Preview and modding questions

A forum to discuss custom scenarios, campaigns and modding in general.

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bebro
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Preview and modding questions

Post by bebro » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:24 am

I plan to create my own units and add them to the game. If anything works out as planned they will be made available as a mod for everyone.

Since the delivery of my game has been delayed I used unit icons from a mod dl-ed here (the skinned ones realeased recently) to work out a correct setup in my 3d program (esp placement of light sources for correct shadows. Below there's a preview pic, that's of course a Czech-built Pz 35 used by Germany in the early war. I have other models, but I don't want to promise too much as long as I can't test things in the game.

Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

That's of course not in game size yet. To figure out things could someone answer me some questions?

1. I understand that the two sizes in PzC png icons are meant for the unit a) on the map (bigger) and b) in the purchase screen (smaller), is that correct?

2. Those combat anims I saw in trailers - how are they realized? Are there animated versions for every unit, or are those anims like weapons fire, smoke and explosions separate, quasi done as overlay over those static unit pngs?

Edit:

Pz35(t) finished available for dl here: http://www.gamefront.com/files/21020741/PzC_Pz35.7z
Last edited by bebro on Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:06 pm

1) No, the bigger and smaller icons are for when the unit is alone on a tile and when another unit (in this case an air unit) is visible and air mode is selected.
The bigger unit icon for the purchase screen is found in the UI/bigicons folder, iirc.

2) Actual unit animations are not supported, I'm afraid, but the effects such as muzzle flashes and explosions are realized via files you can find in the Graphics/Animations folder, assignment is made in the efx.pzdate file.

Hope that helps.

Oh, if you finish your additional icons, maybe you'd give permission to use them in other mods? I'm always looking for better icons for at least some of the units I added in the PGClassic mod...

Nice work, in any event.
_____
rezaf

bebro
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Post by bebro » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:46 pm

Ahh, hadn't thought about air/land mode at all. Thx for the info.

As for the anims, has anybody experience with editing the efx.pzdate file (I hope it's possible)? I mean somehow I'd need to define then the exact placement of those muzzles flashes for example, given that it's different for different units.



And yes, once released this will be all free to use, whether people want to spice up their personal game only or include it in other mods, as long it's all for non-profit use.

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:31 pm

You can have animated png. AFAIK, they will run in a cycle because Panzer Corps isn't prepared to use those kind of animations.

For my mod sound I had to retouch some of the animations. I just edited the png file with Photoshop, and moved or copy and added new explosions blasts. It was not hard to adapt those which already existed to the new sound.
I suppose I could have tried to mess with the efx.pzdat file. There are four values (Offset 1 to Offset 4) for placement and probably for speed. But I choose the editing png way.
You've already a great tool to edit the values of efx file: mgarnett's Equipment\FX\Campaign Editor

bebro
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Post by bebro » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:41 pm

Thx for the answer.

I'd be glad if it works that easily to adapt existing fles. While complete unit anims would be nice, they'd also mean a lot more work, and having them in a loop in-game could lead to some strange effects depending on the anim. So I think I'll do it in the same way as you and edit the explosions, or see to get that fx editor :)

bebro
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Little progress report and more questions

Post by bebro » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:55 pm

So I actually got this to show up after lots of initial trouble in the game. Below is what it looks like now. As you see, there's still work to do, color and shadows aren't consistent with the stock units, and it also needs to be centered correctly.

However, I guess this will be rather minor work now after I figured out the basics (wasted lots of time editing the wrong equipment file and wondered why my unit is showing nowhere in the game) :shock:

Image

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Meanwhile, could someone help me with some other modding q's:

1. Is it possible to create a "one-use" unit, like a missile?

2. Is there a way to give units a specific name in the editor? I know I can rename in-game, but if you do scenarios it would be nice to have certain units with unique names from the start.

3. Has anyone managed to add more nations or can we only change existing countries at this point? Because I tried to add one entry below Free France in .../Data/Nations, and added also a flag for this in the "flags" pics under ..\Graphics\Overlays yet the nation added does not show up in the editor for example (under scn params > Nations).

Edit: found out how to rename....oh wonders of the manual....

rezaf
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by rezaf » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:28 pm

bebro wrote:1. Is it possible to create a "one-use" unit, like a missile?
Unfortunately, no. I hope Rudankort will add a trait for such units at some point, but right now, the answer is no.
bebro wrote:3. Has anyone managed to add more nations or can we only change existing countries at this point? Because I tried to add one entry below Free France in .../Data/Nations, and added also a flag for this in the "flags" pics under ..\Graphics\Overlays yet the nation added does not show up in the editor for example (under scn params > Nations).
Yeah, it's possible to add new nations - though I think HBalck reported it's no longer working with the newest version of the editor somehow - I'm still using the 1.02 editor because it doesn't encrypt the scenario files.

Anyway, you need to include the nation you want to add in several files in the UI folder. For the editor to use them, you must edit editor_condmap, editor_scnparams, editor_unitfilter and editor_unitparams.
While I found the editor is suprprisingly flexible in some things - for example it dynamically deals with graphical layers you add, stuff like the nations were hardcoded. Also, the entries for the pickuplist for unit transportation.
Hope that helps.
_____
rezaf

bebro
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by bebro » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:33 pm

Yeah, thx, got it to work.

bebro
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by bebro » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:47 pm

Well, I think it's now release-ready. Changed the colors and shadow again, it's still not to 100% identical but I think it comes close enough now to be useful. Without access to the original models and setup they were rendered in it requires lotsa fiddling to get the same or a similar look, and I think I'd leave it at that for the first unit - unless there's some major outrage ;)

I just look into the fx thing but I guess I'll upload both the unit gfx and the newly made UI pic this evening.

Image

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bebro
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by bebro » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:27 pm

Ok, here are the gfx.

http://www.gamefront.com/files/21020741/PzC_Pz35.7z

Installation should be pretty clear:

1. The file under "units" goes into ..\Panzer Corps\Graphics\Units

2. The file with the same name in "bigunits" goes into ..\Panzer Corps\UI\bigunits

I don't deliver any stats or edited FX with those, I just found that cloning FX entries of the Pz38 works well for this unit. As for units stats, didn't really think about them yet, since I did this mainly to figure out unit modding at all. However, they should probably be in the range of the Pz38 too (for testing I just cloned them too), or a bit weaker.

Razz1
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Post by Razz1 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:43 pm

We can already make a missle.

Easy to do.

Ballermann
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by Ballermann » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:45 pm

bebro wrote:Ok, here are the gfx.
Very nice Unit, good job.

PS:
I now you Sprites for Hoi and i hope you will do the same for PanzerCorps.
Sorry, for my bad school english...

nikivdd
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Re: Little progress report and more questions

Post by nikivdd » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:21 pm

bebro wrote:Ok, here are the gfx.

http://www.gamefront.com/files/21020741/PzC_Pz35.7z

Installation should be pretty clear:

1. The file under "units" goes into ..\Panzer Corps\Graphics\Units

2. The file with the same name in "bigunits" goes into ..\Panzer Corps\UI\bigunits

I don't deliver any stats or edited FX with those, I just found that cloning FX entries of the Pz38 works well for this unit. As for units stats, didn't really think about them yet, since I did this mainly to figure out unit modding at all. However, they should probably be in the range of the Pz38 too (for testing I just cloned them too), or a bit weaker.
Very nicely done.
Do you intend to make the Pz38(t) series (except for the one in the game already)?

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:37 pm

Razz1 wrote:We can already make a missle.

Easy to do.
If you make such bold claim, how about enlightening us about the HOW?
_____
rezaf

bebro
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Post by bebro » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:48 pm

Yeah, I'd like to know too.

nikivdd: I didn't plan for a '38, since I found the one in the game quite nice. Do you want to see another version or are you more after more vehicles based on the Pz 38? Though I think there are a number of them in the game as well (JPz Hetzer for example).

For the next units I'll focus on those the game doesn't have yet, or I'll give those which share the same gfx but shouldn't some more love (example P51B and P51D , which look actually quite a bit different) so that we have more unique looks. But it will take a bit...

Finally also I'm toying around with the idea of doing a custom campaign myself, incl. a number of new units, but I don't want to reveal any details about this yet.

nikivdd
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Post by nikivdd » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:19 pm

bebro wrote:Yeah, I'd like to know too.

nikivdd: I didn't plan for a '38, since I found the one in the game quite nice. Do you want to see another version or are you more after more vehicles based on the Pz 38? Though I think there are a number of them in the game as well (JPz Hetzer for example).

For the next units I'll focus on those the game doesn't have yet, or I'll give those which share the same gfx but shouldn't some more love (example P51B and P51D , which look actually quite a bit different) so that we have more unique looks. But it will take a bit...

Finally also I'm toying around with the idea of doing a custom campaign myself, incl. a number of new units, but I don't want to reveal any details about this yet.
Was just a thought really.
Pz Kpfw 38(t) Ausf. A through Ausf. G and Ausf.S

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:25 pm

Nice unit.
Thanks, bebro. Can't wait to see more work done by you.

bebro
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Post by bebro » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:08 am

Next time I'll release probably units in small packs, think out some fancy name for my unit mod and make a release thread once they're ready :)

Meanwhile I use this one for more questions.

Right noew there are some things unclear to me:

1. The stock land unit gfx have all two rows: big and small, but why do air units come with a third row, again big? Do we need this at all, and if so, is it enough to copy the big units from the first row again for use in the third. Or does this need any special attention?

2. Can you make bigger unit gfx than the standard 296*296 (for both sides). The unit might become bigger than a hex field, but for some special purposes this might be useful.

3. I am a bit confused with the scn editor and editing files for a custom campaign. I set up a rudimentary custom campaign in my ../files/my games etc. folder. Works nice after I got over the initial trouble.

In the data folder of that campaign I have a custom equipment file and other modded stuff, like gfx etc.

Now I'm not completely sure if I made a mistake but it seems to me that the editor (the scenario editor from PzC, not the user-made equip editor) always refers to equipment and other files in the main game directory, so seems to ignore the files of my custom campaign. Yet when I play the first scn of that campaign the game seems to use files from the custom campaign folder correctly.

It isn't such a huge problem since I now backed up the original files and edit copies of them in PzC's game folder, use the editor if needed, then copy finally the changed files to the custom campaign folder.

Long story short: is there an easier way that doesn't require me to shuttle files around that often, for example can I tell the scn editor somehow to use files either from PzC main or custom ampaign folders?

Razz1
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Post by Razz1 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:38 pm

Use the GME generic mod enabler

viewtopic.php?t=27036

Remember planes fly over units so we need that extra perspective.

I don't see why you can't use > 296x296, I've seen some mods with graphics larger than a hex. The units look out of place when that larger.

Yes, the editor uses stock game files.

If the GE is activated to use your mod, then when you open up the editor it will use those files, for example terrain and units.

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Post by flakfernrohr » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:58 am

Whenever I see a modder who can make excellent icons, my mouth starts watering thinking about all the possibilities of adding new units and variety to the game. Great work bebro!
Old Timer Panzer General fan. Maybe a Volksturm soldier now. Did they let Volksturm drive Panzers?

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