Ok I got aoe3 a few weeks ago. It didn't take me long to complete the campaign as I had already mastered Aoe1 and 2. After a bit of playing skirmish missions I thought I might look at modding it, so I came to his forum, as I am a modder of STA2 and that the filefront forum on that was otherflowing with modding info I was slightly disappointed coming to this one. So anyway I searched around a bit and discovered that on the heaven games forum there was a lot of detail on the subject of modding the game, so I decided to bring as much of that info over here (I am having a boring Christmas holiday ok). I have given myself a quick crash course in modding the game it turns out it isn't that difficult as most of the info is in about 6 files and nearly all the graphics are stored in three achieves which there is an extracter for. So what can be modded? Well I think it is more a question of what can't be modded really. Unfortunatly editing moddels is almost an impossability or at least you require very expensive conversion software to do it. Another problem is physics and animations which are again linked to models in this games engine. Practically everything else can either be modded or hasn't being tried yet. The stats of units can be modded by a two year old. The game textures can also be modded quite easily with a graphics editor if you have skill with that sort of thing. (I may need some practice though :D ) So this is how you mod the game: You will need: A text editor: Though there are plenty of good ones around I think that wordpad or note pad are actually good enough for modding and any idiot can use them. Its biggest advantage is that the format of files is maintained so long as you turn off read only on the files before modding them. A converter + extractor: This is really important as it allows you to get into the files for the game. There is only one I know of. So on this rare occasion I will break the taboo on posting exteral links in other forums as the file is not by me I cannot just go along and upload it without permission so here it is, moderators look away now: http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,23622,,all A graphics editor: This is optional and is only nessacery if you want to edit things like turrain, unit skins ect. anything that you actually see while playing. I don't think too much of this has to be done as the game is so good looking it would be a challenge trying to improve it. If you are going to do this Paintshop pro, photoshop and all that are what you are looking for. Now to: Right, we can start with the basics. The Crossbowmen are simple ranged combat troops with low strength and are unsuitable in later eras as gunpowder units can rip them to pieces and cavalry turn them into stains on the ground. We can change this. :naughty: From the main directory for Aoe3 go into the data folder then turn off read only on all the files in the folder as these will be the files you edit for the most part. Then using your text editor open the proto.xml file (not proto.xml.XMB) and then stop. This is where those of you who have not had any prior modding experience will suddenly go all faint. You will notice a massive amount of info which is more than you would like to have seen. Don't worry, the wonderful thing about text editors is that they have the find function. Use it to search for Crossbowman. After a couple of clicks you should come to this: Right, this is the unit id line, under it is all the info about the units stats and stuff. As the scroll though the info you should find this: 100.0000100.0000
Now if this doesn't make sence you should be sent to the nearest nurceary. You can change these to what ever you like but to really see the difference show set them both to 500.0000. As you Scroll down you should find more stats that you recognise like resource cost. You can mess around with these if you want but the fun part starts here: BuildingAttack8.000000Siege3.000000 Now lets go though this step by step. First is the type of attack. This probabally conrisponds with the aninmation that the model uses for attacking buildings. Next is the damage, this is pretty self explanitory though i must say it is probabally best that you keep it to whole numbers as fractions are not displayed in the summary box in game. Next is the damage type. This will corrispond with a section in one of the files which specifies what each type of damage does. Finally it has the rate of fire. I think this is how many seconds between each attack but I am uncertain. There are as you may have noticed quite a few different attack stats for the Crossbowman. They are for the different formations and different types of attacks that the Crossbowman has. I would say make all the actual shoting attacks have quite high damage amounts to better represent the fact that having a crossbow bolt stuck in your side actually hurts. ;) Try the game now with the edited file and see what the poor, defenceless crossbowmen do now, you won't be dissapointed. Now using the converter and extractor you can change the format of the .XMB files and get at the texture files yourselves. I am not going to explain how to do this as if you follow that link there is a nice little explaination for how the programme works by the guy who wrote the programme in the first place. I would advice that you move the file you are trying to convert to another location especially in the case of the XMB files as you will otherwise end up overwriting your critical game files (a nasty little anti-modding thing that put on the game by the programmers I believe) This is all i really know at this time, a bit limited I know but i am new to this too. (I started learning day before yesterday! :D) I will update this thread with anymore knowledge I gain. (or force out of a certain other forum)
30th January 2004
Nice little tutorial! I would've made one, but I never feel like typing up all that information. I like how you've outlined basic stat modding. Hopefully, you can teach me how to mod models :p
Nice little tutorial! I would've made one, but I never feel like typing up all that information.
Thanks, I am having a boring Christmas so I thought i may aswell make this.
Hopefully, you can teach me how to mod models
Well I believe that editing moddels maybe possible, it will depend on if some programmer who likes the game and was even more bored than me when I wrote the tutorial, decides to make a converter which can change the files to 3dsmax format or something then it is possible. I ma looking at doing it with a 3d unwraping programme which I may be able to use to convert the files to a editable format. At the moment I use Milkshape3D which may be good enough to edit the files but i have my doubts. The another major problem for me is that I am quite poor at modelling and even worse at texturing, even so, with practice I should be able to do it. I will next try and figure out how to create a whole new unit, with or without a new moddel. If I can do that then modding the game should become quite fun.
Ok something that is discribable as bad news. Basically the moddels it seems are granny 3D files. That means that it can only be converted by paying huge amonuts of money. Granny 3d is a highly advanced 3d graphics and animation programme, it is used as a format for many modern game consols, ensemble studios had to pay a large amount of money to RAD game tools to use it. That was a major company we haven't a chance of getting a converter for it. As you can see it didn't take long for me to find this out. Basically, no 3d modeling is legal for this game without the permission of RAD game tools. On the bright side, it isn't raining for once in England, have a nice day.
28th February 2005
Where would I find out how to add factions? I want to add the Confederacy:D
good question, many things can be achieved with modding....but somethings require tresspassing into the world of programming. It maybe that the factions are hardcoded so that there are always so many of them (can't remember the exact amount off the top of my head.) It is equally likely that you can add extra teams although writing an AI for them may cause issues, you may or may not be able to do so. You can however change a faction. You can change the name, flag, unit textures, techtree and royal guard units of a faction. It would be more interesting if other modders found out stuff not just me, and perhaps even make some mods.
28th February 2005
Well as soon as I sit down and learn I'll start making mods.;)
cool, if I wern't bogged down with school and a modding project for another game I would be tempted to make some large mods for this.
AoM Heaven Staff
10th May 2005
Those of you that are experienced with modding, I would highly suggest editing the Age of wiki located at wiki.heavengames.c0m/age (replace the 0 with an o). Together, we can create the biggest design community ever. This does not ONLY include HG, HG only hosts it. 90% of the design teams we have asked, have agreed to team up with the wiki, to provide quality information for everyone. Sorry if you consider this advertising, but I'm not sure if this is known to the design community here.
I didn't make it!
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