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[aoe II] A few ways to improve the scenario editor

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2019-12-16

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暗里着迷 | UID=88 |2019-11-23
  Hey there! I have been designing scenarios for AoE2 since basically forever. It is by far my favourite part of this game and what has kept me coming back to it year after year. Designing new worlds, telling new stories and sharing these with a community of like-minded people is, at least for me, the core AoE experience - even more so than the multiplayer!
  The AoE2 scenario editor has always been an easy to learn, versatile tool and I often find myself coming back to it when a story pops into my head that does not work in any other medium. A few of my projects have gained some attention, and my scenarios combined have garnered somewhere around 100 000 downloads, on Steam and Age of Kings Heaven combined. Even now when I am working full time and juggling other obligations, I intend to keep making scenarios for AoE2 whenever I can.
  The new additions to the editor in AoE2E have me very excited. The new effects, the addition of AI variables into the triggers, the copy button for triggers and effects (finally!), light settings and much more - all of these additions I absolutely love.
  Even so, I am unsure whether I will switch over to DE from the UserPatch for my future projects. There are a lot of bugs left to iron out that are blatantly visible in the DE editor, as well as lag and response issues - and the UserPatch still has some features that the DE editor doesn’t have.
  I want AoE2E to be a success, because this game has always been very close to my heart. Therefor I have compiled a list below of issues discovered by myself and a couple fellow designers. Below that, I have also included a list of suggestions on how to improve the scenario editor and make it definitively better than the current UserPatch.
  (This is not an exhaustive list and I intend to keep adding to it as I explore the editor further.)
  Bugs and other issues:
  Terrain tab:

  • This issue has already been raised by others, but both of the cliffs are the same, there is no difference between the granite and the sandstone cliffs.
  • The elevation only goes to 7, as in the original game and the HD edition. In the UserPatch it goes to 11 (no Spinal Tap reference intended). I don’t see why DE should limit the designer’s options here.
  • Map copy: the shape of the brush does not adapt properly to the shape of the selected area. For example, a selected area of 2x6 turns into a 6x6 brush, when it should turn into a 2x6 brush. Again, the UserPatch has already fixed this issue from the original game and I don’t see why DE doesn’t already do so too.
  Triggers:

  • Pretty much everything lags or responds slowly, destroying the seamless workflow that characterized the original editor. Add too many effects to a trigger (like 8 or more) and there is a delay in every action. The same response lag happens when deleting or copying triggers and effects with many variables. This alone will turn any design session into a slog.
  • The “Change Armor” effect does not appear to work at all. Adding 1 armor decreases the unit’s armor by 255 or something like that. The “value” text box is also automatically set to 255, not -1 as in pretty much every other effect.
  • The “Timer” never goes above 59 seconds. Instead, if you set it to count down more than a minute, it goes to 0 and then starts over until it runs out. It would look a lot better with a more common sense display, e.g. 2:54… 2:53… etc.
  • Also, the “Minute” setting is the only one that works for the timer effect. If you select “Seconds” or “Years”, it shows no countdown at all.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I find the new “click” sound (the one that plays whenever you click any button in the editor) much more distracting than the simpler one in the original game.
  • There REALLY should be a drop-down menu for all the available sounds for the “Play sound” and “Display instructions” effects, as in the original game. You could even improve on the original editor by adding a search bar to these effects, so that you can search for the specific sound you are looking for/narrow the list down to only the sounds with a common prefix (which is a very comming way designers use to categorize the sounds for their specific scenario.)
  • In the “Description order” for triggers, it might be helpful to new designers to add a line in saying: “Objectives with higher numbers will appear at the top of the page” or “Objectives will appear in falling order from the objective with the highest number to the lowest.”
  • When using the “Replace Object” effetc on a Town Center, the wings graphics remain even after the change. See screenshot below.
  • Using the “Replace Object” effect to change a unit into a building turns it into a building foundation, not the actual building. I suppose this could be useful in some setting, but having the option to select if to turn it into a completed building or a foundation would be great.
  Various:

  • Units do not appear to have a dying sound when deleting them during a test.
  • Building graphics occasionally spazz out. For example, an outpost once changed into a compressed graphic of TC dark age wings. This was after I had moved “Loom” and villager creation from the TC to the Outpost through triggers, although I am unsure if there is actually a connection here. See screenshot below.
  Screenshots:

  Wonky graphics after replacing a TC with a castle (please ignore the dialogue test…)
DSC0000.jpeg wonky TC.jpg1920×1080 1.06 MB
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