Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

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Home Forums Modding and Map Making Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

This topic contains 1,098 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Refineus 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #239771

    Gloweye
    Member

    May I suggest mithril mines be something for the depths? And if you can add a shadowrealm to the rmg, am I right in thinking you can add a depths realm? It would basically be the underground but underneath the underground.

    Yes, it’s all possible.

    However, every combination of layers (except for the bottommost layer, which listens to the UG toggle), needs it’s own mod. It’s cause you have to hijack the game’s default settings(or one of the game flow options, which the default is just one example of with an extra button) to add more layers.

    Can give some headaches trying to create the gate’s though. While I can make everything connect to the surface, I’ve not yet been able to have shadow entrances on the UG.

    #244578

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I’d be interested to revive this idea of a community-made “DLC” or expansion.
    I’m going to read this thread but I assume a good idea would be to work with existing mods and trying to improve them and merge them to create such an expansion, which could contain 1 new race, 1 new class and 1 additional layer (Shadow Realm).

    #244647

    Leon Feargus
    Member

    I would contribute to such a project but am not yet very skilled with the modding tools. My main skills are conceptualizing (like all of us) and writing.

    My preference would be to have the Shadow Demons as a class, Syrons as a race and Shadow Elves and (Living) Archons as dwellings.

    #244780

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I eventually finished to read this thread! I would like to know if someone found a good solution to the memory issue? If not, does it mean this project is doomed to fail?

    I started summarizing everything about the expansion and the current ideas here: http://age-of-wonders-3.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Hiliadan/Shadow_Realm_Community_Expansion It’s a work in progress, I’ll complete it little by little.

    There was no final agreement on the content of the expansion. I think the best is to build on existing stuff. So far, we’ve got a few mods that exist that are cited in my summary.

    Please check the “Summary of the mod” section to say if you agree with it: http://age-of-wonders-3.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Hiliadan/Shadow_Realm_Community_Expansion#Summary_of_the_mod
    So we would have 1 Dwelling UG, new units for existing races, a new layer with structures in it.
    We need 3D modellers if we want to make the Shadow Elf Race (or can you do it Charlatan?) and it needs to be designed. Same for additional Dwellings in the Shadow Realm.

    #244782

    Gloweye
    Member

    As good a moddeler as Charlatan is, there’s a lot of stuff to do and only so little time. You mentioned asking some other people – they responded yet ?

    #244788

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I contacted only BBB and you before today. BBB was also interested but has no modelling skills.
    I contacted people with potential modelling skills today only so no answer yet: Eomolch, Tibbles, iHunterKiller… I also contacted other people who uploaded visual changes in Steam, we will see.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #244794

    Samurai190
    Member

    I would love to help, but my 3D modelling skills are nigh non-existent.

    #244814

    Eomolch
    Member

    I contacted only BBB and you before today. BBB was also interested but has no modelling skills.
    I contacted people with potential modelling skills today only so no answer yet: Eomolch, Tibbles, iHunterKiller… I also contacted other people who uploaded visual changes in Steam, we will see.

    Hi Hiliadan, I read your message on steam, so I’ll give my 2 cents to this. First I have to say that while I am flattered that you asked me about models, the truth is that for all my mods so far (with one tiny exception) I only used the content ED and there was (luckily) no real modeling whatsoever involved. I am currently learning how to export unit models from other games to AoW3 using ninjaripper and maya, but that is about as far as my modeling experience goes. I don’t know yet if I will be able to master the weight painting part at some time, but what I do know is that I already spent like 5 hours on my first model in that respect (only the weight painting!) and am still far from being done with it so even if I wanted I couldn’t say yes to anything that would need me to deliver specific unit models.

    I’d advise you to ask vfxrob. He has a lot more experience with model imports (and made an excellent tutorial on that topic), maybe he would be interested to help.

    Best regards,
    Eomolch

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #244839

    vfxrob
    Member

    Hi Hiliadin,

    If Charlatans on this than so am I. Id be happy to help with the modelling/rigging of units, I’m not that great a modeller though.

    This is my baby here, although its not show casing my new units yet.
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=521662792

    Ive had a belly full of the xml, icons and doing attributes so i formally will decline taking part in any of that side of things, but any model visuals e.g. content editor stuff you will need please just provide a list and a reference and a deadline and il see what i can do. Cheers.

    #244842

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Great! Good news! Ok, let’s wait a bit to see the answers of other people I contacted then we’ll make a plan of what we do and who does what.

    EDIT: I had a look at your mod, it looks pretty cool! Would you have a more detailed list of what is inside? Some of your existing models or ideas could be included in the expansion as well maybe.

    Dr_K confirmed his interest to work on the project too (I assume as a coder, not a 3D modeller).

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #244854

    HousePet
    Member

    I’ve been thinking about making a mod to add Enchanter, Summoner and Cosmos specialisations, and while considering the possibility of another elemental category came up with an idea relevant to this project.

    Two elements that represent the Shadow Realm: Soul and Void.
    Soul represents the immaterial essence of all things, that which makes the inanimate animate. It has the power to boost natural and magical abilities, to cleanse and heal non physical wounds and add spiritual damage to weapon attacks. Its damage types are lightning and spirit.
    Void is the dark counterpart that opposes, yet complements Soul. It represents that which is nothing. Gaps in space, time and magic. It has the power to counter magic, make things vanish, negate gravity and even stop time. Its damage types are cold and blight.

    Fairly rough ideas at the moment, but I didn’t really like the idea of a single Shadow specialisation. Both would have some beneficial interactions with the Shadow Realm. Soul could be slightly good and Void could be slightly evil, but that is more for the benefit of the alignment system than these specialisations.

    #244855

    Gloweye
    Member

    I’ve personally had some vague thoughts about a Shadow Magic Spec. Refers back to AoW SM, stuff like that.

    TBH, I think the “nice” damage types for the shadow realm are Spirit and Shock. A case could be made for cold, but blight just feels…unfitting. Partially because they’re descendents of Death, lightning and Magic damage types(Lightning was used by the Syrons, the other two by the demons), partially because Shadowborn stuff already uses it – (Elder Eldritch, Black Lightning, Entwined by Shadows), partially because it feels fitting(more….clean… than the cold/blight combination that necro’s use.).

    Stuff could be Domain of Shadows (generic city happiness spell), perhaps an empire upgrade that allows construction of a building that grants Shadow Walking to produced units (master sphere ?), and perhaps some other synergy stuff.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Gloweye.
    #244866

    vfxrob
    Member

    @hiliadan,

    Im not sure if thats a great idea, not that I’m not willing to share but the work is not my own but other talented game artists. I’m expecting it to get taken down at some stage.

    I think this mod should be consisted of open sourced models, even paid, in game or made from scratch so its immune to this kind of trouble.

    If we have to make them il do my best but it is time consuming, and I’m not sure if my skill level is up to everyones taste.

    Ive thrown up some examples of the models I’ve done, but the only one i actually made is the steam tank.

    #244874

    HousePet
    Member

    Yeah, Spirit and Shock are the obvious types for the Shadow Realm, hence them being used for the Soul element.
    I went with Cold and Blight for Void for various vague reasons, like Black Bolts being Cold/Blight, void tending to be a cold thing, an existing ability Void Implosion does Cold/Blight damage…

    Not having a Death or Magic type makes things a bit awkward for recreating the Syron and Shadow Demon properties. Lightning is easy, its just Shock, Syrons are resistant and use it, Shadow Demons are weak to it. But the Shadow Demons resisted Death and tended to use Magic. Giving Shadow Demons resistance or application of Shock won’t work, and Spirit by itself is going to feel weird. Maybe Spirit and Blight damage?

    #244876

    Gloweye
    Member

    It’s more the blight that feels weird to me. However, I think a single(adept/master?), non-alignment spec would fit better.

    Soul represents the immaterial essence of all things, that which makes the inanimate animate

    But what’s the link with the shadow realm here ?

    . It has the power to boost natural and magical abilities

    sounds more like AD and Sorc classes

    , to cleanse and heal non physical wounds

    Creation ?

    and add spiritual damage to weapon attacks

    Theocrat?

    . Its damage types are lightning and spirit.
    Void is the dark counterpart that opposes, yet complements Soul. It represents that which is nothing

    slightly more shadow-realmish, void being a thing there…but the link ?

    . Gaps in space, time and magic. It has the power to counter magic, make things vanish, negate gravity and even stop time

    Cause this doesn’t sound like Shadow Realm specific to me either.

    . Its damage types are cold and blight.

    Sorry if I sound like a dick here(really not my intention, and I do value contribution to the discussion), but it doesn’t really sound like a Shadow Realm spec to me.

    Couple of ideas i’d want in a Shadow Magic spec:
    Adept:
    Domain of Shadows (Noted before, allows you to settle in the shadow world regardless of race)
    Shadow Walkers (Like Mark of the Heretic, but used on your own units, negates Shadow Sickness for X turns)
    Shadowfire(20 mana, 10+10 spirit/shock damage in 7 hex AoE, basic+ nuke)
    Master:
    Shadow Guild(shadow walking for produced units, allowing you to leave your domains of happiness)
    Into the Void(usable only outside shadow world if we can force that, but brings the shadow realm’s influence in the combat, inflicting Shadow Sickness on all non-resistant targets)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Gloweye.
    #244879

    Hiliadan
    Member

    EDIT: double post

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #244880

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Is it possible to teleport an unit from one layer to another? An ability or spell that can teleport a unit from the surface to the Shadow Realm at the same location in map (same X and Y) would be great to include in a Master spec.

    Hower, I’d suggest to work on the Archons and the Shadow Elves before thinking about a spec!

    @vfxrob: the Steam Tank seems nice to me!
    For the other models you attached, do you mean they are NOT open sourced? We of course need to use models for which we have the right to.

    #244881

    Gloweye
    Member

    Is it possible to teleport an unit from one layer to another? An ability or spell that can teleport a unit from the surface to the Shadow Realm at the same location in map (same X and Y) would be great to include in a Master spec.

    Nope. First of all, all teleportation is coded in the strategic map entities (teleporters/caves), and not in the magic system. Second, there’s no “getLocation” that we can access. Third, Layer ID’s are dynamic and don’t have to be in 0/1/2 surface/ug/shadow order even in RMG maps, let alone custom ones. Fourth, custom maps can create 3 surface, 2 UG and 5 shadow realm layers without any issue. If you shift from location X on layer Y, how would you ever know which layer to go to ?

    Hower, I’d suggest to work on the Archons and the Shadow Elves before thinking about a spec

    Actually, a spec is far easier. If you give me the icons, i could literally build it in two hours. (and then, screw up the FX most likely, but we’ve got another wizard we could ask for that. I believe Bob5 done some with it in the past?)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Gloweye.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Gloweye.
    #244885

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Yeah but a spec is less exciting than a Dwelling or a Race (as we discussed on Steam)! And also there was a consensus for them, not for a spec.

    #244886

    HousePet
    Member

    I agree the Blight feels weird, but we are a bit restricted here. Which is also why some of the general abilities listed also overlap with existing ones. (On the plus side, we know those are codeable.) Trying to think of some abilities associated with spirit and magic without overlapping was giving me a headache…

    Soul and Void aren’t meant to be Shadow Realm specialisation, just a couple of elements loosely connected to the Shadow Realm. Its basically a seed of a thought that needs more work really, and I agree that the link to the Shadow isn’t explicit.
    The Shadow Realm doesn’t seem to feature the traditional elements of Fire/Earth/Water/Air, it looked to be more made up of void, crystals and magical glowy stuff. Void is fine as a flavour, but crystal seemed a bit dull and ‘magical glowy stuff’ is severly lacking in theme, so I went with the Soul theme as the Shadow Demons used them as a resource.

    I’m a bit concerned that a Shadow Realm specialisation would be a bit too generic and bland, and useless if the Shadow layer isn’t active. There isn’t an Underground specialisation or an Aboveground specialisation. It sort of feels like we would just be making a Shadow spec for the sake of having a Shadow version of everything.

    And I agree that its a bit early to work on a specialisation. I just wanted to put the idea out to mature. 🙂

    #244887

    Gloweye
    Member

    and useless if the Shadow layer isn’t active.

    This is mostly an unavoidable problem I fear. I don’t know how many of you really played SM, but in my limited experience, races like syrons and shadow demons felt OP on the shadow world and to weak to exist on the normal world. It’s a tough balance to make if the layer’s optional, and it’s inherent to the nature of the concept of Shadow Sickness. However, we could make the effect a bit weaker, like has been said before.

    a point to remember tho, is that the existence of a layer is going to depend on toggling a mod on or off. This alone would give a good reason to make the RMG a seperate mod. (And BTW…a combat enchantment publishing shadow sickness <would> actually decrease the discrepancy…)

    #244894

    Leon Feargus
    Member

    Yeah, Spirit and Shock are the obvious types for the Shadow Realm, hence them being used for the Soul element.
    I went with Cold and Blight for Void for various vague reasons, like Black Bolts being Cold/Blight, void tending to be a cold thing, an existing ability Void Implosion does Cold/Blight damage…

    Not having a Death or Magic type makes things a bit awkward for recreating the Syron and Shadow Demon properties. Lightning is easy, its just Shock, Syrons are resistant and use it, Shadow Demons are weak to it. But the Shadow Demons resisted Death and tended to use Magic. Giving Shadow Demons resistance or application of Shock won’t work, and Spirit by itself is going to feel weird. Maybe Spirit and Blight damage?

    Indeed.
    We would have to get by combining other damage types.
    Magic Bolts exist in the game by the grace of tigran mystics (spirit/fire) and Black Bolts, as you say, as cold/blight. Spirit/blight is also an existing combo (Rime fire).
    Maybe a theme for shadow dwellers could be Ethereal Bolts/Strike: frost/shock.

    As an aside, blight damage channel does have some precedence in the shadow realm, as Demon Larvae used to have Poison Strike and Venemous Spit.

    #244905

    HousePet
    Member

    So some more Shadow Realm specific skill ideas, grouped into Soul and Void, though could be merged into one spec if it happens that way.

    Soul:
    Something that gives all your Irregular/Support units Disrupt Shadow.
    Something that gives your Infantry/Cavalry/Pikeman units Shadow Slayer.
    A battlefield enchantment that negates Shadow Sickness and increases Spirit resistance.
    A single target spell like Break Control.
    A Domain of Shadow like spell that also protects your units in the cities domain from Shadow Sickness.

    Void:
    Void Embrace: A Domain of Shadow like spell that also makes units produced in that city Shadow Dwellers. Maybe also give them a bonus when in the Shadow Realm?
    Battlefield enchantment for inflicting Shadow Sickness on all non protected units. Buffs Shadow Dweller units.
    Shadow Magic: Your support units gain Inflict Shadow Sickness.
    Phase Walls: Battlefield enchantment that gives all units Pass Wall and negates the bonus for archering from a wall.

    #244929

    Bob5
    Member

    Actually, a spec is far easier. If you give me the icons, i could literally build it in two hours. (and then, screw up the FX most likely, but we’ve got another wizard we could ask for that. I believe Bob5 done some with it in the past?)

    I’ve done quite a lot with the PFX editor already, I have made quite some nice effects. I could make particle effects for stuff. It’s always a bit of work (a lot of spells need multiple PFX entities, like one trigger for the casting animation (in the spell definition or the targeter) and one looping animation for the spell being active (in the property). Some require even more, battlefield enchantments affecting units can also require both trigger and looping animations for the enchanted units, wall marker spells like enchanted walls require both trigger and looping FX on strategic map, and looping on tactical map.

    I don’t have any experience with modelling though, and I’m not an artist. I believe it’s possible to import more models and sprites into the PFX editor, but I never tried that, and the existing sprites are already very broad. I’d only advise importing new sprites if it’s a unique image specific to a certain effect, like the four-leaf-clover sprite for the lucky FX.

    #244948

    Gloweye
    Member

    I could make particle effects for stuff.

    Thanks a bunch for considering at the very least. It might be a while before it’s actually needed, but still good to know. I for one have never really touched them.

    #245001

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I discussed with Tibbles and he is too busy on his own project to join this one.
    iHunterKiller added me on Steam, I’ll try to discuss with him.

    However, I assume it is safe the modelling team will be limited to Charlatan and vfxrob.
    rob, do you think you could handle creating or editing models for a race like the Shadow Elves? Or a dwelling like the Archons?

    #245003

    Gloweye
    Member

    It might be worth checking this out:

    [MOD][WIP] Living Archons – announcement and questions

    I can’t find any published mod coming from this, but even if we can only borrow the models for use, archon dwelling can be considered almost finished. After all, coding is only half a weekend work.

    #245004

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Indeed! I asked Zaskow about the files, etc. I guess we can consider we have them! Great!

    Then let’s work on the units!
    I summarized what Gloweye proposed in p.1 here: http://age-of-wonders-3.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Hiliadan/Shadow_Realm_Community_Expansion#Archons

    #245006

    Gloweye
    Member

    We thinking about a full race here I assume?

    The tasks that will need doing is:

    Racial Governance Design:
    Perhaps BBB can manage this a bit, of course with general input? I think I can give reasonable ideas as to what’s possible, when we get to that stage.

    Class Units:
    Visuals:
    Perhaps we can do some things with recoloring some other race for certain units(shaman, hunter, evangelist, Reanimator), recombining racials (manticore, phalanx?, mountedArcher), but some might need special attention – Beserker and Martyr come to mind, for example. Human/Frostling recolors might get us a large way, but tbh I don’t really know what im talking about here.

    Needs someone to think of a way to represent everything. Including a couple racials – if we agree on the current set, I think Saints need to float convincingly and valkery needs to fly – and I’ve got no idea how to do that. Unless of course we agree on a different roster.

    As for abilities:

    Warlord:
    Scout (Nothing special I propose, like the other races.)
    Monster Hunter
    Beserker
    Mounted Archer
    Phalanx
    Warbreed
    Manticore

    Theocrat:
    Martyr (spirit blast? Don’t resemble humans to much…)
    Crusader
    Evangelist (Resurrect up to T3 instead of the T2 that the saint has perhaps ? Could replace convert with it…they’re not really diplomacy masters in previous games)

    Rogue:
    Scoundrel
    Bard
    Assassin
    Succubus (Looking forward to using Archon Succubi….)

    Necromancer: (looking forward to Archon Necro as well….)
    Reanimator
    Deathbringer

    Arch Druid:
    Hunter
    Shaman

    Sorcerer:
    Apprentice

    Dreadnought:
    Engineer
    Musketeer

    That’s 21 class units. Not all need special abilities, but they will all need to be created.

    Think we’re gonna need a volunteer to keep track of a list of ideas and decisions were gonna make here.

    Heroes/Leaders:
    We should create a full set of matching heroes and leaders with every class. If time is a restraint, I don’t think it’s an issue if we only got one outfit per class, but I don’t know much about this either. Not sure if there’s other people who’ve done it in the past, but once the outfits are linked to the races, it’s pretty trivial to create them in the rpk’s.

    Along with some ideas for names, we’re also gonna want 9 “hero special skills” to go with the heroes we build.

    We’re gonna need a volunteer to keep track of ideas, perhaps.

    City Visuals:
    Not good at this either…but it’s gonna be required. I can do the rpk parts without any issues, but I’m gonna need a clb having the resources (same for the other stuff, actually)

    I’ll handle RMG integration. I suggest putting everything Archon related into a single rpk – I can implement everything that’s decided on. At the end, I could probably pass it to Bob5 for any FX effects.

    Im not gonna build them all on the Wiki – it takes more time than it does to build the unit in the mod tools, let alone updating them all. Perhaps I’ll do it at the end, if we’ve decided.

    Also, it might be a good idea to have some active MP’ers test the race a bit before we release it, to make sure we can catch any glaring balance issues.

    #245007

    Leon Feargus
    Member

    I discussed with Tibbles and he is too busy on his own project to join this one.

    Typo: “he” should be “she” 😉

    City Visuals:
    Not good at this either…but it’s gonna be required. I can do the rpk parts without any issues, but I’m gonna need a clb having the resources (same for the other stuff, actually)

    I might be able to get some results with this, as I have had some practise.

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