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[development thread]Aftermath mod

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by seZereth, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    Hi.
    Welcome to the Aftermath mod development thread.



    This thread is for recruiting team members and gathering ideas.

    Until now, I have modifiied Afterworld (shipped with BtS) visually only.
    I replaced the Gravebringer robots with Modern Units.
    A Shotgun guy, a dual uzi wielding gunman and some heavy equipped bounty hunters.
    I definitely want someone with a chainsaw in as well.
    I also implemented some basic Survivors (by Refar) cannon fodder.

    The Bad guys are Zombies.
    I would like to see some more stuff on this side added, like zombie dogs, psychotic survivors, and more mutants.

    I want this mod to be much more fast paced and action oriented than Afterworld is.
    Your sniper should be able to take out a zombie with one shot from a distance. and a Shotgun guy should be able to do this as well in close combat. So, basically higher damage, but less likely to hit in certain situations.

    Basically i don´t like the 10% damage limit of Afterworld and would lower strength´s and movement quiet a bit.
    You should be able to die really fast, if you don´t use the specialties of your team members to its best.
    There need to be health packs scattered over the map and a healer in your group.
    (Zombies will be able to heal from dead enemies)


    The Story is still rough and I think some native speaker can write it with much denser atmosphere...

    In principle I would like the player to be able to choose at the beginning between several factions:
    -The Survivors: Basically a large group of people gathered from the surviving population, on their way trying to escape the whole chaos (there are rumors of a safe place).
    You would have a larger amount, but less strong and badly equipped units. making use of close combat weapons, crossbows, rifles, molotov cocktails and perhaps a flamethrower if you find it ;)
    -The 7th Company: The surviving members of a military force. Sent to fight the Zombies, but got surprised or trapped or sabotaged and lost most of the company. They try to rescue and gather as many members of their force and survivors, to reestablish communications and finally find a way out / destroy the zombies.
    Basically better equipped but overall less units compared to the survivors.
    Using all kind of automatic rifles, a heavy machine gun, a pump gun, double uzi´s, demolitions, a sniper rifle. Perhaps also a jeep or truck. and with reestablished communications some air strikes or artillery support might be possible (off map, just hitting some plots).
    -The Hunters: Only 2 or 3 guys, well trained, battle hardened, heavily equipped. Basically they are Mercenaries, hired by some shadow company. They have been sent in, to recover various items, before the military finds them or the zombies destroy them. They will have to fight the zombies and probably military units as well. Using special forces m16 with all kinds of gimmicks.
    -The Zombies: yes, if possible, you will be able to play the evil side. Trying to kill everything on your way and prevent the military to establish a beach head. You can feast on survivors to regain strength and spawn new zombies from the hospital...


    I definitely need someone doing the xml and code stuff. I simply don´t have the time and knowledge to get these things done on my own.
    And if you are a creative scenario and story creater, your are very welcome as well


    The good side is, most of the graphics are already available and more can be produced easily (as i created most of the source files anyway ;] ). I would take care of producing some more Units, Equipment, furniture, walls and other stuff to make the map more interesting as well.

    Anyone willing to dig into Afterworld and help making this mod go beyond planning stage?


    Attached is what I have done visually. Functional it is the same as Afterworld, but it looks different. (the Zombies are the different incarnations of Bleeders. the survivor unit is the first Ferral unit, if you want to world builder it in). Unpack the zip into your Mods/Afterworld/Assets directory. ( you probably want to make a copy of your afterworld directory before that...)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    as i am not comfortable with python or xml (i simply have no experience and didnt play the game often enough to know the effects of all the values), I would really really appreciate the help of someone. (would also give me much more time for graphics).

    XML / Python requests:



    Spoiler :


    Bolt text Originally Posted by seZereth, normal text by Kael
    -remove the 10% damage maximum cap.
    Im not sure what you mean by this, I just attacked someone and did 55% damage in ranged attack mode.

    -explain me how the afterworld combat system works ( i wanna know how the ranged strikes are handled and related to this, if it makes sense to give units first strikes, blitz, collateral damage and so on, or if that is only useful for melee or isn´t it useful at all?)
    I believe (and this is just my assumption from looking at it for a few minutes) that its using air combat to do it. The only real variables you have to deal with are AirRange (how far away they can shoot, set to 3), and the AirCombatLimit (the max damage they can do, set to 100 so they are able to kill enemies).

    If you want to have a variety of attacks, and the ability to apply different effects based on them its going to be some considerable SDK changes to do it (basically a tactical spell system). Trying to teach the use of that system to the AI would also be a considerable task.

    You can get around the bulk of the AI issues if you are willing to limit these "advanced functions" to human players only.

    Quote:
    -a mechanism with a chance to damage surrounding plots (grenades, explosives)
    Yes, but as above you will need considerable SDK changes to add a new command that is capable of doing this. The actual effect of generatign the explosion, making the sound and applying damage to those within range is pretty easy.

    Quote:
    -is it possible to determine the chance (percentage) of scoring a hit in combat (accuracy, higher chance to miss on greater distances) independent of strength (which should only influence damage)?
    At an SDK level, yes. You would have to add a few attributes to control this (and I assume have them modified by promotions). Then intercept the air combat function to apply the check, only continuing if the "hit" is successful, otherwise post a miss message and return.

    Quote:
    -is it possible to set the amount of combat rolls possible for one attack?
    Yes, with the above system you could have it loop through a set number of rolls and determine a hit for each (in the case of automatic fire or shot guns).

    Quote:
    -a mechanism to heal zombies from killed units and spawn zombies from certain plots
    Yes, these could both be python functions (so you wouldnt need the SDK).

    Quote:
    -point me to where this bloody green explosion effect is, happening when you make a ranged attack (wanna change it to a blood splatter or something else and hopefully use it for every kind of combat)
    If you do a file compare between the CIV4EffectInfoos.xml in Afterworld and the one in BtS you should have a good indicator of where the change is. Im not sure which change it is, there are about 6-7 differences, but one of those is probably the attack effect. (Im guessing its EFFECT_ENEMY_GLOW_UNIT).

    Quote:
    -make corpses stay for several turns (perhaps by creating a feature/improvement at the death of a unit, for the zombies to feast on or the humans to loot)
    Yes, that could be a python only change.

    Quote:
    -Is it possible to set different HP´s for different units? (i suppose strength is for determining the damage you deal, which is then subtracted from the hp a unit has, 100 in vanilla i think)
    Yes, no idea how this will effect the rest of the game. For example you will probably get into situation where it says that it did 55% damage to a unit 200 hit points when it meant it only did 55 points of damage. It may also miss up combat odds calculations (the game generally assumes everything has 100 hit points and works from there). But all those problems are beatable with enough code.

    -Add some more (7) "dummy" terrains, accessible by world builder, so I can create some more textures (name them: craters, grass, bricks, 3x indoor floors, mud)
    Definitly, this is the easiest reuqest so far. Add art, update the XML and you are ready to go. No coding required.

    Is it possible to use something like a "wound system":
    Random wounds are pretty easy. Targeting gets into the SDK "tactical spell system" that I mentioned above.

    Overall:

    I believe you want to make a true tactical combat game. If so the Civ4 engine is not set up well to do it so its going to require a lot of code to get like you want. Basically every function outside of movement and the graphics engine will need to written from scratch. Ranged attack more complex than the co-opted air strikes, various gernades, flame throwers, melee attacks, defensive terrain, dodging, knockdown, destructible features, etc. Whenever you come up with a cool idea for an opponent or attack its going to be significant SDK and python code to make it work.

    Thats not to say that I dont think it could be an awesome game. Especially with your art a pc version of something like Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics set in a zombie filled apoclypse will full battle enviornments would be extremely cool. I think thats what Tim was going for when he made Afterworld, he was just constrained by the limitations of the Civ4 engine.

    At the very least you will need a extremly good SDk programmer to even start on something like this. I'd see if Grey Fox was interested in it. He definitly has the code skill to do it and way back he was working on a tactical based mod. With the encouragement of your help and art he may be willing to start in again.



    Is it possible to use something like a "wound system":
    Spoiler :
    for successful hits, the enemy might receive a negative promotion of the following with different probabilities:
    "Hit in the Leg": reduces Movement
    "Hit in the Arm": reduces strength and accuracy
    "Hit in the stomach": unit looses some strength every round (like poisoned)
    "Hit in the Head": unit is killed instantly
    And then with higher skill of the attacker, it is more likely to inflict these wounds?
    Especially for the Mercenaries. I would like them being able to choose to shoot at the legs or something, so they can slow enemies down, giving them more time to kill from a distance.


    These will be the most important changes, as it will give us the possibility to play around with creating a new and fun combat system.

    later:
    -create the factions and units in xml
    -point me to the files where the comical dialog in the afterworld scenario is scripted (so we can modify it and give objectives, etc).
    -create a first scenario map for each faction to get some feedback. (will probably have to be 4 scenarios then).



    I need someone to help me finding the right values and entries for the Units:

     
  3. Shiggs713

    Shiggs713 Immortal

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    sounds good. I'm kinda busy right now, but try to keep working on it. I could probably help out some in a couple months. Mostly with XML, 2d art, and scenario creation. I can maybe help in python or story creation as well.
     
  4. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I can help with XML and feedback. One thing I like from the pictures is that the colors arent as dark as Afterworld. With the colors that dark, screen glare is bad. You will have to try hard not to make it another apocalyptic mod.
     
  5. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    Hey, the overall look of the Mod is easy to modify and can be adjusted to the wishes of the team ;)
    But first we need to know if it is possible to make the necessary changes to make this a quick, dirty, fun mod.

    EDIT: about the post apocalyptic mod, well it is not my plan to have a post apocalyptic feeling, it is more like, the world is at war, so everything is in a turmoil and in the midst of the whole chaos, someone releases a bio weapon, which causes people and animals to change,... become "zombies", enraged, crazed, mutated,... less human, the longer the virus is in them. So, you will see infected beings in different stages of "evolution", the virus changes the metabolism... some people you encounter may be affected only for a short time, being in blind rage, but still able to use more of their brain, and those affected for a longer time, loosing hair, ignoring pain, mutating. this whole process is very unhealthy and self destroying, it degenerates the higher functions of the brain and makes the being more primitive, but stronger in a twisted way. if not given enough food, the whole process will lead to a destruction of the whole nerve system and inner organs, like being on a steadily increasing dose of steroids and crack. don´t necessarily want the zombies to be "undead" in a classical sense. (i know this sounds kind of umbrellas t-virus or whatever, but I think at this stage it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but if someone has a more creative story, i´ll be happy to use it).
     
  6. Shiggs713

    Shiggs713 Immortal

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    ok, I posted before you had edited the 2nd post... I'll download mod, and look into your python/XML request tonight, being as its not all that much. When I said I can't help for awhile, I meant that I can't fully indulge myself into a huge project right now... but if you just need a few things looked at/modified, I can help whenever I have free time. :)

    I'm about to go to work right now, otherwise I'd love to look at it right now.

    Shiggs

    edit: btw, it may be difficult to do 4 different scenarios if your planning on using python scripted events.
     
  7. GarretSidzaka

    GarretSidzaka Chieftain

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    WOW Great Zombie mod coming on i detect!!!
     
  8. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    If i get some support, it might turn into a great mod ;)


    Updated the first and second post with a lot more details and ideas/requests.
     
  9. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I looked over your requests and here is my opinion on them.

    -remove the 10% damage maximum cap.
    This might be done in the XML files same way as siege combat is done, I'll take a look.
    -explain me how the afterworld combat system works ( i wanna know how the ranged strikes are handled and related to this, if it makes sense to give units first strikes, blitz, collateral damage and so on, or if that is only useful for melee or isn´t it useful at all?)
    In Afterworld, since most combet is ranged, blits, shock, and so on wouldn't be useful. They would be useful if combat is unit to unit.
    -a mechanism with a chance to damage surrounding plots (grenades, explosives)
    A crude workaround is to use it like a spell and summon a unit with the kamikaze tag in the XML and that funcions like a Pyre Zombie (FFH) when killed.
    -is it possible to determine the chance (percentage) of scoring a hit in combat (accuracy, higher chance to miss on greater distances) independent of strength (which should only influence damage)?
    I don't think so, but ask someone else before reworking this idea. I know nothing about how combat itself works, except I loose far to many battle 70+% chance
    -is it possible to set the amount of combat rolls possible for one attack?
    If what you mean in the amount of damage done per hit, I dont think so.
    -a mechanism to heal zombies from killed units and spawn zombies from certain plots
    A crude way to do this is when a zombie is killed, it drops an item called 'zombie corpse' or something that can be picked up and used to heal. For plot spawning, that should be easy, make an improvement that spawns them like barrows and animal dens if FFH
    -point me to where this bloody green explosion effect is, happening when you make a ranged attack (wanna change it to a blood splatter or something else and hopefully use it for every kind of combat)
    All effects are in Beyond the Sword/Art/Effects. For some reason the XML routs it through the interface. I think the file you are looking for is FFLaserBeam. I think Afterworld and FF both use the same effects. I cant tell if it is correct because it is a .nif, and I cant open that on my comp.
    -make corpses stay for several turns (perhaps by creating a feature/improvement at the death of a unit, for the zombies to feast on or the humans to loot)
    See above answers, this does require python though.
    -Is it possible to set different HP´s for different units? (i suppose strength is for determining the damage you deal, which is then subtracted from the hp a unit has, 100 in vanilla i think)
    As far as I know, HP cant be changed because all it is used for is leeping track of unit damage.
    -Add some more (7) "dummy" terrains, accessible by world builder, so I can create some more textures (name them: craters, grass, bricks, 3x indoor floors, mud)
    Should be easy in terraininfos. Just copy and pasting.

    For wounds, it might be possible using a function like the mimic in FFH. I have no clue about the python wording.
     
  10. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Im not sure what you mean by this, I just attacked someone and did 55% damage in ranged attack mode.

    I believe (and this is just my assumption from looking at it for a few minutes) that its using air combat to do it. The only real variables you have to deal with are AirRange (how far away they can shoot, set to 3), and the AirCombatLimit (the max damage they can do, set to 100 so they are able to kill enemies).

    If you want to have a variety of attacks, and the ability to apply different effects based on them its going to be some considerable SDK changes to do it (basically a tactical spell system). Trying to teach the use of that system to the AI would also be a considerable task.

    You can get around the bulk of the AI issues if you are willing to limit these "advanced functions" to human players only.

    Yes, but as above you will need considerable SDK changes to add a new command that is capable of doing this. The actual effect of generatign the explosion, making the sound and applying damage to those within range is pretty easy.

    At an SDK level, yes. You would have to add a few attributes to control this (and I assume have them modified by promotions). Then intercept the air combat function to apply the check, only continuing if the "hit" is successful, otherwise post a miss message and return.

    Yes, with the above system you could have it loop through a set number of rolls and determine a hit for each (in the case of automatic fire or shot guns).

    Yes, these could both be python functions (so you wouldnt need the SDK).

    If you do a file compare between the CIV4EffectInfoos.xml in Afterworld and the one in BtS you should have a good indicator of where the change is. Im not sure which change it is, there are about 6-7 differences, but one of those is probably the attack effect. (Im guessing its EFFECT_ENEMY_GLOW_UNIT).

    Yes, that could be a python only change.

    Yes, no idea how this will effect the rest of the game. For example you will probably get into situation where it says that it did 55% damage to a unit 200 hit points when it meant it only did 55 points of damage. It may also miss up combat odds calculations (the game generally assumes everything has 100 hit points and works from there). But all those problems are beatable with enough code.

     
  11. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    thanks Kael for the feedback!
    You are probably right with waiting for Grey Fox,... if he wants to revise his CIVrpg, then that might be the base.
    What a pity he has so limited Access to the net ;)

    Hmm, ok, so, until then it is pretty much limited what can be done.

    I had a look and it seems with the given Afterworld stuff it is definitely possible to create a fun Mod without SDK work!

    Basically we have several attributes, which can be modifiied in xml:

    Field of view
    Invisibility
    Air Range,
    Air Damagelimit, (set this higher than 100 and he will do more damage in ranged combat, set it lower and he will do less, i dont know the exact calculation and there is unfortunately no random factor involved)
    Air Strength (seems not to be used.)
    Melee Strength
    Melee Damage limit
    First strikes for Melee?? (with only some combat rounds rolled before a unit withdraws, i don´t know how firststrikes affect combat)
    Basically i would like to have the limited attacks from vanilla back, so we can use blitz (or reaction like i would call it) for the number of attacks one can do.

    e.g.: a automatic rifle unit would function like that: Air attacks (aircap?) 4, Air range: 3, AirDamagelimit: 100
    a pumpgun unit would function like that: Air attacks 2, Air range: 1, AirDamagelimit: 500
    a sniperrifle unit would function like that: Air attacks: 1, Air Range: 6, Airdamagelimit: 1000

    and with promotions we than can determine accuracy etc. (increasing damage limit, higher range, etc.)
    And then for the survivors we would have a lot more close combat action, with promotions against certain classes etc.

    Grenades could use the code from the FfH Pyre Zombie, if someone is able to implement that.

    What is that <iAirUnitCap>4</iAirUnitCap> for?? would be awesome to use it as a cap for limiting the shots one can fire in one round.
    Can one make use of that without SDK?

    We have already several promotions there, Increasing strength, strength versus special types of units. (i am thinking of implementing "bodyarmor" as class or as promotion, all units without armor piercing will have a negative modifier against this class).

    Is there a possibility for modifying the air damage received?
    (like through the promotion "small" or "fast" or "kevlar vest" could grant some damage resistance).
    It also seems, as if the air damage dealt is always the same, independent of the targeted units "actual strength" (it seems to make a difference to shoot at a strength 3, 4 and 7 unit, they receive less damage, the higher their strength is, but they don´t receive more damage if they are e.g. 1.3/3 (means, they still receive 55%, independent of being 3/3 or 1.3/3 )


    about the damage cap i am talking about:
    actually by changing the damage limit (icombatlimit) you can change the amount of damage dealt. which then will be displayed in game as: unit can not cause more than x% damage a round. After setting everything (max HP and icombat limits) to 100, the message was gone.


    So, and here comes the point:
    Did Tom use SDK to code Afterworld or is the whole combat system accessible in python?
     
  12. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    iAirUnitCap has to do with the amount of air units that can be loaded into the unit. I don't know why its set on the Afterworld units.
     
  13. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Kael, wouldent you be able to create a grenade like effect by creating a unit that kills itself after combat, think the tag is Kamikaze or missle while doing damage to other tiles like the Pyre Zombie when it dies? I don't know a thing about python or SDK changes, but I don't think it needs more than python and XML.
     
  14. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    a problem is, that i am used to the ffh things you can do with xml and python, which are pretty awesome compared to vanilla :)

    but lets see, maybe one can crack that combat system just a little bit more open to give some more possibilities.

    If someone could help me trying and play around a bit with xml values and their corresponding effects in game.

    e.g.: what are those tags for:

    <UnitClassUpgrades/>
    <UnitClassTargets/>
    <UnitCombatTargets/>
    <UnitClassDefenders/>
    <UnitCombatDefenders/>
    <FlankingStrikes/>
    <UnitClassAttackMods/>
    <UnitClassDefenseMods/>
    <UnitCombatMods/>
    <UnitCombatCollateralImmunes/>


    Maybe also the interception probability can be used to determine a hit? and thus the evasion can be used to determine accuracy, etc.?
     
  15. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Yeap, this is how we do fireballs in FfH. But you still have the same issues around adding a new command option to spawn the unit in the first place.

    <UnitClassUpgrades/>

    This is the unitclasses this unit can upgrade too. So a warrior can upgrade to an axeman, etc.

    <UnitClassTargets/>
    <UnitCombatTargets/>
    <UnitClassDefenders/>
    <UnitCombatDefenders/>

    I believe this has to do with stacked combat. Who the unit selects to fight with in the defending stack.

    <FlankingStrikes/>

    Flanking strikes are some free attacks against the specified unitclass. It would only apply to normal ("melee") attacks.
     
  16. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Chieftain

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    looked in the bts xml and after this it should mean:

    <UnitClassAttackMods/> #attack bonus vs a unit (eg. Man of war +50%vs frigate)
    <UnitClassDefenseMods/> #defense bonus vs a unit
    <UnitCombatMods/> # bonus vs a unit typ (eg sperman vs mounted)
    <UnitCombatCollateralImmunes/> #immunity vs typ of collateral damage, eg machine gun immune vs siege
    <UnitCombatTargets> #is used for the Khmer UU, select a special combat type of unit to attack first outside a side, the Ballista Elephant attacks first mounted units outside a town



    iAirUnitCap: was 4 not the number of attacks? perhaps different damage levels could be simulated through different "missile" weapons
     
  17. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    thanks guys.

    aircap doesnt seem to influence anything. unfortunately.
    Hmm, having different missiles might be a possibility (wanted to use those for a rocketlauncher ;)).

    Does the Nuke in Vanilla damage surrounding tiles?

    Can I do an exploding Molotov Cocktail spawning a fire on a plot which damages units passing this plot?

    Hmm. I am stuck. I can´t read python :)
    need to sleep anyway.
     
  18. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Chieftain

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    have further researched the other xml tags

    <UnitClassTargets/> # unit attacks first this class of unit (tested in game)
    <UnitClassDefenders/> # should be the same like below, only a unit class (not tested
    <UnitCombatDefenders/> #force the unit to defend against this unit combat (eg combat mounted, test in game)

    Edit: Interesting, when there are 2 units one has defend against the unit (eg destroyer vs submarine) and the other has attack first against a class (submarine vs transport), the defend commando wins (dd defend), when the strength is reduced under the strength of the first to attack unit (dd has 14 strength, transport 16, transport defend), this will defend, if there is only a defend (BB,DD stack) the defender will even defend when almost death
     
  19. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Here is the terrain XML. I also fixed the Afterworld map so that I think it works in Aftermath. I will start working on Civs soon.
     
  20. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    Thanks for that terrain!

    Ok, I had an Idea.
    In Afterworld you are able to summon a sentry gun, this ability is gained by a promotion and you can summon it in a range of 3 fields around you.

    So, Afterworld basically has the option to summon a unit for you. so, we could summon a "grenade", "missile" or "molotov" "unit", which then can be "thrown" (moved) n its range and when it dies (automatically dies at end of turn) it will explode causing the damage.
    If someone can steal the code from FfH, i would be really happy!


    I will have to put the combat model on hold, until i have someone willing to help with python and see what we can do with the combat system.



    implementing the "ceck aircap" for amount of shots per round, check "airstrength" for the shooting ability (instead of melee/overall strength) and if possible: the check for the values of "interceptionprobability" (chance to intercept airmission) tag and the "evasion probability" (chance to escape interception) tag in the ranged strike combat code (must be in python, i dont think Afterworld comes with its own sdk!) can be used for accuracy and so on (in short: implementing an adjustable random factor into shooting)


    What i will do, when I have time is to create the textures for the new terrains and perhaps some more variaties in Wall textures and some more units for the 7th company (soldiers).

    I am still thinking about what to do with the "you lost a gravebringer... you loose" thing. (i think it is in the scenario file somewhere). It might be cool to have some characters, you are not allowed to loose and some grunts who are replaceable.

    Edit:

    The Terrain somehow does not show up.
    I still have the same options as before... no new terrain in worldbuilder.
     

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