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Riseofpersia.com • View topic - The great news....31 faction slots in mtw2


Rise of Persia - a full modification for Rome: Total War, based around the rise of the Achaemenid Persian dynasty.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:28 pm 
Rise of Persia developer

Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 208
Location: mumbai
let the quote speeks

for those who dont have time like me ,read highlights here

Originally Posted by Epistolary Richard at the .Org

Whilst my conversations with the developers have elicited even more technical information about the files than below there’s simply too much to type out in the time available. So for my last report out here on site in the CA OZ office in Brisbane I present the highlights of what’s new in some of the files that you’ll see and also answers to some of the many questions that have come out of the community in advance of and during my trip.

Before I jump into it through, I would just like to formally extend my thanks to everyone in the CA OZ office for being so friendly and welcoming and so generous with their time in talking to me. Especial thanks to Palamedes for having the idea in the first place, then making it all happen and being so kind in ferrying me around and generally looking after me whilst I was there.

And now on with the info...

A new file which exposes some new stuff – specifically the range at which skirmishers start to retreat from enemy units, how long you need to take the plaza for in siege battles and a new ratio of attackers to defenders in the plaza that’ll count the plaza as captured. As well as this the file controls how the game controls movement up ladders and towers and along corridors.

This includes the ‘grand tactical analyser’ which is how the game tracks the distinct phases of each battle and when it will look to split or merge its formations and attempt to flank. It also includes the range at which melee units will look to engage (by infantry, missile, cavalry in both the open and in settlements, the time it will factor in to brace when consider adopting a bracing formation and a retreat analyser for the cavalry for them to know when they will retreat and charge again and how far back they will go. There’s also a heck of a lot of conditionals for how the AI responds in settlement and river crossing battles. Far too many for me to dig into now, but plenty to keep the community busy.

A new file so lots to look at here – this controls the various banners (faction, crusade, royal, unit, experience) used in the game. As well as textures, translucency and so forth it allows you to set the ‘flutter’ of the banner, which allows fixed, solid standards.

Another new file, this controls how roads are drawn across the battlemap, their width, tapering and fall-off. Different road types can be defined in different climates.

This exposes some of the decision making processes that the AI factions go through at a strategic level in terms of who to attack, who to keep peace with and who to ally with. There’s a set default behaviour which can then be overriden in a variety of special cases. These are determined by different faction_ai_labels which are associated to a faction in the descr_strat file.

A new and pretty extensive file – this includes the modifiers by which we can tune the campaign equations such as religion and agent success. There’s also an auto-resolve section which looks promising.

There are now 12 total climates in the game – 2 of which are unused and should be available for us to modify and apply.

Hardcoded limit of a maximum of 7 cultures.

Effects now includes a ‘shockwave’ effect which is what shakes the camera when you’re close to that event.

Events can now be included in both this file and the campaign script file – with a new event that allows us to trigger a script off an event happen and increment other events at the same time. A lot of the stuff in there for M2 should be very useful for us in adding new campaign dynamics and storylines and I can tell you as a scripter that I am very excited by it all!

This includes a trigger system that completely controls which actions have an impact on each faction’s international reputation. Among many other new things there’s a demeanour event – which calls back into your faction standing your behaviour in diplomacy. Act like an arse in your negotiations and you can bet other factions will hear about it!

This looks very familiar to the Rome file. However a programmer did give me a list of the 18 coded purpose flags and 20 unit types used which I should be able to get clearance to release.

This file now regenerates from its associated text file – which is going to make things a lot easier. The coding looks very similar to Rome and includes all the terrain textures used on the battlemap. One new aspect is the addition of macro, micro and vertical textures which are part of the improvement we’ve seen in M2 battlefields. This file also controls the blood, mud, dirt, flame and snow overlay textures used by the game on the models.

This is a similar file to the Rome descr_senate but far more extensive. It’s possible to add new variants on existing missions or blank the file completely for mods that don’t use them.

Pretty much unchanged from Rome – the campaign map models are simple .cas and .tga files which we should have no trouble making or converting our existing Rome pieces.

This replaces descr_beliefs.txt. There doesn’t appear to be anything that prevents adding new religions but this has to be tested. The code expects certain religions such as catholic, islam and heretic to be there otherwise some game concepts such as crusades and jihads won’t work properly.

This includes the ability to modify the impact of squalor, distance from capital and population thresholds for the different city levels.

Apparently, there are now 31 faction slots available to be used (one must be slave). It’s perfectly possible to add new factions and there’s is a list of files as long as my finger that need to be adjusted as a result. But it can be done!

Hardcoded limit of 26.

One thing to highlight here that I know many of you have been concerned about. There’s a line:
which can be easily commented out...

This is regenerated from its associated text file. NB every time you want the file to regenerate you have to increment the version number at the top or it won’t. This file controls how the AI works out which routes to take on the battlemap. This file includes the variables which set the gradient for impassible terrain (set by infantry, cavalry, elephant and different siege types) and the movement penalty for steep terrain.

Unfortunately, descr_vegetation.db is now a file which appears is not regenerated from the text file if it is deleted. We’ll have to see how far we can get with direct file overwrites and hex editing.

export_descr_ancillaries.txt and export_descr_character_traits.txt
A lot of new conditions in there – I’ve seen the docudemon files but alas not had a chance to go through them with a fine toothcomb. There’s also more attributes that can be affected (82 to be specific) – again we should be able to get a complete list. Just a few highlights, traits can now be decremented as well as incremented without the use of an anti-trait. An I_WorldWideAncillaryExists conditional is in place to ensure that only one of certain ancillaries will ever exist at any one time and there’s a new PaybackID condition which fires on the completion of a mission

edb now controls the initial number of units available to be recruited from different buildings, the refresh rate and the unit max in a similar manner to mercenaries. You can also control what buildings do when the settlement is converted from city to castle and vice versa. Some hidden resources are now used in descr_missions.txt, to prefer guild and crusade/jihad targets _and_ - which I know some people will find most exciting – allow brigands and pirates to be completely switched off in certain provinces via a script command!

Perhaps most interestingly, there’s a new event_counter condition that can be used – referencing events in descr_events and in the campaign script. This should allow complete control over when and how certain troops become available to be recruited.

In terms of hardcoded limits – 64 for hidden resources as before, now up to 10 buildings in a chain (consecutively, without needing to branch) and I’m told that there doesn’t appear to be any limit on the number of complexes – however I’m taking this with a pinch of salt personally. We better test it first.

Everything to do with the likelihood of being offered guilds is controlled through here – operating a similar trigger system to eda. There doesn’t appear to be a hardcoded limit on the number of guilds.

export_descr_sounds_soldier_voice.txt & other sound files
There may not be anything preventing us from adding new accents in (for those people who want to add linguistically correct voices for all factions) but it looks like it would be a lot of work.

Looks like there are just over 400 units in the edu file – nothing definite as to whether they might have bumped up the hardcoded limit in there. What you will see that’s new are accents as well as voice types, a line for both primary and secondary banners and different model references for units with upgraded armour! We’ve also finally discovered what that final variable in the stat_pri line is: ‘Skeleton compensation factor’ – apparently the lower the better.

_enums.txt files
Watch out, it looks like these may now be required. We’ll have to test it.

Here you can create new weather cycles. The cycles are a series of weather states where you can define the skydome texture, cloud textures, cloud movement, rain, fog and lighting. It’s even possible to set up custom states just for historical battles which can then be applied through the Battle Editor.

Specific questions and answers

What are the unit caps for each type of unit?
They vary according to the unit – this can be changed in the export_descr_unit file.

How is gonna be skinning? DDS again or a different method for it?
Skins, and several other graphic files, are in a file format called .texture – I’m told these a very similar to .dds however not identical.

Do militia units have a population calming bonus?
They appear to have the same population calming as other units.

Can cities/castles only hold militia units for free or is it any unit
There’s a special attribute in edu that controls this – so it will depend on that.

Will it finally be better to have militia units as population caming force of will peasants rule the day once again due to their superiour numbers and cheap upkeep?
The is_peasant attribute is still in there, presumably this has the same impact as before in Rome in terms of reducing the garrison effectiveness of peasant units.

Will it use similar formation scripting such as RTW?

Will they allow us to know all the hidden commands there?
There’s a list of purpose flags and unit types understood by the game in that file. I’ll post a copy.

I would also like to know if there is a horde feature similar to the one in BI, or if it would be possible to have it in a mod?
The horde feature is used by a couple of different factions in M2 so yes.

Will the Old World and the New World be on same map files (I mean tga) or on different files?
On the same .tga files.

I have one though, as units gain experience and armor and weapon upgrades, do they also gain armour and new weapons on the battlefield?
Armour upgrades do reference different models and therefore will change a unit’s appearance on the battlemap.

Does the AI retrain or merge units that have become below full strength?
Yes to both as I understand, though there is less of a benefit to retraining over merging now so you probably won’t see the AI returning to a city just for that purpose.

Will there be any contest between modder teams such as Epic's "make something unreal"
It’s something I’m sure they’re considering – but personally I wouldn’t have a clue about how to compare mods in a competitive environment….

Has morale been upped, or are routs on impact to be expected?
The length of combat appears to have been generally increased.

Any mod tools planned? (editors, import/export etc)
I know there’s a lot of interest on this score – but this is an area that I really have to let CA make announcements as and when they’re able to do so.

Movement speed per unit moddable?
Only to the extent it was in Rome. The difficulty is – as modders have found – is to get the animations to sync with the movement speeds. Soldiers’ legs don’t move at an independent speed to the rest of their body.

To be able to specify the exact date when you can begin to train a unit in the campaign and an exact end date also, to allow for easier progression to new unit types.
It’s possible to set the recruitment of units based on certain events defined in the descr_events and campaign script files. So, yes, with a bit of work it would appear that that’s possible.

Did you see an OR operator in the scripts?
It doesn’t look like it.

please find out if adding famous heroes/kings is possible once more?
Nothing’s integrated within the game specifically for this purpose – but the scripting language should give you some options.

I'm excited about the possibilities Alexander brought, with you being able to choose unique Strat Map/Battle Map models for certain characters, and I'd like to know if this has been carried over to Medieval II.
Not at this time – but I agree it was a cool feature of Alexander and would be good for M2.

Game speed (kill rates and run speed) is still top of my list of questions about M2TW. Is it RTW style speed or MTW style speed?
I never played MTW, but I can say that full out battles and individual combat engagements do appear to take longer than Rome.

Can we edit/create new skeletons?
That will probably depend on getting an exporter.

Will it be possible to mod in extra religions?
I’m told it is.

Will it be possible to tie in recruitment or traits to diplomatic relations?
Traits have always been able to be based off diplomatic stances, as for recruitment there should be some mileage in using event conditionals that can then be triggered by scripts.

Will there be an Ancillary condition (in the same way that there is a Trait condition)?

Any information you could find out about the Campaign map would be great. Particularly any limits on sizes, the amount of water etc.
The campaign map files look very similar to the Rome ones. The current thinking is that the limits are probably the same. Given the inclusion of the Atlantic, however we’ll have to see if that’s required them to change the amount of water possible.

Also are seasons represented and is the map coded to just two types (summer and Winter) as in RTW etc.

I'm very interested in the class system, allowing only a certain number of unit types to be trained each turn .. could this be extended to dividing up the population - Aristocrats, merchants, peasants etc.
No, it doesn’t look like it. Unit caps are determined by unit rather than by ‘class’.

Are the rome abilities (e.g., testudo, shieldwall) still in the game (would they be recognized if one assigned the attribute to a unit in the EDU)?
Possibly, they typically don’t take stuff out without a reason. We’ll have to test that one.

Will it be possible to remove the pope from a campaign (e.g., if one wanted to create an ancient era mod)? The same goes for crusades
Should be. The Pope doesn’t look hardcoded like the senate was.

In MTW2 do they still use the same file to control the actual heghts in the cmapaign map v the battle map (the descr_terrain.txt file). In RTW this has led to people increasing heights characteristics so the campaign maps look 'better' but when you use them in the battle maps the slopes become way too steep.
It would be great to know if they split this into two different files to overcome the problem.
Looks like the map files are still integrated. Sorry.

Can there be Queens?
There are Queens, they just aren’t agent types in the same way as princesses. I imagine because they’re presumed to be traveling with their husbands or back home delivering heirs.

The maps... Are they small and ugly like RTW or big and tactical interesting like MTW Vi?
The playable area of the battlefield (which I presume you’re referring to) depends on the type of battle. For historical battles it can be altered. I’m told for campaign battles there are two settings for the map size, normal for 1 v 1 battles and large for battles containing a siege or more than 2 armies – though this may require armies from different factions rather than just having reinforcement armies from the same faction. We’ll have to test that. They all look great though.

Can factions re-emerge?
Probably not in the way you mean. Talking to one of the programmers though, there may be something we can mod into it. We’ll have to test it out.

Does the "Rebel" faction remains a faction like the others in it's habilities or is it something more vast without unit or model limitations, like the ability to have several different culture types for Generals (read family members) and Lesser Generals (read captains).
I haven’t gone into this in detail, but the mechanics behind the slave faction appear pretty similar to Rome.

Can assassins kill there own factions generals?
No – you’ll just have to send them on one-way boat cruises as you did in Rome.

What about modifing city /catle layouts? If we deploy walls and make so a mini city or a minicastle or something with a custom weird shape will the AI recognize the castle inside and outside and act consequently ....
That sort of thing sounds possible but difficult without a settlement editor – which was on my list of tools to request.

What about importing units , how this work , will they do a tool ? what about customizeable cityscapes and castlescapes ? What about importing new buildings , ? altering the vegetation ? And what about how to edit what is walkeable on structures like walls and what not?
It’s tough to see how we might go about cracking the whole model import thing without CA’s help as the game optimisation process makes things very complicated. Textures might be more doable as, though they have a new file format, this is apparently very similar to .dds files so hopefully one of our programmers will be able to work up a converter – even independently of CA if need be.

How about importing/exporting siege artillery animations?
That would be a feature of a CA animation exporter – as obviously they can do it…

We had so much trouble with the building conditionals in the EDB.txt file, it took ages to figure out how "or" worked, then with 1.5 it seemed to change. "and not" made the building browser break and not show any further levels once it was used. That sort of thing. I really wonder if they could make conditionals behave more logically this time around.
The operators from edb haven’t been changed from Rome so I’m not sure what state that means they will be in –no one here worked on them back then. Unfortunately, it’s just not the case that they push what they can do with the game to the same extent as we do.

In other news - Announcement about the future of Org M2TW modding community leadership

I'll be shortly taking a step back from my presence in the TW community for an extended period. While I'll not be disappearing completely, it will be a matter of spending minutes on the Org where I used to spend hours. Real life events have cropped up and, for these and my own sanity I need to take my foot off the gas pedal for a while.

As some of you will have read, Myrddraal has also recently announced that he will be looking to phase out his time commitments as moderator, though we look forward to his report from Gold Code day and hope he'll continue to treat us with his cutting edge modding research.

Whilst I hope to get cover from a staff moderator from another area to be on call in case of misbehaviour, flames, the inevitable spam accounts and other forum rule breaches - that will still leave a vital gap in terms of the development and growth of the Org M2 modding community at this critical time of the game's release.

I am very much hoping that a small group of members - who are experienced, respected modders intending to actively mod M2 or follow the M2 mod community - will step forward to fill these modding community leader/facilitator roles. To be castellans - for a suitably medievally themed word - and to have as their focus to support the M2 mod community in their different ways to try and make it a successful and friendly environment of which we can all be proud of being members.

Castellans will have the opportunity to align their role with their own personal interests - and set for themselves what they want to do in order to help make their own section of the modding boards the most beneficial for both themselves and others. They will have no specific duties beyond that of an ordinary member and there will be no set number of them - each one will simply be a matter of having the right person come along and demonstrate how they want to make a difference and help the areas they are most passionate about be the best that they can be.

The whole concept is designed to be as flexible and open as possible so that established modders - those who've developed reputations in the Rome or Medieval modding communities - can feel comfortable that taking on such a position will not impede them going out and devoting the time they want to in making their mods. Indeed, I would hope that being involved and in touch with the larger in a such a way will only make it easier for them to complete the projects they set themselves.

To give some examples of how members with different interests might get involved - and remember these are just suggestions - members will hopefully bring their own ideas to their roles

A modder who's interested in trying to bring new modders along and keep the 'community knowledge bank' as comprehensive and useful as possible might consider getting involved as a castellan of the tutorials section, encourage new tutorials to be written and keep the tutorials database up to date so others can find the information they want as easily as possible.

A modder who's interested in seeing as many mods actually making it to release and being as polished as possible might consider becoming a castellan of the Mods In Development section, help developing mods come along, advise them in how to organise and promote themselves and help get them in touch with modders interested in joining teams or with the technical skills to make the thing that the developing mod most desperately needs.

A modder who's interested in being at the cutting edge of research and developing a collaborative approach with other research modders might consider becoming a Research castellan - use the Research Wiki to its greatest extent and bring together info on the latest discoveries made all throughout the modding community.

A modder or mod-user who loves previews and following the latest events might consider becoming a News castellan, write news articles and roundups to highlight the latest happenings within the modding scene.

As I say, these are just a few examples - the right kind of respected, experienced member can decide themselves exactly what they think the community needs and how they're going to help bring it about.

Now, I realise this is only the opening announcement - I'm sure there are a lot of points that I haven't addressed and questions I haven't answered. Do please ask for any more details here or feel free to get in touch with me either by PM or MSN on epistolaryrichard at hotmail.co.uk to talk it through.


Epistolary Richard


happy modding [/quote]

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