MoM IME Expanded

Anything else to do with MoM IME
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:37 am

Cool ideas, guys! I can't wait to see these new races in-game. I have a small suggestion, though:

About the gnomes: It would be cool if they could have an invisible unit, to complement their Illusionists.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:00 am

And now that I have had time to think about it, I would like to see another insect-like race to complement the Klackons. And if we are adding in a lot of new races, there should be at least one more flying race, preferably an Arcanus-based one, so I am mulling over the possibility of creating a bee-like race. It would be weak, fast-breeding and quite as intolerant to others as the Klackons are - perhaps most of all towards the Klackons! These bee-creatures would probably not be into magic at all, but might be able to produce a few advanced non-magical buildings, like the Bank and the Mechanician's Guild, maybe. As industrious as bees are, this race should be able to build some decent siege machines (maybe even flying ones!), but probably not boats. I can see this building line up: Builder's Hall, Shrine, Temple, Smithy, Armory, Sawmill, Forester's Guild, Marketplace, Farmer's Market, Miner's Guild, Library, Sage's Guild, University, Bank, Mechanician's Guild, City Walls, and all off the Barracks versions. Thus, they can not build Stable, Shipwright's Guild, Alchemist's Guild, Parthenon. Well, maybe Parthenon, I have to study the balance properly.

Edit: Come to think of it, maybe they should be religious... Let them have the Parthenon, and maybe the Cathedral as well, but no Bank, to make up for it? Hmmm...

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:51 am

OK, here's my take on the bee people so far.

Background: A sentient race of evolved giant bees, remotely related to the Klackons. They share the Klackons' hive mind sentiments, but are slightly less intolerant of other races. Nature-oriented races like elves, halflings and lizardmen are tolerated, and so are the Klackons, who are considered to be slightly retarded relatives by the bees. They absolutely HATE Gnolls, however, since the Gnolls tend to raid their cities for honey.
The bee-men are small, and do not handle physical damage well. Furthermore, they are unaccustomed to magic, so they have dangerously low resistance to magical effects. To offset this, they are industrious, breed quickly, and have a capacity for higher learning. They are also highly religious, and believe in the sanctity of the flesh. Their priests lack the usual ranged magical effect, but are excellent healers.
When going to war, the bees rely on some of the other evolved insects of their surroundings, such as giant wasps, hornets and moths. Some of these creatures are more durable than the frail bees, and act as living shields for them. The giant moths living around the cube cities have been trained to carry ballistas around, giving the bees a flying siege weapon.
Always active workers, the bee-men have good engineers, and are even able to produce artisans, who work at double the normal construction rate.
As the only naturally flying race of Arcanus, the bee creatures have a mobility which few can match, and thus they have no need for stables nor shipbuilder. Neither do they understand magic very well, so they do not train magicians of any kind, and have no units with ranged magical attacks.

Standard units:
Spearmen, swordsmen, engineers, settlers, bowmen, priests

Special units:
Artisans (4 figures) - With a Mechanician's guild, the bees can build improved engineers. These units build roads at double the normal rate, and carry hand crossbows to defend themselves.

Ballista Moth (1 figure) - Cube cities with a Forester's Guild can build the special ballista units of the bees. These giant moths are trained to carry and operate ballistas.

Great Hornets (2 figures) - The bees have trained local hornets to act as shock troops for them. These beasts are no less vulnerable than the bees themselves, but pack a lot more punch than a normal bee.

Royal Drones (2 figures) - These elite fighters are the defenders of the cube, and the only really effective defensive unit available to the hive. Requiring a War College to be built, they do not come cheap.

War Wasp (1 figure) - Fast, strong, and deadly poisonous, the war wasp is the ultimate attacke weapon of the bee world. These giant wasps are semi-sentient, and have been carefully manipulated into acting for the cube, rather than attacking it.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:58 am

I'll throw in some of my number fiddling as well. Please comment on it!

Beemen (name pending)

Growth rate:

Basic unit stats:
-1 defense strength penalty (minimum of 1); -1 resistance penalty (minimum of 1); Priests lack magic attack; flying (including Settlers); Bowmen have +1 ranged strength; Priests can cast Healing four times per battle

Special units:
Artisans (4): Cost: 60 Melee: 2 Ranged: 3 A Defense: 1 Resistance: 3 Hits: 1 Movement: 2 F
Special Abilities: Construction (double speed); Wall Crusher
Ballista Moth (1): Cost: 100 Melee: - Ranged: 10 M Defense: 1 Resistance: 3 Hits: 12 Movement: 1 F
Special Abilities: Long Range
Great Hornets (2): Cost: 80 Melee: 6 Ranged: - Defense: 2 Resistance: 4 Hits: 6 Movement: 2 F
Special Abilities: First Strike
Royal Drones (2): Cost: 200 Melee: 8 Ranged: - Defense: 7 Resistance: 4 Hits: 10 Movement: 1 F
Special Abilities: Armor Piercing; First Strike; Large Shield
War Wasp (1): Cost: 240 Melee: 10 Ranged: - Defense: 4 Resistance: 5 Hits: 15 Movement: 3 F
Special Abilities: Strength 8 Poisonous Sting, First Strike

Buildings: Units:
Trade Goods
Builder’s Hall Engineers (6)
City Walls
Miner’s Guild
Mechanician’s Guild Artisans (4)
Barracks Spearmen (8)
Fighter’s Guild Great Hornets (2)
Armorer’s Guild War Wasp (1)
War College Royal Drones (2)
Smithy Swordsmen (8)
Sawmill Bowmen (6)
Forester’s Guild Ballista Moth (1)
Sage’s Guild
Parthenon Priests (6)
Farmer’s Market

Can’t build: Stable, Shipwright’s Guild, Alchemist’s Guild

Unrest levels (same bonus for same-race capital as the Klackons):
Barbarians 20
Beastmen 20
Dark Elves 20
Draconians 20
Dwarves 20
Gnoll 40
Halflings 10
High Elves 10
High Men 20
Klackons 10
Lizardmen 10
Nomads 10
Orcs 20
Trolls 20

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Iluvalar » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:15 pm

Sounds good. But why a race with only flying troops would bother about building roads or crushing walls ?
Unless they are a myran race ?

My personal choice would be a pathfinding + scouting unit

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:23 pm

Well, I think they shoudl have Engineer-type units to reflect their industrious nature, and i guess they would build roads for their allies to use. Maybe they should be closer to the Klackons, to explain this?

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by elliott20 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:53 am

Guys, these are fantastic. Korenn and Lucern, you guys are awesome. I wonder if it's possible at a later date to create a tool that allows you to not just add a single unit at a time, but to drop entire finished races into the game at one go. Can't imagine how that would be done, since I'm unfortunately not a programmer. (Haven't been for 6 years)

While I like the concept of the Orientals (being of Chinese decent myself), I fail to see what specific strategic niche they'd fill. That and the flavor is clearly more Japanese than Pan-Asian in general. So I think a Japanese related name might be more appropriate for them. Also, the Shugenja was more than just a priest, they also served as exorcists, so perhaps a dispel evil or fairy fire spell might be appropriate, rather than resist elements.

What about new heroes? Have you guys given any thought to those? I'm sure you have, as that's probably one of the funnest parts.

Heroes of the Goblins

Bdoken the Sapper
I had an idea for the commander hero who is weak in combat but is awesome at making the stack powerful. Seeing the original write up for the goblin race I think it would be awesome to have the hero go there. Add to the whole concept of goblins being sneaky guys, maybe we can make this guy our first Engineer hero as well. (maybe we should just call him Dilbert for laughs)
Ability list
First Strike
Wall Crusher
Throw Weapons
Road maker? (I don't see the ability in there, which makes me think it's been subsumed by the create outpost ability)

Bodark the Fierce
Opposite to Bdoken the Sapper, Bodark is a hobgoblin hero who rose through the ranks. While providing a modicum level of leadership bonus (can we control when they get these abilities?), he's basically a souped up warrior as far as fighting is concerned. (Except maybe with a crappier throw attack)

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:47 pm

Yeah, I've thought about heroes, too. I want to add at least one hero for each of the races that do not presently have one. Most of the races look human, and the rest are of only a few different races (High Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Draconian). I'll give it some more thought.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by elliott20 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:47 am

that's true, even the standard races don't have heroes yet. maybe I should try to create a couple heroes for those guys first. I'm gonna try for a halfling hero first then.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:38 am

I suck at creating the graphics, but I'll try to make a Klackon hero.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by elliott20 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:27 am

I'm actually having a hard time extracting the graphics files from the LBX using the editor. The editor insists that it can't access the LBX folder despite me having directed it several times. Of course, I could just go ahead and use the existing files Lucern created as templates and then stick them in once I figure out how to extract properly... but how, Lucern is totally right about the graphics. I tried creating out a Japanese castle for the Orientals (the image turned out to be the wrong size though, so I couldn't use it) with the wizard fortress as base. And man, just that ONE image took me almost 2 hours. And I'm STILL not happy with it.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lubricus » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:21 am

Yeah, I'm afraid that until someone creates a decent tool for adding the graphics, I won't be able to add anything to the game... :(

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Korenn » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:25 am

there's a reason it's called pixel-art. :D

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lucern » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:54 am

Korenn wrote: Most of that should be easily automated, and made easier to use, as long as I can get access to the editor code ;)
As I understood it, Implode doesn't mind giving out the editor code, so that should be ok (I'll mail him). I also read that it's java, which means that extending it to have nice browse and drag-and-drop features for file names should be almost trivial to implement. If it's not java, that will just take a bit longer.

Automating the generation of the UNXXX_DY_WALKFLY IDs also should be possible.
I'm glad to hear that the key parts of this can probably be put into a wizard if Implode shares some code. That's great news.
Concerning “[Name of the race][Name of Unit] [Action (Either 'melee attacking' or 'walking/flying)'][Direction]", are 'name of race' and 'name of unit' defined earlier? if so, this can be generated from that as well. I notice from looking at the default units (e.g. the nagas) that those strings aren't present in all graphic definitions. To be more precise, it appears to only be present for those definitions where there isn't a picture to be seen in the editor. Any idea why this is so?
Right now I'm thinking it might be easiest to create a wizard for 'add unit', which handles generating all the different entries from a couple of base variables you enter (like unit id, unit name, graphics path, etc)....[snip]
I assume that after the graphics have been defined, you create the actual unit stats somewhere else and then reference these? How does that bit work?

OK, I've been poking around in the editor a bit more with your explanation as a guide, and I think I get this a bit more. As far as I see it, you can give your animation definitions whatever name you want, as long as you reference the right name from the combat action in your unit definition. The speed appears to be the playback speed, which happens to be 6 for all units (but is not 6 for other animations).

As long as you're consistent in both the graphics and rules xml files, the unit itself does not actually need to have the string 'UNXXX' as name, you can choose something else as well, which is a good thing. For extension purposes, it's probably best *not* to make your own units have the name UN199 and onwards, because someone else might use that unit id as well in their own creation, making the two incompatible. You should probably pick an id along the lines of LUCERNUN001 and count from those. At this point it appears to be a huge hassle (or practically impossible) to combine additions from different people in the same game, but I'm sure that will be made easier in the future.

My comment about the animation text string not always being present refers to the 'combat images' window, not the animations window. I don't understand what the 'combat images' window is supposed to show, but it's not consistent.
Hey Korenn,

First off, I apologize for taking so long to respond to this. You offer to help in a way that could save weeks of boring data input and I disappear. Not cool. If it helps, I'm a grad student lol. I should be back to you all lickety-split from now on.

You're dead on that the unit description doesn't matter much. If it's being automated, it would seem to matter even less. I'm a bit confused as to why your nagas didn't have a pic in the editor though. All unit pics are accounted for in mine. In the graphics XML, it doesn't seem to care much about the name of the race and unit. As you probably saw, the server xml is the one with those, and adding that stuff isn't too bad there - it just links to the graphics with the unit ID.

Good idea about it being better to avoid using the UNXXX format to name my units, not to mention the RCXX for the races. Instead I'm simply using LUXXX for my units.

It's also true what you say about it being basically impossible to combine works from multiple people. With a wizard like you discuss though, the work could be done faster. If the game's progress somehow outpaces the ability to patch multiple people's work together, I wouldn't have a problem sending the xmls of this mod around so that others can make their additions. We'll cross that stream when we get there though.
But are these really all the steps you have to take? It sounds laborious, but to me it looks like it's missing graphics offsets. And what about defining sound effects?
I completely neglected this part, as it has been a few months since I messed with it...I went in to correct my error, and it wouldn't open. The server XML is easy, and it will serve us well, but make more backups than I did. I didn't lose anything, really. I added a race...failed to give it a city name, and rather than letting me back in to correct it, it generates an exception. It's been awhile since I added those goblin spearmen, but as far as I can tell, as long as the unit ID matches, that's all you have to do to get it to recognize the related graphics. I would recommend not worrying about the server xml end as far as graphics go. The onerous tasks are in the graphics xml. I do have some suggestions regarding the server xml though...think I'll post those elsewhere.

I'm pretty sure the sound effects are in the server xml as well. At this very moment, I can't open it again lol...crashed it hard core. My goblins in game had sound, so it must have been simple. I see some stray sound options in the graphics xml...not sure what those are about.
Last edited by Lucern on Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Post by Lucern » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:32 pm

Regarding invisible gnomes: I like the idea in theory, and it fits. However, I don't really like the way the game handles invisibles – I wish there were some levels of stealth that meant that you couldn't see them until they were close (as in, adjacent), another where they were invisible until they were in battle, a third where you can only see them when they're 2-3 squares away, and a final 'magical' invisibility that all invisible units currently enjoy. I will add that the gnomes enjoy 9 new units already, and that the illusionists should be interesting opponents. :D I did add a Free Man spy unit which is invisible, but except for the kinds of abuse that can be done with invisibles, it's not winning any battles. Rather, they'll be taking advantage of the fog of war system Implode added.

Regarding Bee People: This should be quite cool Lubricus. I had some vague thoughts about a counterpoint to the Klackons, and I find it interesting that you went virtually the opposite direction. Cool -this means I can still do it lol. I imagined the Klackons to be the more sentient of the two, and the two would despise each other because the Klackons were a slave race that escaped the draw of hive-thinking. I'm also considering an avian race to cover the flying thing, but they're a bit down the list, and only if I make a 3rd plane. Too many flyers in one area...yikes.

By the way, I was sure that good old Latin from the scientific classification of bees would help us. I was wrong. Apoidea? Hymenoptera? I mean, Hy Men would be funny, but...wrong lol.

Looks like a well-developed concept and description that make mine look a bit fluffy. Wait, mine ARE a bit fluffy. Balance is for later :D Oh, and I had a good laugh at the gnolls raiding them for honey. Furry punks.

Re elliott20 and his heroes: I too have thought about heroes. The trick with heroes is that they're MORE work than normal units lol. You have to specify more complicated attributes and draw a MoM-friendly pic of them. Still, heroes make up such an important part of the game, that I fully support as many heroes as the full range of awesome and somewhat bumbling. I'm honored that a goblin hero was the first to be mentioned. I'd be glad to have Bdoken lead my troops. The Sapper is an interesting hero idea. Especially if he can build roads. Genius.

Looks like you guys are running into some graphics snags? I figured out what little I know through this thread. ... &sk=t&sd=a

Don't confuse the graphics xml with making graphics – it only assigns graphics to things in game. Or rather, unless Korenn saves our butts, you add them, somewhat pain-stakingly, through the graphics xml.

1) On the downloads page of the main MOM IME site you can find the graphics extractor that converts LBX files to .BMP. I don't mean the editor. It'll explain what's up in regard to those. It's called LBXExtract utility v1.2, right at the bottom:

2)Get a program you like for doing graphics. I went through a bunch of DOS programs, because I'm into DOS emulation. After trying 8-9 different programs, I started using Ultimate Paint, which is free (and windows based). It's extremely simple and has a lot of good choices for this kind of work by default. It opens those tiny pics to full size, starts you off with a 1-pixel brush, and it can handle 12-15 windows before slowing down my sluggish laptop. How perfect is that? You'll get the hang of it pretty quick. There might be a better solution out there. I wonder what the MoM folks used...

3) Think about whether or not there are any similarities in what you want to draw and what MoM has. Then go and find it. This takes more time than you think because most OSes by default handle images of MoM's size may have to open up and zoom before you know what's what, and there are THOUSANDS of images. I used halflings as the basis for my first goblin - so I went and found them in the folder I had extracted the LBXes to. So I copied all the halfling spearman frames, recolored one, and shaped it until it was the way I wanted. Even if there's nothing similar, the scale is immensely helpful – you'll know about how tall the drawing will be, you'll know where it stands on the ground, and most importantly, which direction and animation you're currently working on. To better organize my files, I actually made folders with each race as I went through the LBXes, and another folder for larger images. I may need to go get buildings too.

4) Copy the .BMP files from the extracted images to a folder that you're working in. Open up the direction facing you, or whichever you think will be easiest to think about first. Draw away. Each direction has a numeric ending:

000 – This is the walking/riding/slithering/movement animation frame for this direction.
001 – This is the default – the unit stands at attention facing this direction
002 – This is an alternate walk animation, like, the other foot. Used for flying. Can be used creatively to work with the attack as well.
003 – This is the attack frame for that animation

Make your hero or unit come to life in all 32 directions.

5) When that's done, you can make the overland image by finding the overland extracted images wherever you extracted them from the game. They're positioned a bit differently, so find a similar one and work your mojo similar to the above. This time it's only one frame, but it's an important one. If you're doing a race, you'll also need a farmer, rebel, and worker for each one (and it may be possible to have other civilian types). Those are also somewhere in the extracted graphics. Be patient in finding them, as there are a LOT in there.

6) A note about color – there are 3 specific shades of green that the game turns into Wizard colors – you can use them for flags, tabards, and whatever else. The extractor makes a lot of extra files showing these. Open up a high man swordsman and look at his clothing for the 3 shades. Another shade is used for shadows in floating creatures and horses. Finally, good old 00FF00'll be staring at quite a bit of that. It's transparent. An advantage we have here is that we can use ANY color we want other than these 5. I generally make a palette of color choices on the first frame I make. For every color you want, make 5 or so shades of it, from darkest to brightest so that you can mimic the surprisingly detailed MoM artwork. I don't think I've seen more than 5 shades of a color on a unit. This is helpful especially when you're doing recolor work of any kind. Start with the brightest and work your way down as you replace colors...if you get lost, replace the darkest color and meet in the middle. Have all of these shades available in on your first frame, and continually select from it as you make your other frames for speedy color management. While you're on this, sometimes it can help to have 'items' copied here too...for example, I copy swords and spears over to get the color progression right as I animate them.

7) One convention you should note is that virtually every unit in the game has a black border. It doesn't need to be a specific color of black, but know that it's an important visual offset to separate the unit from the rest of the world. Some magic effects will add colorful layers on top of this, and if you've got a black border, your units will fit right in. Also note that the black border doesn't extend to the soles of the feet by convention, so that they can appear to be on the ground. It also doesn't appear on a few select things that would be aesthetically wrong. Like, a black cape doesn't need a black border. One last note about this, the black border isn't a 'part' of the which I mean the sword gets a black border all the way around - our eyes will see the sword better because of it rather than seeing a 3 pixel wide huge sword. I basically mean that the border goes AROUND, not IN the unit. You'll see plenty of examples of this as you look around the images you extract.

8 ) At this point consider yourself done for now. I do not recommend doing any major work in the graphics or server editors, as your work could be rewritten with each version of the editors. It would be good, however, to do enough work there to see a few frames in action for yourself. In the last stages, you'll bring the unit to life in the server xml, but that stage is simple and fun (...keep backups lol).

9) PM me and I'll try to answer any questions you have.

I've read that some of you are doing building graphics. Use the same concept I've written here – find something similar in the MoM graphics for scale and position with the graphics extractor and draw a few frames over it to get the right position and scale.

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