FANTASY FRIDAY XV
The Scenario Design Editor
Please forgive the lateness - I was having some technical difficulties with my game version. But I think you'll all like what we have for you today as we look into the stunningly powerful scenario design editor and its many innovative features.
At a later time, we'll look into scripting and the modding tools that will come with Dawn of Fantasy. We will also talk more about the editor when we send out the beta and provide you with a couple tutorial resources and some exciting contests to see how well you can learn the ropes.
Don't let all the windows confuse - Dawn of Fantasy's scenario designer is very easy to use and within seconds of opening the editor, you'll be able to jump in and try out all these features for yourselves. The editor can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, allowing you to design a simple, practical map within minutes or a masterpiece within hours.
The first editor tool we'll look at today is the Terrain Editor
. While it may seem like an obvious and common tool, Dawn of Fantasy boasts one of the most powerful terrain editors seen in an RTS title. This editor allows you to alter the transparency of a terrain to mix terrains for beautiful transitions instead of just having grass automatically go into cliffs. Also, making use of the blend tool, you no longer have to worry about sharp edges on roads or other terrains - just smooth them over with this tool and you have a nice, blended edge. Furthermore, adding custom terrains is a piece of cake - just make your own .dds terrain file, drop it in the terrain folder, and you'll be ready to use it in scenarios.
Next up, we have the Copy/Paste Function
. Again, seemingly simple in nature, this function allows you to copy one section of a map (using either the same map you're working on or a different map from our library) and paste it somewhere else. Copy over only what you want to copy - toggle elevation, water, script names, and objects copy. As discussed in the Developer Blog with Joseph Visscher, this tool dramatically eases up the level design process as you can get stunning maps while only designing a quarter of it and pasting the rest. While perhaps not the best for common areas, this tool is recommended for large plains and regions where the player will not spend a large amount of his or her time.
Now let's move on to the Elevation Editor
. Create any elevation you want - a steep cliff, an immediate drop-off, smooth hills - whatever. Using an eye-dropper sort of tool, match one elevation to get the perfect height. You can also use the Soften function to smooth out any sharp edges, making for more realistic elevation.
One of my personal favorites tools allows you to take control over the environment - be the master of your units, control where they can go and can't go. Using the Invisible Walls
and Bridge Markers
, you can keep units from straying into a deep valley or make your own bridge to allow units to scale a fallen tree to cross a valley. With custom bridges, your units can go anywhere you want them to go to fulfill your artistic vision - walk on water, defy gravity, craft your own staircase.
I'm sure all our orc fans will love to see fire raining down on an elven stronghold! Using the Environment Editor
and Unit Attribution
functions, change the lighting - the color of the sky, time of day, bloom effects, star count and color, cloud opacity, etc. In this example, we turned the sky a bright red and turned down the bloom for some nice shadows. Then using unit attribute manipulation function, I placed down some rain objects and selected them to edit their attributes (which can be done with any object) - I changed their size, played with gravity to slow them down, gave them a wider spread, changed their colors to red fading to yellow, changed the frequency, and finally, inherited a fire texture to make it look as if it was raining fire.
The last feature we'll look at today goes along with unit attribution. By modifying the attributes, designers can alter a unit's health, damage, defense, and other stats without any scripting. Designers can also use these attributes to rotate or scale a unit on the x, y, or z axes - as seen in our barrel teaser
. You'll also have a number of other attributes to play around with including transparency and hover allowing you to create floating ghosts or creative, custom skyscrapers.