaven?
Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » General Discussion & Suggestions » Josh - questions about the editor :)
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