Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario Creation' started by Skuall, Oct 5, 2001.
haha absolutely! Might not be much fun doing it but the end result is very fun and rewarding.
Time for another screenshot showing off some of the units @Metro Polis has put in along with some river and more terrain decoration I've put in to make the map look even more HoMM like.
Time for a big update post:
@Metro Polis has been busy working on the event code so I decided to play with background graphics.
Now this was difficult. Civ2 doesn't normally allow you to edit adviser and event background images. They're all stored in a DLL file called Tiles.dll. Clever fans have made an editor that allows you to change these images however you can NOT go over the original image file sizes. This is really tough as most of the Civ2 background images are low resolution grey-scale (sort of black and white) images. I really wanted to get all of the Heroes of Might & Magic 2 castle screens into Civ2 somehow as decoration.
After a LOT of experimenting I was able to do it! I'm pleased to say that I was able to get all 6 HoMM2 castle screens into the game AND with colour! However I had to downsize them quite a bit, reduce details, and severely reduce the colours. I had to put thick marble borders around them to reduce their sizes even future.
For remaining screens I'm putting in screenshots from HoMM2 cutscenes.
This was the smallest advisor screen of them all at measly 30k. Had a take a chunk of detail out of the picture and it juuuuust fits.
Civ Score Screen:
I've always loved this HoMM2 cutscene of a crashed ship so I couldn't resist using it! Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
Intel Report Screen:
Used a shot of the the HoMM2 Gold intro. Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
Top 5 cities screen:
Used a cool castle cutscene video shot.
Used a campaign cutscene video shot where you can see Roland's Kingdom (had to massively compress sadly).
Used a shot from the final bad guy campaign mission cutscene video where you lay siege to Roland's Palace (had to heavily compress sadly).
Took this shot from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
Couldn't find any pictures or cutscenes in HoMM2 showing people celebrating. So I just used a cool shot of someone worshiping some royal magical stuff from a HoMM2 addon cutscene video. I thought about using the image from the HoMM3 intro of Catherine's men celebrating but wanted to keep things HoMM2 themed.
Creating a city:
Took this shot of a little village from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
I always admire mods or scenarios where the designer put in the time and effort to update the graphics files embedded in the DLLs. It just adds extra flavor and ambiance to the experience. So first of all, great work so far!
Are you absolutely sure about this? My understanding was that this was true when using a program called GifXtractor to edit the 16-bit DLL files used in older versions of Civ2 -- specifically original/vanilla, Conflicts, and Fantastic Worlds. Are you designing for one of those? But if you're using ResHacker to edit the 32-bit DLL files used in MGE and Test of Time, I thought the image size limitation did not apply.
If I could make one humble suggestion, it would be to dial back (at least a little) the brightness and color intensity of some images that are used as backgrounds with text presented over the top of them. True, the images wouldn't be as vibrant as in the original source game, but I think it would help quite a bit with readability. On the screen shots you posted, I certainly can admire the images, but there are several where if I actually want to focus on the information being presented, it takes some effort. Here's an example of what I have in mind:
You would probably want to experiment with various levels of darkening when there is a full screen of text, to gauge the effect. (I didn't do any comparisons to try and determine the ideal level, just threw this together to illustrate.)
Good luck with your project!
Thank you @Knighttime !
Ahh darn it.. @Metro Polis and I didn't know that you could go past the dll size limits in MGE using ResHacker. We certainly were using GifXtractor. Is Civ2 ResHacker here at CivFinatics? Or am I going to need to dig it out of some Apolyton web archive haha.
Good point with the darkening. I wasn't happy either with some of the screens as text was hard to read however when I tried fading it just looked terrible, plus once I converted to Civ2's pallet the faded versions looked even worse. I'll try darkening instead and hopefully when I convert it over to Civ2's pallet it won't look awful.
Nah, here it is.
Thank goodness, we're almost at the finish line!
Thanks guys! I'll have a play with ResHacker and see what I can do with it. Would be nice to put in higher quality conversions although in the end we may wish to keep compatibility with Civ2 vanilla, Conflicts & FW installs.
Either way I'll definitely try to darken all the adviser backgrounds.
The city view! Still working on the Wonders.
GET OUT OF HERE!!!!! haha
And here come the wonders.
I used to play HOMM2 so often, that I still know their names by heart.
For those wondering what this means or think its a bit weird, we replaced the Wonders in the build list with HoMM2 artifacts that best suited the bonuses the Wonders gave a few weeks ago but forgot to post about it in this thread. Metro's cool work here is a continuation of the work we did earlier and a cool bonus.
Ah, Blake, nobody's wondering about stuff like this here any more. The handful left to stroll such threads are no rookies who we can impress easily, hahaha!
Haha nah I didn't post it for HoMM fans as we both know there's pretty much none here haha. I posted that explanation for Civ2 fans wondering why on earth we're replacing buildings with artifacts on top of pedestals in the city screen. To a non-HoMM fan it must look pretty weird hahaha.
There are no non-HOMM2 fans, Blake...
I think HOMM2 and Civ2 went hand in hand in the good old days. I never met anyone who only liked one of it. Actually I can't tell of anyone to even know just one of these. People cherished them both or didn't know them at all.
lol mate this place is full of people who have never played HoMM before. Granted those people are probably not going to read this thread but if they do I put in the explanation lol.
Okay.. I took @Knighttime 's suggestion and darkened all of the adviser backgrounds and then reconverted back to Civ 2 pallet and the results have come out pretty darn good! Writing is very easy to read now.
I won't post the whole lot again but here's a couple of examples:
I also tested @Metro Polis 's awesome new City View HoMM graphics on a savegame where I'd built almost every single building and the results are amazing looking!! He's really out done himself on this one haha:
That can't be all of them, you've missed about a dozen of city improvements, I'd say. HaHaHa!
Max techs, size 38 city, only thing missing is a palace, courthouse and all the wonders. Oh and obsolete buildings probably disappeared too.
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