Sharing User Content

1    Intro

This manual provides an explanation on how to use the Package Manager to package and share your Age of Wonders III User Content. We will assume you already know how to create custom maps and campaigns. (Check here for more info on map making itself).  Both the procedures for Steam Workshop and non-Steam users are described here.

2    Package overview

Age of Wonders III uses a package system to share User Content between users. This allows you to share content with other players in an easy and convenient way. A package contains all the custom files that another user needs to play your custom content. It is possible to add multiple maps and campaigns to a single package, so it will be possible to create collections of content.  Creating packages is done using the Package Manager. All packages reside in the UserContent folder of your Age of Wonders III installation. This folder can be found at this location: C:\Users\<Window username>\Documents\My Games\AoW3\UserContent
When a package is created, it is automatically put into the UserContent folder and contains the following folder structure:

– UserContent
— <package name>
— Campaigns
—- •    Campaign Images
—- •    Sounds
—- •    English
—- •    German
— Maps

The root of your package folder (the <package name> folder) will contain the package project file (.acp). When you export your package or upload your package to Steam, a package archive file (.taf) will also be created in this folder. Note that the launcher of the game will also create these archive files in package folders which do not contain an archive file.

If you want to share one or more custom campaign(s) with other users, they should be put in the Campaigns folder. The root Campaigns folder should contain all the .acd and .cam files. The images your campaign needs should all be put in the Campaign Images folder.
If you have custom speech sound files which are used in your campaigns, they should be put in either the English or German sub-folder of the Sounds folder. Other sounds like music or sound effects are currently not supported yet.

If you want to add one or more custom map(s), the .sam file(s) should be added to the Maps folder.

Note that files with a ~ in their extension are simply backup files and not needed to play your campaign or scenario maps, so they don’t need to be included in your packages!

-=! PROTIP !=-  Before you start working on a custom campaign or scenario map, first create a package for the content already. This allows you to save your work directly in your package folder and allows for quick testing.

3    Package manager overview
This will provide an overview of the general functionality of the Package Manager. The Package Manager is used to create and manage packages in your UserContent folder. To open the Package Manager, you must first open the level editor. Once you have done this, go to Tools -> Package Manager.

3.1    File menu

PM_File_Menu

  1. New: Create a new package project. A popup will appear asking you to name your package. Please make sure your package name is relevant to the content in the package. This name will also be entered in the title field by default, but they do not have to be the same. This will also create the default folder structure for your package in the UserContent folder.
  2. Open: Opens an existing package project file (.acp).
  3. Import: Allows you to manually import a package archive file (.taf) to your UserContent folder. The archive file will be unpacked in your UserContent folder.
  4. Export: Create a package archive file from your currently opened package project. Allows you to select a save location for the archive.
  5. Save: Saves your package project (.acp) in its default location (in the current package folder).
  6. Save as: Saves your package project (.acp) in a folder of your choosing.
  7. Close: Closes the currently opened package project.
  8. Exit: Exits the Package Manager.

3.2    Main form

PM_Form_Overview

  1. The Included Files list: This list shows you all the files that will be added to the package. To add files to this list, click the “Open Folder” button. You can now manually copy your map and campaign files to their respective folders. Once you’ve added all the files you wanted to those folders, click “Refresh” to make them show up in the list.
  2. Open Folder button: Opens the folder of the currently opened package in windows explorer. Add files to this folder to add them to the package.
  3. Refresh button: Refreshes the “Included files” list to display the current content of the folder. Click this button after you’ve added all the files you wanted to the package folder.
  4. Title: The title of your content. If you are using the Steam version of the game, this will be the title which users will get to see in the Steam Workshop. This title will also be displayed in the User Content list in the AoW III launcher.
  5. Author (optional): The name you want associated with this content. This can be whatever name you want it to be. We suggest you use the name of your Triumph account, as this is how other users know you from the ageofwonders.com forums and multiplayer. It is currently not being used in-game yet, but will be supported in the future. Note for Steam Users: This name will not show up on your listing on Steam Workshop! The username that is shown on Steam will always be your Steam username.
  6. Description (optional): A short description of the content that can be found in you package. While not required, it is recommended to provide it. If you are a Steam user, this is the description that will be shown on the Steam Workshop content page. There is a character limit of 8000 characters.
  7. Tags & Selected Tags: Select one or more tags which describe your content. Currently only Campaign and Scenario are supported, but we are willing to add more if the community requires them. Note that if you select the Campaign tag, you need to have at least one campaign file in your folder. The same is true for the Scenario tag. The selected Tags list displays the tags which you have selected in the Tags field. These tags are shown on Steam and can be used to filter content on the Workshop.
  8. Preview Image. This is the image that will be shown on the Steam Workshop. This file needs to be a .png file and its recommended size is 512 x 512 pixels. Make sure this image is somewhat representative of your content.
  9. Select Image button: Click this button to select the preview image.
  10. Remove button: Removes the currently selected preview image.
  11. Version (optional): The version of your package. It is possible to update your content later on and when you do, it is recommended to increase the version number. The first field can contain 2 numbers, while the second can only contain 1.

3.3    Content menu

PM_Content_Menu

PM_Content_Package_Selection

The content menu gives you access to the Content Package Selection screen. If your content is dependent on other content (like official DLC’s or other user packages), you can select the content on which to depend here. This is more of an advanced feature and you probably won’t need to do this for your first few packages.

3.4    Steam menu

PM_Steam_Menu

If you are running the Steam version of the game, the package manager will have an additional menu: the Steam menu. This allows Steam users to upload their packages to the Steam Workshop. The following message will be shown when you click on the menu.

Pressing Ok will upload the package to Steam. Make sure you are logged into Steam and your internet connection is working properly. With the cancel button you can cancel the upload process.

PM_Steam_Popup

! Important: If it is the first time you are uploading a package to Steam, you must first agree to Steam’s workshop terms of service before you can upload your package. Please read the agreements carefully and accept if you agree with it.

4    Workflows

4.1    Creating a package

To create a new package, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the level editor
  2. Go to Tools -> Package Manager.
  3. Once the Package Manager is opened, you’ll notice that all the fields are disabled. This is normal, as you first need to create a new package project. Do this by going to File -> New. The application will now ask you for the name of your package. This will be the name of the archive that will be uploaded to Steam. It is recommended to name your package the same as the title of your actual content, but the Title can be modified at a later time.
  4. Once you have done this, the fields will be enabled.  When a new package project is created, a new folder and project file (.acp) are created in the UserContent folder of your AoW3 folder. To make it more convenient for you, we’ve added an “Open Folder” button which goes to the newly created folder.
  5. Add the desired files to your package folder, and fill in the necessary fields.
  6. Press Save to save your package.

4.2    Editing a package
To edit an existing package, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Package Manager.
  2. Open and existing project file (.acp) by going to File -> Open.
  3. Edit the fields you wish to change
  4. Open the folder of the package and edit the files.
  5. Press Save to save your package.

Note that if you only want to change some files in the package, you can also just open the package folder through the windows file explorer and perform your actions there without opening the package manager. This will not update the archive file though. If you want to update that, you will need to export through the package manager or delete the existing archive file and start up the launcher. Likewise, this will also not update the Steam Workshop entry.

4.3    Sharing content through Steam Workshop
The following steps can only be performed if you are using the Steam version of Age of Wonders III.

4.3.1    Uploading a package to Steam Workshop
To upload your files to the Steam Workshop, open an existing package project or create a new one.
Once you have added all the files you want and filled in the required fields, you can upload your package to Steam by going to the Steam menu and pressing Upload to workshop.
If it is the first time you are uploading something to the workshop, you will need to accept the workshop terms of service. Simply click the link on the popup and click accept.
Press Ok to start the upload process. (Note: Pressing Ok will save your package file and create an archive file (.taf) in your package folder)
If some of the required fields are not filled in, a warning will pop up to tell you which fields need to be filled in. You cannot upload your file until all these fields are filled in. If the form is correct, it will be disabled and an uploading text will appear. Pressing cancel will cancel the upload to Steam. Once the upload is completed, a pop-op will show up and inform you if the upload was successful or not.

Congratulations! You have now added your content to the Steam Workshop.
4.3.2    Updating a package on Steam Workshop
To update the content you’ve uploaded to Steam, you can open the package project file in the Package Manager to view the content’s settings. This can be done through File -> Open.  You will receive a warning if the content is already on steam that pressing upload again will update the existing file. Once the project is open, you can simply adjust everything you want and press upload to update the content on Steam.
It is also possible to edit the title and description in the Steam Client directly. If you did this and decide to edit the package project later on, you will get a pop-up which informs you of the change and it will ask you which text to use.
You can also just save the package without uploading it to Steam, so you can work on it and upload it at a later time. Note that if you do this and you’ve changed the title or description, the above mentioned pop-up will show up too.

4.3.3    Downloading a package from Steam Workshop
To download some Usercontent, simply subscribe to it through the Steam Workshop interface in the Steam client or on the Steam website. The game will automatically download your subscribed content into the UserContent folder when you start up the launcher. If there are updates to this content, it will also automatically be updated.

4.4    Manually sharing content
Package files can be shared directly via mail, IM, etc. or using your preferred file sharing site.

4.4.1    Exporting packages
To easily share content with other users, you have to create a Package archive (.taf). This can be done by opening a package project in the package manager and then going to File -> Export. Make sure all your data has been filled in correctly!
(Note for Steam users: If you have already uploaded your file to Steam Workshop, an archive file has already been created in the package folder. You can simply send or upload this file to others.)

4.4.2    Adding packages to your game
Once you have received a package archive file from someone, you can simply add it to the game by placing it in your UserContent folder. Once you start up the game, the launcher will unpack the archive and you will be able to use the content in your game!

4.4.3    Updating manually added packages
To update manually added packages (because there is a new version for example), simply add the archive file to the UserContent folder. The game will overwrite the old files with the new files automatically.

4.5    Enabling and disabling UserContent in the launcher
The Launcher of the game now has a tab UserContent. The listbox will show all the content that is currently in you UserContent folder. This includes manually added files, the files you downloaded from Steam, as well as your local files which are not exported or uploaded to Steam yet.

It is possible to download your own content from Steam, for example if you want to test it. If you do this, the package file will be in the UserContent list twice, which the game does not allow. Files downloaded from Steam will always be in a folder in the following format: <package name> [Idnumber].You will have to uncheck the packages you do not wish to use during the next play-session. This System is in place to allow you to test your local changes without having to upload them to Steam directly.

You can also put your own archive files in the UserContent folder, as described in the section “Adding packages to your game”. If you do this, the package file will be in the UserContent list twice, which the game does not allow. Unpacked packages will always be in a folder in the following format: <package name> [PUB]. You will also have to uncheck the packages you do not wish to use during the next play-session.

See also: