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Kraellin
11-19-2000, 00:06
hi guys,

i'm an old game player from way back and a map maker as well. i've played literally thousands of computer games since about 1972 when i used to play on mainframes.

i've seen a couple posts in here that suggest that there shld be a unit editor of some sort. i hate to break it to you but this is a bad idea. simply put, this will invite 'cheating'. you can edit terrain, textures, weather and so on with no problem, but as soon as you start editing the units themselves as to their stats you get 'cheating'. this has wrecked many a good online game every time it occurs.

there is also a compatibility issue for multiplay. you'd have to find someone that had the exact same unit values as yourself in order to play online.

and, i believe i saw something on the totalwar.com site that mentioned time stamping. that means that if you do alter the unit values your game will suffer bad effects because the servers are set up to recognize altered unit values and consider them 'hacked games' and throw them out.

from a purely gaming point of view, i agree that it might be nice to be able to play a friend in an altered unit game where one could modify units as they wished or based on a point system where you added points to units as you saw fit. you could then simulate such things as crack troops fighting untrained masses.

but i'm afraid the way the game is set up currently, if you try to alter unit values with a third party editor you might as well throw away ALL multiplayer play because it just wont work for this game as it is.

my best suggestion is to write the game makers and perhaps get them to allow differing koku amounts for opposing teams or differing honor points for opposing teams or both, but please, stay away from third party unit editors; it will only spoil the online game. if time stamping does exist on this game then the only ones capable of altering unit values will be the game creators themselves and even if it doesnt exist then i'd still stay away from it because of compatiblility and 'cheating'.

it's a nice idea, but it just wont work in this game.

K.

chicken
11-19-2000, 05:20
Good point Kraellin that would really screw up multiplayer. Imagine playing someone who edited Heavy calvary and hired there attack, and defense power all the way up. And they made them invincible to any attack. Wouldn't that be unfair.

Rob
11-19-2000, 07:08
I've looked into the possibility of unit editing and I have not yet found where the unit data is held. I suspect that unit attributes (attack ratings, speed etc.) is hard-coded into the program file, making it extremely difficult to locate and dangerous to edit.

I don't think we will be seeing unit attribute editing any time soon. As far as unit graphics are concerned, these are much easier to edit. But this would only affect the person who has the edited graphics. When playing against that person you would see the normal graphics.

The Black Ship
11-19-2000, 07:25
Kinda the same problem I encountered playing/making a mod-pack for AOE. Apain to do, and unless your opponent was using the same mod, only you could see your handiwork http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/frown.gif

Yamaga Shimazu
11-19-2000, 17:28
Answering to Kraellin, mostly:
http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif


"i've seen a couple posts in here that suggest that there shld be a unit editor of some sort. i hate to break it to you but this is a bad idea. simply put, this will invite 'cheating'".

Not to mention the number of ppl i am trying to involve in the project who all have experience in developing and programming...
I have personal experience with betatesting and multiplayer compatibility.
All of the unit values and changes to the game, excepted the graphics and sounds which are only related to the single player who has them modified, are to be introduced in a stand-off patch program which would coordinate every single patch added regarding the multiplayer.
These .cpp files appearing in the list of this program, would be shared among players in order to :
prevent cheating
allowing compatibility.


"there is also a compatibility issue for multiplay. you'd have to find someone that had the exact same unit values as yourself in order to play online".

True, the "official values" would be plainly visible in the program window.


"and, i believe i saw something on the totalwar.com site that mentioned time stamping. that means that if you do alter the unit values your game will suffer bad effects because the servers are set up to recognize altered unit values and consider them 'hacked games' and throw them out".

This could be true. A very good point.
Most online games use a server for connection between pla but the host of the game USUALLY hosts on his own ip.
What i mean is that i PRESUME the eaplay server is just a lobby while all of the connection setup and hosting/joining lies in the shogun game on our hard drives.
In other words, eaplay would be a big lobby, nothing more, nothing less.


"from a purely gaming point of view, i agree that it might be nice to be able to play a friend in an altered unit game where one could modify units as they wished or based on a point system where you added points to units as you saw fit. you could then simulate such things as crack troops fighting untrained masses".

All of this has come out of realism issues which the actual stw lacks.
Surely, all type of players would be satisfied with an editor that lets the player choose what kind of game to play, from the realism fanatic (me) to the arcade player http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif


"if time stamping does exist on this game then the only ones capable of altering unit values will be the game creators themselves and even if it doesnt exist then i'd still stay away from it because of compatiblility and 'cheating'".

A good point, i understand ur reasons and am "scared" about that too.
I have tried to contact the programmers and Richie (dreamtime web manager) but yet no answer came back.
All of your points have been signalled and we are all waiting for the 1.13 and see what it's got.

Rob
11-19-2000, 17:48
Wouldn't it simply be easier to persuade the developers to alter the game so unit values are loaded from a resource file?

Going to the extent of writing a patch for an executable which you have no documentation - source code or otherwise - for seems a little drastic. I'm a programmer myself and I have doubts about whether it could be done.

Editing unit attributes is ok, since this is likely to be held in a data section and would not require modification of any executable code. But it is possible, even likely, that the incompatibilities this would lead to would be an absolute nightmare.

Unofficial patches have a rather bad reputation and deservedly so. I would certainly never use an unofficial patch on any game of mine. You say .cpp files would be distributed, but how will non-programmers understand them? Presumably an executable version will be distributed with the source file, since very few people have compilers. What is the guarantee that the executable and the source file match?

Do I misunderstand what you are trying to do?

Yamaga Shimazu
11-19-2000, 22:24
Quoting Rob:

[B]Wouldn't it simply be easier to persuade the developers to alter the game so unit values are loaded from a resource file?

Dunno, from past experiences, when the project is done...it would be easier to dig for oil with bare hands... http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/frown.gif
Yes, if the programmers gave out some infos that would really be a GREAT thing towards improvement.

[omissis]

Rob, go check this program with which they made everything compatible with Falcon4, a program i GUESS 30000 times more complex than stw.
It's called f4patch.
http://www.bierling.net/joel/index.htm

I betatested falcon3 and falcon4.

Basically a new .EXE is launched and results are outstanding.
After an year of development and without any help from the microprose, the ibeta company and the so called realism group have thoroughly changed the game to the point NOONE actually plays falcon4 by launching the original exe and no falcon4 player doesn't have this f4patch.

ONce a program like this is done, those who wanna play normal shogun, launch it by shogun.exe.
The others launch it via XXxxXXxXXxx.exe and the parameters of this new exe lie plainly visible in this f4patch.
See with your eyes. http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Kraellin
11-20-2000, 00:55
ah, i see what yer sayin, yamaga. so essentially you could have multiple executables to launch several diff 'shoguns' if ya wanted to and still retain the original to play with those that didnt have the altered .exe's. or you could have 2 .exe's, the original and one that let you run a unit editor or some such for play with those that wanted to.

if that were possible then the only bugaboo in the works is if the game is time stamped. i do understand that some servers simply do 'hand-offs' to the host player who is then basically running an ip game, but if it's set up like the diablo II servers, which do do time stamping, then it still wont be possible without some sort of alteration by the game makers.

but, that does raise the possibility of doing another thing that diablo II does; it has 2 complete sets of servers, one for 'open' games and one for 'closed' or 'secure' games. the 'open' servers are NOT time stamped and anyone that wants to hack their files and alter parameters may do so and play on the 'open' servers without fear of being banned, while on the 'closed' servers you absolutely cannot hack files in any way. something like that would work very well for shogun as well, i'm thinking.

the other possibility would be to add an option to the game to allow direct ip games where you dont need EA's servers at all. diablo II also has that. it works very well. on ip games and the open servers you can hack away with no penalty and set up whatever you want. on the closed you play the game EXACTLY the way the creators designed it. these options give everyone pretty much what they want. the hackers can hack, the purists are free from hackers...best of both worlds.

K.

Rob
11-20-2000, 15:53
It might be possible to have direct IP games by making a new server, though this would be a big undertaking. I wrote a Shogun proxy server a couple of weeks ago that logs the packets being sent to the EA server; the protocol seems fairly straightforward, but I'm a bit too busy too work on it ATM, with the map editor and all http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Yamaga Shimazu
11-20-2000, 16:16
Yes kraell http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

it is exactly what i am saying and results are wonderful.

So wonderful in fact that a hundred thousand players around the world don't use the original f4108us.exe anymore.

The story of falcon4 is quite clear and started 2 years later than the expected release date!

They released 2 preversions, 1.04 and 1.05 with major bugs, unplayable.

They released 1.06 and the 1.06 localized (i bought the italian and had to get me a pir8 us version which allowed me to play online for the localized are incompatible and need a localized patch to be updated)

They released the 1.07 us patch.

They released the 1.08 patch.
BEWARE!!! as u can see they did NOT release 1.07 localized patches therefore say, an hispanian not having the us could NOT play the 1.08 online!

The unofficial versions started about with the 1.07.

RP, RP2, RP3 are from ibeta company.
Erazor also released 2 versions (they say he "stole" the main code from the microprose server).
C6 team also made 2 more versions and RP4 is due out very soon.

All of these unofficial patches are coordinated by a program called f4patch.
A player only has to see that he has the same falconxxxx.exe of the others and ask the others about the f4patch settings (that is, WHICH patches are applied) and he's set for multiplayer.

This to those who wish to wait for the ea to make an editor... http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif


if ya wanted to and still retain the original to play with those that didnt have the altered .exe's. or you could have 2 .exe's,

2 or MORE exes, since most assuredly every third party team will have its own exe all ya need is to have the same EXE of the other players.
If an editor is present too, then its infos should be applied BY and IN this standoff coordinating program (f4patch.exe in falcon4 case).
The setting of the editor are emailable, icqable, and readable http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Mind that these are facts, not speculations. The creator of f4patch is a genius!

if that were possible then the only bugaboo in the works is if the game is time stamped.

True, this is really the only thing that could mess things up!
But i see maps around...Tosa and ROb are making them and playing. MAYBE this story of timestamp is a big-time lie they go saying to prevent their game to be edited and tweaked.

I believe they are right to do that...perhaps i would try to protect the code for as long as i could myself.

i do understand that some servers simply do 'hand-offs' to the host player who is then basically running an ip game, but if it's set up like the diablo II servers, which do do time stamping, then it still wont be possible without some sort of alteration by the game makers.

Yes, further investigation is definitely needed.
The open-closed servers...need to think about this.
Should a thing like this be applied to an unofficial patch of stw, i bet the totalwar.org would become a lobby at once with publicly posted ips http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Rob
11-21-2000, 00:33
Not only is there a possibility of a time-stamp, but I believe there is already some form of crack protection included in the game.

The .exe file shogun.exe is not the actual STW program; all it does is launch shogun.icd, which is the actual program. Before doing this it performs other tasks such as CD-checking. This is designed to stop people playing the game without the CD. I imagine it also checks shogun.icd for any unauthorised patches/cracks. This might prevent any unauthorised patches from being used.

Yamaga Shimazu
11-21-2000, 00:53
Answering to Rob...and flushing red i think here...


i actually started playing shogun after having downloaded it from a pir8 server...it didn't work.
The second time, i tried to another server and the download was succesful.
I have been playing shogun since sept as the original game only arrived in the shops here 1 month ago.

Thereby i bought it but i had had no problems with the pir8 version. All there's to say, there weren't any movie scenes. The game was cracked perfectly.

Kraellin
11-21-2000, 02:27
one last note on this; the time stamping is ONLY done on the units and values, not the maps or anything else, to protect altering of the unit values. i think i saw this mentioned on the totalwar site somewhere...not certain though.

K.

Rob
11-21-2000, 02:37
Yes, but forcing people to crack their game in order to install 'patches' will not be popular. I am very much aware of viruses and other things which can affect my system and I don't like the idea of unofficial programs editing software on my PC.

Persuading people to install the kind of software usually found on 'warez' sites will be difficult. Especially if it is to make some dubious fix, such as increasing the cost of muskets. I wouldn't take the risk myself and many others wouldn't either.

Personally I think it would be better to work with the official patches rather than against them. Editing compiled code is a recipe for disaster, particularly if it causes compatibility problems with current/future OFFICIAL patches. I doubt the developers will be in favour of your idea, and it would be very easy for them to release a new patch that breaks everything you have done, forcing you to start all over again every time a new official patch comes out.

Yamaga Shimazu
11-21-2000, 21:03
Kraell and Rob:

Yes all what u say is true.

There is only one point in here to clarify:

I don't think any patch or editor will ever be officially released after 1.13.

This is all.
Ppl is never FORCED to crack a game, it's their choice if to install third party utils or not.
I also agree in the "it would be better to work with the official programmers and not on our own...".
The problem here is that the programmers have already released 1.13 and someone else is testing it. When we will get it, do u think that our issues will be heard ? That they will work until next summer on an already sold game ?

The programmers have moved on, guys.

If u want u can have a look a the mps falcon4 forum and see that a million of ppl is awaiting for the release of rp4.
...falcon4.exe made by Gilman Louie and the others no longer exists in the world but on previously sold cds.

History repeats.

Yamaga Shimazu
11-28-2000, 17:14
ere we go...why i want the units tweaked.

[omissis]

Too upset to type now...will explain in the file.

Yamaga Shimazu
11-29-2000, 14:57
Shopping list:


the calc between hon increase and koku expenses are done, (Teraz, i ll send ya the comparative tables complete as soon as i scannerize the document).

It seems the relationship per honour increase is 0.71
(i.e. 51-71-100-140-196 and so on) THAT is the factor: 0.71
Some things to note here:

1) given the results of our sacred battlefield calculator, honour/rank is SO IMPORTANT that low honoured units charging from flank or rear are indeed almost useless.
This why, using 500 ashigaru against a single 100 unit of monks give those irrealistic results.

2) the factor 0.71 must be changed exponentially.
rising a samurai to a honour of 4 must cost LESS than rising an ashigaru unit at the same honour. This to show that ultra high ashis are extremely rare (that is, in reality, there were none, for peasants are peasants).

3) Basic costs of units must be tweaked.
The cost of an arq/musk compared to ya or sa are ridiculous!
The arq costs the same as the ya and has a gun !!!!!!


Tests for particular rules and particular unit costs are being carried on still. Will let ya know.

Rob
11-29-2000, 16:00
The rate of price increase is 40% (two fifths).

This may well be hard-coded into the game code... modifying it could prove to be extremely difficult (next to impossible).

------------------
Honour to Clan Akai Ken

Yamaga Shimazu
12-01-2000, 18:35
almost as impossible as talking to someone of the dev team ?
How is it possible that none of us have a workable address to them ? http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/frown.gif

Rob
12-01-2000, 21:36
Come to think of it, I've never tried contacting the developers directly.

I'll give it a try tonight.

Besides, humans listen to reason. Computers do not http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

------------------
Honour to Clan Akai Ken

Rob
12-01-2000, 21:43
Just to clarify exactly how difficult I mean:

I suspect unit data is hard-coded into the file shogun.icd. This is a binary file and doesn't contain any obvious text strings.

Let's say the attack value for a unit (musketeers for example) is 1 byte in size.

Shogun.icd contains 4,579,373 separate bytes. And there are no clues to explain what they mean. Changing this information means pinpointing 1 byte in 4,579,373 and changing it. And if the developers have been at all sensible, they may well have encrypted this data, making finding it impossible. Technical skill does not help either - there is no programmer's trick to solve this problem.

Finding this information is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I had hoped that either somebody already knew where it was or that there might be some obvious clue but I have found neither. I'm afraid to say that it might be easier just to keep asking the developers http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/frown.gif

------------------
Honour to Clan Akai Ken

Yamaga Shimazu
12-07-2000, 14:58
Rob, what did u discover about the units ?
Will there be the chance to edit costs ?

Rob
12-07-2000, 17:13
Not yet.

As I said, it could take nearly forever - and there's no guarantee that the unit data is there at all.

------------------
AkaiRob Hojo
Honour to Clan Akai Ken

barocca
12-12-2000, 19:26
Rob,
as I understand it the ICD file is encrypted, shogun.exe decrypts it on the fly when run.

I have absolutely no proof of this, so if I'm wrong, then I'm wrong.
But there's only one way to find out.
Decrypt it.
If you know what I mean...

Rob
12-13-2000, 00:32
I do know what you mean http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif

I hadn't thought of that possibility until now http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

------------------
Rob Hojo

Addonas
12-27-2000, 23:17
Do you think that there woudl be any way to make a "proposal" to EA, in a sense show them some work or ideas that may get them interested in releasing some helpful information to a Mod team if anyone was organized enough to gather one. With their support (to a reasonable extent) all of these questions could be answered and any editing a team would want to do could move along at a nice pace.

Perhaps it woudl eb possibel to talk them into releasing some information that could be some sort of "SDK" for Shogun. As it is they've already worked on a map editor that could be changed a bit to allow more freedom to a mapper, in terms of loading some new textures of our own creating, or adding new models that we would have created. All those thigns to change the appearance fo teh game for a mod.

Although... how the HELL do you get amessage to these people? There have been a lot of problems with that, and I've been wondering the same thing, how is that no one has any direct contact to anyone on the dev team taht will actually reach them. We need a renegade programmer who has a score to settle with EA. ;-) Well.. maybe not... but it'd be nice to have some info.

As to wether the game is time stamped or not, would it be possibel to send them at one point or anotehr when someone woudl be ready to release teh first working version of their mod, a file with all of the changes that we have made, so that they could add a file pretty easily without too much of their time taken up to create a file or whatever it is that is needed to prevent a modification to units and the like from existing on teh server.

What about those rumors of "cheaters" in the game, and I'm not talking about mistaken 0 honor cases, where someone thought they had more units than they should.

Well, that's my input to the whole thing.

Erado San
12-28-2000, 15:43
I have not a single problem with getting in touch with them. I have four of their staff in my address book.

But I will not serve as a contact for other people.

If you want them to support anything with an SDK (which they may or may not do), get a team together and put your ideas in a clear and concise description, mail it to the Shogun and start praying.

Depending on the moment you can get:

no reply. They don't like the idea and don't even wanna know about it.
a negative answer. They don't like the idea but appreciate your effort to present the ideas. Mailing them back and asking them to reconsider usually gets the above treatment.
a request for more information. Hmmm, they might like it, and want to know if this is something that has potential. The extra information must show that you know what yer doing and that they can count on you to do something good with anything they provide.
a downright positive answer. These are rare. Usually it requires option 3.


Last note: asking them to reveal any of their code is useless. They won't. Understandably so. Urging them to reconsider this is not very smart.

Personally, I am against the whole idea to edit units. They are fine, and more are on their way. Solid tactics answer most of the problems people are having with them. Tampering with them only upsets the balance in the tactics.

Mind you, that's only my opinion. You obviously don't agree.

Addonas
12-28-2000, 20:28
Hello Erado San

I agree with you about the editing of units, the only way that I agree with it is for releasing some sort of mod, where you're not even really necessarily using the same units that are in teh game.

Well, that's pretty good news, at least someone can get through to them. :-)

Is anyone up for setting up a proposal and idea to them?

johnmcd
12-28-2000, 21:15
Iím not a modder, and Iím not about to become one, but I canít understand why EA donít want to release the SDK. People still have to buy the game to play the mods created with it so EA get their money, and, as weíve seen with Half Life, a few good mods actually shifts more units. Iím dying for TFC 2 to be released but not to play it, but the mods which will surely follow. Sierra are sharp enough to the value of good mods that they have signed up the best FPS modders to ensure they continue to get good stuff. As it is Shogun is going to remain a minority game because its samurai, take it or leave it. If you could play it with Tiger and T-34 tanks folk would desert Sudden Strike to play it, if you could play it with gnomes and fairies Iím sure that would attract another whole constituency. Unless they think they can sell us the WWII and Dragon version of the game as well as the samurai version I donít know why they arenít making the most of great engine, damn I wish this game had a decent publisher.

Actually there is a game coming out that seems like a carbon of copy of Shogun but with huge fantasy armies, I saw a screen shot with a massive bone dragon eating about four tiny little dwarves while the other dwarves and assorted skeletons battled at its feet, its not the Shogun engine, but a similar one. Anyone know the name/ release date?

Yamaga Shimazu
12-29-2000, 18:37
Hello Erado,

I am happy to see you interested in this forum for it is a very important one; the key to decide wether stw has to live or die when the project is over.

I have a file with noted issues and ideas for this game, it is a pdf and it has now arrived at the 30th page. I will not release this file to the dev team, and i will contribute to the game only in an unofficial way.
Should we, who want this game bettered, ever put our hands on the main code, then things would be different. I have seen it happening with Falcon4 and stw is much easier game than falcon4 :-)
They will release the code when their project is over...when they need the game to be sold still, but having no work to put in for themselves, they will let unofficial development begin.
This is what i think they will do.I came to this conclusion given my inability to contact any of the dev team and just added a logical conclusion :

"Why not releasing the code? We are working on another project and by leting the community keep the game alive, we will keep selling and earning with no expense and no time wasted for us".

Should we get organized (i know many ppl are working for the development of stw, and by no mean they are involved with the dev team) i think many things could be done...but of course, we need to alter the code, or just the shogun.exe. And it can't be done without the programmers' permission.

As to the present, i am currently involved in the thorough testing of a ruled system for buying armies, with honor limiters and a bit of historical accuracy.
It is more realistic, gives more fun and it's totally free and already working :-)

Ppl interested can look at my topic : the rules.

Erado...i have so many things to say about this subject that ...bah...never mind.
Anyway this post is very small compared to my original one answering to your message...
There was a blackout and poooof ! Everything was lost ;-)
Hope to hear from you soon.

Erado San
12-29-2000, 20:04
Interesting indeed. But for what I know they're working on, waiting for them to release the code until they no longer devekop it themselves may take at least another year.

When that happens, I should hope they release the code.

Yamaga Shimazu
12-29-2000, 20:43
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Erado San:
[B]Interesting indeed. But for what I know they're working on

[omissis]

Yeppers Erado, as long as we cannot see their work finished, we cannot know which issues have been solved and which will never be.
I strongly believe they will not release any more versions after 1.13. This bc usually, a new version is released with one or two major bugs are solved while at the same time the main interest of the teams is to solve the connection problems due to multiplay.

The expansion pack will most certainly add new things to the game and i am looking forward to seeing it, though i already know part of me will like the addenda for the increased number of unit tyoes (which SHOULD bring new tactics)...as well as a part of me will not like it for the lack of accuracy in simulation and history( i am pretty confident they ll keep the game as it is)

As i see the game now, the arcade component is so evident that most of the real inaccuracies will be left as they are :-(

Yes, i think they will release the code. I fear we'll have to wait a lot, but i think they will.
And they will, GLADLY :-) especially if we showed interest in a real development.

Kraellin
12-29-2000, 21:42
i hate to dash hopes on such subjects, but realistically it's doubtful that the dev team will release the code even in one year. most software companies never release code. most game companies use existing code or parts of it over and over again. we already know of at least one more game that is being developed from this code and i'm guessing that there will be more than that. i'd be truly surprised if even in 5 years the code is released. it's just not done that often. sure, there are exceptions, but in the main it's just not done. that's their bread and butter and when you spend one to two years developing a game you dont just turn around and release it to public domain. i suppose there is some chance they would sell rights to it or something along those lines but i wouldnt even count on that any time soon, particularly since three companies are involved in this and no telling what legalities would arise from one of them trying to release the code or the rights to alter or use the code.

now, on the bright side there is nothing that says you cant write your own patches for the game, particularly if you're not selling this. you can also write your own .exe's. you can also substitute your own graphic files for the units and such. and you could even write your own map editor or unit editor. but not being a lawyer, dont quote me on any of that. some of that is quite possibly a gray area legally. normally if you're not making your own for profit expansion pack or selling any of the above then there's no real problem....normally. companies can be pretty touchy about someone trying to bite into their profits and with all the piracy that goes on i cant really blame them. there is also no reason why you cant contact the dev team and try and work out some mods but from everything i've seen posted about making contact with creative assembly, good luck. they do have a web address in the uk though, so feel free to try. they even have a couple email addy's posted there for feedback and such. mine hasnt been answered yet.

my advice here is pretty simple. dont count on any help, code, or anything else from creative. my guess is that they're pretty busy with patches, expansion packs, other projects and sequels. they've also done a sports thing for EA...rugby, i think it was. most mods are made, from what i've seen, by single folks with a hex editor and a bit of coding experience. sometimes if graphics are needed an artist will also join in for that.

believe it or not, there is already one mod available. well, it may not be available but it was done. tosainu made a mod of the entire demo game and downsized the whole thing from 97 megs to about 33 megs. most dont think of that as a mod maybe, but it is. i've made one mod myself though i wont release it since it was just a case of borrowing files from the main game and sticking them into the demo game. that is also a mod.

so basically, my advice is get in there and start poking around yourselves. you want a unit editor? great! get a hex editor and find out where the unit data is stored and learn a little visual basic and make your mod. you'd be surprised what you can find out just doing that.

ok, i'm preaching and i hate when others do that so i'll stop ;) the only point here is that 'contacting the dev team', 'waiting for the code to be released', 'putting together a mod team' and all these other things are not 'making a mod'. just go do it. i'm really quite surprised there is nothing out there yet in the way of an editor for maps or units. in most of the games i've played in the last few years the bloody game hits the shelves and a week later there's six editors out or being made. and if you think i'm kidding, take a look at diablo II. i have at least 20 editors for that game now. the tools for making mods are out there. i found one site once where they had dozens of hex editors, packet editors, and other assorted hack tools for doing exactly what we want to do...making mods.

and my last word on this is i'll offer ya a little help in this way: the file you want for unit editing is most likely 'packed' with a proprietary zip system. what i've seen done lately is that companies in order to save space on a disk or to protect their code and prevent hacking somewhat will compress certain critical files with their own compression routines. this is often done with the unit data and the texture data. when you load your game the code simply unpacks it into ram or a temp file...usually ram. in games like total annihilation these were .cab files. the folks who made the third party editors for that game first learned how the compression was done and then made a program for reading and unpacking these .cab files and then went on to build their own map editors. but the first step was making a file decompressor and reader.

K.

Yamaga Shimazu
12-31-2000, 18:01
Kraell,

the only chance, since what u say is absolutely right and true is to start a team, with someone THEY trust in programming and devotion to the game and therefore sign a contract where they exchange the code for us to use, and with all their limits which we would have to adhere.

Of course, the key to this is that they sell the game we tweak and we earn just a compliment :-)

Technically it is how it happens, when it does.

Kraellin
01-01-2001, 01:05
ah, hmmmm, i suppose that could work given that the dev guys are willing to do it. hope someone can pull it off, specially in light of the upcoming patch and expansion. i wasnt aware that game co's were doing this. first i've heard of it, but it does have the possibility of keeping a game alive and kicking for longer periods of time. nice.

K.

Erado San
01-02-2001, 20:27
Ya know,

There's only one group of people that can shed some light on this whole discussion. The developers.

Now I know they are damn busy after the X-mas break, and I don't expect any asnwer soon (if any!!!), but let's just wait and see what they say.

My bet is that expecting them to release their code is not very realistic (and that's an understatement). And as I am against unit editing unless it's very well controlled, I won't mind a negative.

Yamaga Shimazu
01-04-2001, 21:06
Quote Originally posted by Erado San:

My bet is that expecting them to release their code is not very realistic (and that's an understatement). And as I am against unit editing unless it's very well controlled, I won't mind a negative.[/QUOTE]

As far as my battles show, there's no need for unit editing but just of price modeling.
Perhaps the +4 of yari armed bonus when having the correct facing vs cavalry could be made smaller (say +3) to show that after the first clash the yari is replaced by a shortsword...
basically, the yari as any other polearm, is pointed to the ground (and a foot), or held by the man behind you. Your unit braces itself against the charge. But when the charge arrives and is held by the pikes, the rest is sword to sword. Yari is too cumbersome and awkward against a sword and don't forget that they break a lot since apart form the blade, they are wooden.
The price of gunners is to be rised up a lot (and not a bit...hey guns, balls and powder costs !) but apart from this there's not much to alter since i see the game is balanced now.
(i mean the ruled game ;-) )

I would reduce the range of restricted camera and reduce the range at which units hidden in woods are displayed.
Remove the gun shoot-through-friends issue and reduce their range...remove the description of the enemy unit when u put the cursor onto it (they didn't have goggles back there in japan!).

After all of this is done, this game will be granted history and enter the hall of fame as the bestest game ever to have been made on a computer...it will never arrive second in ANY competition vs other games ;-)
Range and cost of guns, range of restricted camera (smaller range), no visual aids by binoculars and smaller range at which hiding units are actually displayed, dat's all.

;-)

Now...where's the code ? lol

smeegol
02-13-2001, 21:54
i didn't read all of the posts. only the first few so and i only scanned the first one so i don't know if this has already be suggested:

With the unit editor if it was put together some how or if someone figured out how to succesfully create new units this would be truly AWESOME. With the Mongol Invasion expansion pack being released next month (March),unless it gets delayed, we will have the great map editor we needed, and if we got the new units working correctly, we would be able to create MODs! The only obstacle I see if we can get this far would be figuring out how Shogun would support the MODs (I mean getting the MOD to work without messing up the current Shogun: Total War files). If installing Shogun into another directory with the normal files in another one would work.. that'd be fine for those who have the space (if that would work). But if EA (or whoever is in charge of this game if EA isn't) sees that ppl are succesfully creating good MODs than they will support it and release patches that will help us along are way of creating awesome MODs.

Thats just how I see it...

02-23-2001, 17:16
i'll say it again:

--- SWAT 3 ---

know what i mean??? cheers

------------------
the great lord http://www.geocities.com/vinyljock/monn_t.gif jd

henryh
03-28-2001, 22:59
MODS create longievity for a game, look at the Quake community. Instead of peeps changing a few values and ruining a game the mods that stand out are ones that excellent design, innovation etc. You work up a system whereby players can play against each other using exactly the same mod. To do this though the chaps at CA are going to have to produce more than just a landscape editor.

celtiberoijontychi
04-17-2001, 08:47
I have no idea of programming, coding etc.
But, AFK, there is no game in the market that can compare to the STW battle engine. As long as CA/EA have this "competitive advantage", they have a monopoly. No one gives up a monopoly freely.
STW contains inside some details (like the "medical school") that show that the original game concept was much more far reching than the actual game. The actual game was released too soon, probably, just in order to have this 1 year advantage over the competitors.
I am dead sure that they have great plans with this battle engine, and they will milk it unitl something much beter comes out. I don't see something like this happening befoore a couple of years.

As i said before, i have no idea of programming, so tell me if i am wrong:
The stw battle engine is breakthrough in battle simulation. This is the difference between STW and other games. That's the reason why the whole policy of CA/EA is aimed to KEEP CONTROL OF THE WHOLE GAME.
From the way online gaming is organised to the way the key elements like unit values etc. have been "hidden", all shows that they have long term projects for this engine.

So, to make a short story long, i don't think they wil release any code until the game engine is outdated.

------------------
Long live Celtiberos
Glory and Honour to Clan Celtiberos

Kraellin
04-20-2001, 13:20
frankly, i dont see this happening. i'd love to see it happen, but various indications tell me the dev guys are going to guard their code and mod possibilities as much as possible in order to keep the mods they make sellable. the other caveat to unit editing is, of course, 'cheating'. once you start editing the values of units and other parameters in multi games you inevitably hear the cry 'cheat!'.

now, cheating is very easily defined. it's simply what the other players didnt or dont agree with and that's pretty much it. you think i'm kidding? listen in the chat room sometime where a good player pulls off a huge win against a newbie. the newbie starts shouting 'cheat!' simply because he doesnt agree with the outcome and how it was done. in most cases he hasnt even a clue as to how it was done, but he's really quite sure the other guy cheated. the classic that comes to mind is the lower koku games where you cant buy 16, honor 2 units. the newbie ends up spending all his koku but only thinks he could afford 10 units, while the vet lowers the honor on some units and gets the full 16 units. the newbie doesnt agree that this is possible when he sees his enemy has 16 units so he hollers 'cheat!'.

so, what was my point? simple. if folks agree ahead of time what the unit values are going to be or allow a single person to decide, e.g. the game host, then there is no cheating, because all agree upon these parameters. some of the folks in the game are already playing a 'ruled game' wherein only certain units can be bought in certain numbers. if someone disobeys these rules they are cheating.

the main point is simply this, though, outside of protecting the rights for future mods, the game creators really dont need to worry about 'cheating' if they simply allow the game host's parameters to be used as the overall game parameters. this is already done to a certain extent in things like number of men per unit, fatigue settings, limited or unlimited ammunition and so on. extending this out to unit values is then a piece of cake, particularly if the setup room is altered to allow seeing these parameters ahead of time.

but i think the main reason you wont see a unit editor is because we'd also want a sprite editor in order to change the look of our units to civil war style, egyptian style, napoleanic style, etc, ad infinitum. and this is perceived as taking money out of the pockets of the dev guys...which i dont blame them one spec for.

there are easily 8 or 10 mod packs possible with this current engine and i'm sure the historians among us could name twice that many and that's with simple unit and sprite editing. does the dev team give that away or do they sell it? i've seen it go both ways in games. i've also seen engines 'leased' to other dev teams. if i remember right, most of the Doom spinoffs were 'leased engine' games.

so, it's really up to the dev guys. currently they seem to be sitting on the code as if it were the only egg in the nest, which is why i dont believe we'll see a unit editor from them and why the code seems to be deterring all attempts so far at altering it....at least for now.

K.

shingenmitch2
04-20-2001, 21:04
Krael -- I suppose this isn't the forum for this discussion, but I can't just let that last post go un commented

You've over simplified the "cheat" problem. Sure there are newbies who don't know all the nuiances of the game, but there ARE instances where parameters have been switched by one player without other players knowing... there is a "ROUT" cheat, as well as the ability to turn "MORALE OFF" for only one player's troops. Most recently I saw a player bring his troops on in a game, after the game started, from behind the DEFENDERS from off the board edge.

Those are the types of cheats that have made even good players question "odd" battles. The shame is that STW was set up to have the occasional victory against overwhelming odds. The problem now, is that u can't tell when troops rout for no apparent reason whether it was a "fair" loss or from a "cheat."

BanzaiZAP
04-21-2001, 01:43
I'm piping up here to agree that the sprite editor is both incredibly important for making mopds, and unlikely to see happen yet. One can make near infinite variations of Total War just by altering the graphics and scripting a short series of battles. There are only a few (a couple dozen being a "few") sprites per indivdual unit type, but the dev team would need to release some kind of a BIF compressor.

I think on reason they may be hesitating is the fear of losing potential sales of future games. "Why buy Ceasar:Total War when TosaInu just released his Imperial Rome mod?" What they forget is that while we fans are making our mods, they can be advancing the game engine itself. We may make new units, but they can introduce game elements like "Hiring Mercenaries" or "Custom Formations." Rather than losing future sales, a healthy mod community ASSURES future sales by keeping the game in the public eye!

Ah, well. Trying to explain anything to a marketing department is a lesson in futility.

Cheating's gonna happen whether editing is officially sanctioned or not.

-- B)

[This message has been edited by BanzaiZAP (edited 04-20-2001).]

Kraellin
04-21-2001, 13:46
shingenmitch,

hehehe...that map that you mention where troops come on from behind the attacker is actually a built in intentional feature of the game. we found this, me and tosa, while playing around making maps. it's quite possibly something that was left over from the earlier versions of the game that they forgot to take out, but it is nonetheless a valid, actual feature. it will and can only occur on certain castle maps. a couple of these were just released by the map makers after testing. it's actually designed to be this way.

and that brings me to exactly what i was saying in my earlier post...cheating is nothing more than something you disagree with. you disagree that this shld be possible and thus you call it a cheat http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

i rest my case *grin*

K.

Dancing Bears
04-30-2001, 03:47
I can edit the way units look but i cant edit there stats. That may be helpful to later mod development. Right now my No-Dachi are green and i lost my backup files so can someone send me all of there no Dachi files please?

celtiberoijontychi
05-03-2001, 11:01
u did what???



------------------
Long live Celtiberos
Glory and Honour to Clan Celtiberos

celtiberoijontychi
05-11-2001, 17:24
So you were able to edit the unit color, could you also edit the unit's shape?

I thought there was no way to edit units at all, how did you do it???

------------------
Long live Celtiberos
Glory and Honour to Clan Celtiberos

Kraellin
05-11-2001, 21:39
um, i dont remember for sure, since i've not looked at these in a while, but i think you could edit the .lbm files in paint shop pro or any other paint program that can handle that file format.

i mean, wouldnt it be cool if all your yari samurai looked like heather locklear? :)

i believe we could also edit the textures. just remember that in editing these you are only editing them for yourself. others wont see your mods unless you can pass your edited files along to others. so, there is a slight caveat in editing the textures if you are making maps. you could edit your maps using your textures and they might look absolutely great to you, but like crap to others since they dont have your mods installed. your units could also start acting strange, since if you edited a tree texture into a swamp texture, the original texture is still really a tree texture and your units will react as if it's still a tree texture.

K.

Satake
05-12-2001, 00:55
Samurai looking like heather locklear? Hmm , then we would have to ask tone to find some new unit sounds again http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/biggrin.gif

And i think some would be hesistant to send em into battle hehe http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif

Kraellin
05-12-2001, 01:12
yeah, but just think of the cat fights ;)

K.

Catiline
05-12-2001, 01:51
I'll take Jenny Lopez thx

shogunnewbie1
02-13-2002, 13:05
Quote Originally posted by smeegol:
i didn't read all of the posts. only the first few so and i only scanned the first one so i don't know if this has already be suggested:

With the unit editor if it was put together some how or if someone figured out how to succesfully create new units this would be truly AWESOME. With the Mongol Invasion expansion pack being released next month (March),unless it gets delayed, we will have the great map editor we needed, and if we got the new units working correctly, we would be able to create MODs! The only obstacle I see if we can get this far would be figuring out how Shogun would support the MODs (I mean getting the MOD to work without messing up the current Shogun: Total War files). If installing Shogun into another directory with the normal files in another one would work.. that'd be fine for those who have the space (if that would work). But if EA (or whoever is in charge of this game if EA isn't) sees that ppl are succesfully creating good MODs than they will support it and release patches that will help us along are way of creating awesome MODs.

Thats just how I see it...[/QUOTE]


** NEW BATTLE SOUNDS **

* changed the wavs for each movement attack/advance/run/charge
* uppped the volume of the sounds in table.cfg
* edited charge advance openfire and run ! in table.cfg
* and edited the range @ where you hear them from 4 to 90 http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif in table.cfg
* you can hear the enemy attack/move/run/charge from really far away

** GREEN NINJA ! **

* Edited the ninja texture so there bright green ninja :P you can see the ninja EZr :P
http://shogunnewbie.tripod.com

Wavesword
06-07-2002, 22:59
I'm re-posting this just to show how pessimistic people seem to have been ages ago- as in Kraellin's post in the 1.03 thread (the sixth one).

barocca
06-08-2002, 03:06
I'm not sure why repost all this outdated information.

The bif reader/editor had not been written back then, and it took a member of the community to write it.
The developers didn't release it.

Also the lbm editor was still a quest item.
(out there, waiting to be found)
Again the developer's didn't release it to us.

You can now edit your own icons to look like anything you want, this has no effect on what your opponents see on the field of battle. Just you.
(Which could make for some very funny replay's)

Stats can be edited freely, BUT both players must be using the same set of stats or the battle will drop players whose stats vary from the hosts.


At the time this discussion took place none of these tools were available to us.
It took months of experimenting for modders to be able to design new stats, and alter units icons.

This discussion generated ideas,
"there has GOT to be a way" and, given enough time, the resourcefull and the creative members of this community found it.

Remember when the original STW came out?
Players wanted to be able to create their own maps, Someone found a way to do so, posted their notes and the idea spread like wildfire.
This forum is where they exchanged notes, ideas and findings. Allowing the community to create their own maps almost a year before the developers released the map editor to us.

Now we can edit unit sprites, the unit battle Cards (down the bottom of screen in battle), the icons you see during unit selection, and even Unit stats.

If it was not for discussions like this one NONE of this would be possible.

This thread has absolutely nothing to do with the current discussion about unit stats 1.02 vs 1.03.

------------------
DoragonBarocca of Clan Doragon (http://doragon.cjb.net)

Wavesword
06-08-2002, 04:35
It was just a window into a different era...

Soapyfrog
06-14-2002, 06:11
Could someone point me at all these wonderful utilties?

Kraellin
06-14-2002, 19:23
actually, a lot of what i said was pretty pessimistic, but also somewhat true; we still dont really have a 'unit editor' or a lot of the other mods that could have been done. here we are over 2 years since the release of the original game and there's still no real unit editor. yes, we can alter the stats and we're starting to understand the image files and animations a bit now, but still no true unit editor.

i've also changed my tune a lot about 'trainers'. i no longer consider these things cheats. they are just mods. play the game with this set of stats or mods or play it straight up. it's just a preferences choice. i do like that shogun checks each player's files to make sure they match up so that all are playing with those same choices.

i've recently been modding dungeon siege a bit and have d/l'd quite a few mods that i like for that game and use. it does have a few drawbacks though. some of the mods are used to gain unfair advantages over other players and this isnt much fun in pvp games. someone will inevitably try and use a mod as a way to 'cheat'. since i mostly play the game with friends, i normally give them the same mods i use or remove my mods when i play them. keeps the playing field level.

the dev guys at CA also did do some mods for us while we were testing 1.02 and those were included in the final version of 1.02. some bugs were fixed and some stats added to the stat files. i just wish we'd all had the time and resources and permissions to do more. it was fun working with the guys at CA and gettting a new .exe every few days to test and debate and beat each other over the head with ;)

K.


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The only absolute is that there are no absolutes.