Modding

To get started, download our sample containing all the necessary files required:

Unpack the file on your computer and select the bundle.config file when you are creating a new map. The template ZIP contains the default imagery and sound FX that are used when creating a new map.

The template ZIP file contains the following for your convenience:

  • bundle.config: that's the main file needed to create new bundles & wires up all the basic stuff.
  • extras_*.config: additional imagery with Asian, Fantasy, etc. themes.
  • sample-nations/ folder: nation icons and flags.
  • sample-nations/ folder: group icons and flags.

The template also contains an example map in 'TEMPLATE (Example Map).psd' (Photoshop). It contains layers to make it easy to create e.g. 3D-effects for province borders. Do NOT submit the example map, it will be rejected.

Instructions

Please use the in-game editor provided to create new maps. Visit the map tutorial video for a general overview or the modding forums for help:

Below the more detailed instructions to modding.

Template

That's the part, that's common to all scenarios, i.e. defines the look of the map. It also defines all the nations that can be used for the scenarios. Before a nation can be used it needs to be defined in the template.

Template: Format

Before you get started, you need to have a map image and preferably draw all the water-provinces. For best look & feel, please create a borders layer using 1px wide line tool & anti-aliasing turned on. Once done, save the map as PNG (JPG/JPEG or GIF are fine too).

To update the map image, go back into the AOC editor, go to the “Format” tab & select the [Browse…] button where it says “Map Image:”. Then select that PNG (or JPG/JPEG, GIF) to update the map image.

Template: Terrain

In the “Terrain” tab, create water & earth provinces by drawing them with the mouse. Just select those 'eater+' and 'earth+' buttons. Please make sure neighboring earth-provinces border-dots (red) are on top of each other!!! Otherwise you'll get holes (except for rivers, you can keep the river visible if you like/makes sense). For water provinces, please leave a little space as we did. It looks much cooler we find. Use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom into the map! Otherwise it might be hard to see sometimes. The 'P'-key (keyboard) resets the map to default zoom-level.

Other buttons in “Terrain” tab:

'Edit': click on a province to edit it.
'Move': move province shape corners & the following:
   CIV: where the town is placed.
   FIX: where fixed structures are placed (e.g. watch tower)
   OWN: where troops are shown for the province's owner.
   MOV: where troops are shown not belonging to province's owner.
   BAT: where battles happen
    --> adjust all those 5 positions as needed. Mostly they are fine.
'DEL': removes a province
'Link+': links provinces
'Link DEL': removes province links
'Border+: for each link, create border points
    --> use the mouse right-button once you are done adding points!
'Border DEL': remove a border dot
    --> use the mouse right-button once you are done removing points!
'Path...': add walking-path for troops! Mostly straight lines are
           fine, but sometimes adjustments are needed.

Recommendations for Land-Provinces:

  • place CIV in the back. That's your village/settlement.
  • place FIX behind the CIV slightly to the left/right. That's where the watch tower & capture the flag flag will be displayed.
  • place OWN close to your CIV but slightly in front to the left/right. Those are troops that belong to a province.
  • place MOV somewhere apart to indicate foreign troops that don't belong to a province.

Template: Scenery

“Scenery” tab: add/remove trees etc…

Template: Export

“Format” tab: the “Export Shapes” can be used to export all the province shapes (save as PNG). To update the map image, just copy the shapes over your map image, then erase all the unnecessary borders (e.g. map edge, landmass edge). Then save your new map with the borders again as PNG & re-add the updated image in the editor.

Please don't forget to keep a backup copy of your older map in case you want to update the province shapes.

Template: Setup

Before we get started on scenarios, let's define our nations & stuff: go into the “Format” tab & select the [Setup] button. Just add all nations, coalitions (teams, e.g. Axis vs. Allies). Add background music if you have any (MP3). 1 to 3 MP3 is fine.

If you are having trouble coming up with the adjectives & demonymic forms for the various nations, Wikipedia is a great help: Wikipedia/Nation words.

Scenarios

To add/edit use the buttons to the left:

NW+: new scenario
CP+: copy selected scenario
:UP: move scenario up
:DN: move scenario down
DEL: remove a scenario

Scenario modding shouldn't be too hard to figure out? To add nations/teams, they need to be defined beforehand in the template (see above). Then simply add what you need to each scenario.

Scenario: Balancing

Scenario Balancing: each province's population defaults to 25'000. We think probably most provinces should have that. Otherwise, We did the following:

~150'000 population: for each nation where their king is
~250'000 population: for super-strong nations
~25'000-125'000 population: for other richer provinces.
~5000-10'000: for poor/desert provinces

Make sure to give each nation a king/ruler by selecting the “Commando Unit” checkbox in the province dialog. We usually give 100 troops which We think works fine.

We would suggest create only 1 scenario first & make sure everything look nice & is balanced regarding population sizes (see above). Then just copy that scenario for all the other scenarios you create that are similar. No need to do the same balancing again & again for each scenario.

Image Formats: PNG, JPG, GIF

The editor supports the following image format:

  • PNG: lossless image format that does supports full alpha-transparency.
  • GIF: lossy image format that supports on/off transparency & a maximum of 256 colors only. Animated GIFs are not supported. Your image is currently important as a static image only (animated images are currently not implemented).
  • JPG/JPEG: lossy image format that does not support transparency.

Please only use PNG for flags & icons as it is the only format that supports full alpha-transparency. You can use the other formats however if you prefer. Feel free to use any of the other image formats for the map image. Please note however that GIF & JPG store images in a lossy format, i.e. details are lost. This is not a limitation of the Age of Conquest Editor but a limitation of those image formats themselves. The Age of Conquest Editor converts all images to an internal format in the end, so it does not matter what images you provide.

For details regarding the various image formats see "How-To Geek"'s article What’s the Difference Between JPG, PNG, and GIF?.

Sound & Music

The following sound and music formats are supported:

  • MP3: for background music.
  • WAV: for short sound effects (max. 5 seconds in length).

Mouse & Keyboard

Generally, right-mouse button clicks cancel e.g. province drawing. Use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in. There are no keyboard shortcuts to remember; maybe 'P' is nice to reset the map zoom level.

Sample Map

For reference, open the starter map included with the game and have a look how it works once done. Maybe everyone should have a quick peek before you getting started with map editing. The sample map is located at:

map_0001504b54-53a7-0024-000000-00000000.aocb file in folder "/data/map/*"

Map Upload

Once your map is ready, feel free to upload it to the server for others to play. Maps that have been uploaded to the server & are LIVE for other players to play can be updated at any time. However note, due to backwards compatibility, the following map changes are not possible anymore:

  • Provinces cannot be removed (but they can be moved/changed)
  • Links cannot be removed (they can still be updated though)
  • Nations/Coalitions cannot be removed (but they can be changed including their images).

Copyrights

All assets provided by us, including but not limited to images, text, sound effects, music, etc. are property of Noble Master Games unless noted otherwise. We give you full permission to create mods for any of our games. You are also free to use imagery and texts provided for blog articles, video blogs and such.

If you are using 3rd party assets, make sure you have permission to use those. If you upload bundles that contain copyrighted content without permission to use, we will reject your submission.

If in doubt, feel free to post on the modding forums or contact us for clarification.