need modding help

Lux maps won't make themselves.
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ththth25
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need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:26 pm

Hi Everyone! I'm very interested in modding/creating relatively traditional-style wargames using Sillysoft's Lux map-making and AI. But I have a huge problem: I'm not computer-literate, so the guides that are provided (at least the ones I've been able to find) are very difficult for me to follow. What little designing I've tried with these guides has been abysmal (for example, I can't seem to shrink hex size or run past the edges of the screen so that a map simulates a much broader area than appears to be the standard LUX environment, and I've been unable to figure out how to change a unit's movement capabilities, or make a hex/country's income be only a fraction--like 0.1, etc.). But, as Dustin has been doing with LUX ALLIANCE et al, I'm hoping to work in specific units with movement and offensive/defensive capabilities/variations, etc., so the LUX map editor appears to have a lot of potential, but I just don't have the literacy to be able to really dig in and figure it out.

I'm wondering if there is a guide out there that might be easier for someone like me to understand (or, perhaps, one of you is working on one as we speak?). Perhaps some of you are familiar with the in-game modding system used by the EE series (Empire Earth, especially EEII). There were some AI difficulties with that, but it was quite easy and intuitive and I was able to make some pretty intricate and challenging scenarios with those guidelines. If anyone can provide such guidance with the LUX system...or if you know of any similar modding system for dummies like me, I would much appreciate any assistance. And perhaps I need to start this thread somewhere else? Thanks in advance!

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Re: need modding help

Post by n00less cluebie » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:19 am

Hmmmm. I'm thinking the changes you want to make go beyond the capabilities of the map editor, but I'd move this post to the Maps forum and/or send a direct PM to mbauer who is more expert on this than I am
Last edited by GFips on Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Thanks N00! I moved this thread to the map room. I hope "map-experts" can/will help here ...

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dustin
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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:05 pm


ththth25
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Re: need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:25 pm

Thanks, Dustin. I had already checked out all the links. I'm still frustrated by my inability to create smaller hex sizes (tried entering bigger numbers in the map size menu to no avail). Using the method provided in these links yields a hex size that is relatively large. I'm wondering, for example, how the smaller-sized hexes were created for the tall, thin England map or for some of the space war maps. And I'm guessing that creating movement/att/def for specific units and creating hexes with a yield of, say, only 0.1 per hex requires going beyond what the guidelines provide. I was hoping someone could provide guidance for someone like me who does not know java or html, etc. Seems like if someone created a hex map generator with all manner of these variations in drop-down-style menus, folks like me could create all kinds of cool wargame scenarios. I'd pay for such a program! ps--are you familiar with the EE (Empire Earth) series and the scenario creator (especially in EEII)?

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dustin
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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:25 am

I'm not familiar with EE, no.

If you want smaller hexes, you can resize the map smaller inside the map editor, that will shrink the hexes

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Re: need modding help

Post by Owned » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:45 pm

For smaller hexes you can also edit the map text file and add in specific polygons. Then open up the map and copy the polygons, hexes in this case.

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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:51 pm

You can also select groups of hexes, and then copy and pasts them, when you're in the "Move Country Shapes" mode.

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Re: need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:11 am

Thanks, gentlemen! I'll try implementing your suggestions. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Re: need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:44 pm

dustin wrote:You can also select groups of hexes, and then copy and pasts them, when you're in the "Move Country Shapes" mode.
I've finally been able to shrink hex size according to your (and others') instructions (thank you!). I can also copy/paste. But there appears to be no delete function. How do I delete hexes (say, particular ones) from the map (to create impassable hexes)?

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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:54 pm

Right-click on a hex while in the 'Draw shapes' mode to delete a hex

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Re: need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:28 am

Wow...just that easy. Thanks so much, Dustin!

And now another question: is there an easy way to transfer/install/superimpose an "overground" image onto a map (besides what you and mbauer describe in the tutorial)? I don't mean a whole theme. I just mean, say, a single hex side river or mountain range that I import into the map editor and then simply place it over my existing map...for aesthetic purposes (I understand I have to use the "country connections" function to make these hex sides impassable). Right now what I'm doing is drawing river and mountain shapes (polygons) with the draw tool, naming them as countries/continents to give them color, then keeping them neutral so that they remain out of play. If I want a bunch of river or mountain hex sides on a small-hexed large map, I simply do a LOT of copying and pasting (which takes forever). This makes for awkward graphics, to say the least. If I could just create some of these images in something like Publisher or Adobe and could transfer them over to lay on top of my map, it would be great! Tried to do it with png images, but the map editor won't accept my drag and drop attempts.

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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:03 pm

What you want is best done using the map Theme. It's basically creating an image that acts as the overground. And you put your mountains and such into that.

Read this for more info:
http://sillysoft.net/wiki/?Theme%20Tutorial

Using hex countries to mark impassible areas won't work once you try to actually play the game (the game checks to make sure all countries can be reached so the map is playable). So using the theme to do it is the right way

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Re: need modding help

Post by ththth25 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:57 pm

Thanks so much for the link, Dustin. I had read it and hate to admit I'm terribly lost. I'll go back and try to comb through it more meticulously and see if I can learn how to use the overlays. If I can just get to the point where I can import and overlay a graphic onto the map, I'd be good!

Nevertheless, I have continued to use countries (shapes) for my graphics (mtns, rivers, etc.) and I've declared them as non-playable and then I've used the "connections" tool to maintain impassable hex sides. It has worked fine for me so far. I've created a couple of scenarios that play like pretty good traditional two-player wargames (making certain "cities" and locations as objectives that are worth some income while most of the map remains "neutral"). I'm considering breaking certain areas into smaller ones to simulate greater movement cost per turn. The graphics are not great, but it works. I'd be happy to upload what I've got so far for your perusal. My first one is more or less "done" and plays with quite good balance and challenge.

Another question: is there an easy way for me to go in and reduce the size of the stock unit (army) graphics, or will I need to go into the code and change some numbers?

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Re: need modding help

Post by dustin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:52 pm

You can't change the size of the unit graphics, sorry.

Another tip is to make a copy of an existing map, and play around with that. You'll see how it uses the theme files to make design art areas on the map.

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