Beginners Assistance - Mod Extensions

Discussion in 'Starcraft 2 (SC2) Editor Help' started by Venrez, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    Hi folks
    Please dont be too harsh. I have tried googling various other resources and information in order to help me here, but I require a more personal and direct response, as I am quite confused and at a loss as to what to do.

    Since Starcraft 2 added Mod Extensions available to be played via Custom games, I've wanted to make one (or more) of my own. However, I've run into some questions and problems.

    When making a Mod-Extension in the editor, it is basically just selecting the 'Mod-Extension' option when starting a new map, which results in a blank black environment. Your Mod-Extension is simply a series of changes to the Data table sheets, yes? It loads this 'map' after you initiate your actual selected map in-game?

    I wish to replace some sounds of various units. But this is proving ridiculously difficult. I am able to browse the Data tables and find just about everything, from how much resources a unit costs, to how much damage it does and all other sorts of variables. I can find the voices for the units too, but I ~cannot~ find the attack-sounds anywhere. I wish to change what sounds are played when various units attack.

    > Slight development, but I am still stuck. I seem to have found where the attack sounds are listed, but when removing the current game ones and attempting to browse for the .wav files I have ready, I cannot leave the 'Assets' and 'Localized Data' folders the browser directs me to. I cannot browse to my folders where I keep my replacement sounds, nor can I even find these actual default SC2 sound file folders anywhere either - yet the game somehow accesses them. I am confused.

    Changing the variables of units and what units can be built from what structures is simple enough. However, the Zombie-Catastrophe mod is very fun and interesting for me. I have also seen this Zombie mod coupled with the 'Big Game Hunters' Mod Extension. So, is there some way I can combine the Big Game Hunters and Zombie-Catastrophe mods with my own mod extension? Or do I literally have to 'copy' it from scratch, but simply do it all in the one Data sheet as if I were 'combining' them. Or can these seperate mods actually be combined, as if putting several files in a single folder? (bad example, but I hope my point is made)

    Lastly, in regards to the Zombie-Catastrophe Mod, how would I go about adding more spawned zombie types to the Mod Extension? To put it simply, the Mod Extension means that regular Zombies and Infested Marines spawn in skirmish maps, non-allied to any player, and attack everyone. They grow stronger over time. So you are effectively fighting your regular skirmish opponents as well as a horde of Zombies that spawn in various spots around the map, usually the center. How would I go about adding additional units, like an Abberation, Infestors or other such units to the Zombie spawns?

    I know the creator(s) of the Zombie Catastrophe mod might be wary of plagiarism and the like, but I have no intentions of distribution beyond playing this with my one friend, as we fight versus the AI in custom games regularly. Besides, the Zombie mod already appears to have been merged with Big Game Hunters, which is a Blizzard Mod Extension.

    I am quite capable in terms of map-creation and designing the terrain itself, but I have always had extreme trouble understanding triggers, events and this sort of code-based stuff. Please be as 'straightforward' or 'in laymans, easy-to-understand basic terms' in your responses.

    Any help is immensely appreciated.
  2. Dave312

    Dave312 Censored for your safe viewing

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    Firstly Extension Mods are rather new so you will probably find there isn't that much info around about them yet. I personally haven't looked into them yet.


    Are these custom sounds you are importing from outside SC2? If so then you need to import them using the Import Module. Once imported you can set the path and then select them with the data editor.

    I haven't played those Mods so I'm unsure as to how they have been created.
  3. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    Thanks for the info.
    Yes, the sounds are outside of SC2. They're a collection of .wav files from various places. I know how to edit the files in Audacity if they need a specific series of settings, like play-rate, Mono channel or whatnot. I am just having trouble actually telling the Editor to find and use the files I want, since the in-editor file browser doesnt seem to let you go beyond 2 folders in some mysterious SC directory I cant find normally.

    I'll have a look at the importer and give it a go.

    But, to clarify - is there no way to combine mods?
    Say I create a Zombie mod. I also create a resource mod. I also create a unit mod.
    If I want to play with any of them individually, I simply choose it as a mod extension when hosting a custom game.

    But if I want to play with say, Zombies and Resources, I have to make a '4th' extension mod that is the two of them combined in the Editor and published seperately?

    There's no way to select multiple mod-extensions when hosting a game?

    In doing so, it'd be extremely tiresome having to re-do and re-write all the same data for Zombies, then Zombies and Resources, for example, when making the mods.
  4. Dave312

    Dave312 Censored for your safe viewing

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    Anything like sounds, textures/images or models that do not already exist in SC2 must be added to your map/mod before you can use it. That way when you upload your map, everything needed to run it will either be a part of SC2 or in the map/mod file, not on a local HDD in your PC which no one else can access.

    Those SC directories don't actually exist (at least not anywhere you can find on your PC in the common sense) as they are defined in the SC2 MPQ resource files. Think of it more as just a list of files that your map references, but because there are so many files, they have been sorted into folders to make browsing through them much easier. When you use the import module to add your sound files, SC2 then considers those files as a resource and adds them to the list (when you import the files you can specify a path to determine where they will be placed in that list).

    You can combine mods but I don't think in the way that you want to. When creating a mod, you can specify other mods which become dependencies for your mod. I'll use SC2 as an example.
    SC2 has several mods which are used for defining different things. The base mod is the Core Mod. It is where the standard SC2 object templates are saved. The next mod is the Liberty Mod and it has the Core mod as a dependency. What that means is that it requires the core mod in order for it to work. The reason for this is that every object in the game is based on one of the standard object templates that are stored in the Core mod dependency. As an example, the Marine unit which is defined in the Liberty Mod, is based on the Default Setting (Unit) object which is defined in the Core Mod. If you open up the Data Editor, you can change the Data Source (next to the search) to only show objects from a certain mod which may help you understand how this works.

    The next mod is the Multi Mod which has both the Core Mod and Liberty Mod as dependencies. This mod contains a series of changes to the Liberty Mod for use in multiplayer games. You have probably seen all the changes blizzard keep making to the multiplayer (league) game to rebalance some of the units. These changes are save in this Mod. The reason they do this is that changes they make here won't affect the rest of the game. If they decided to increase the marines life to 100hp, this would make the campaign really easy when fighting a different race. So to keep the campaign at the same difficulty they only make changes to the Multi Mod which will only affect maps/mods that use this mod as a dependency (i.e mutiplayer (league) games).

    So to get back to your example, you would still have to create a 4th mod if you want to play with Zombies and Resources, but you could simply make the Zombies and Resources mods dependencies that way you wouldn't have to recreate all the data.

    As far as I am aware, there is no way to select multiple extension mods.

    I hope I haven't confused you too much. Trying to figure how all these dependencies things work gets quite complicated but it is rather important for what you are trying to do.
  5. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    Alright. I understand the reasoning behind Blizz using dependencies and splitting balance / changes from Single to Multi and so forth.

    However, just to clarify, I'll make this as straightforward as I can possibly write.
    1) I create a Resource mod. Simply changes the amount of minerals and geyser gas amount.
    2) I create a Zombie mod. Zombies spawn randomly around the map and attack all players.

    They are completely seperate. However, if I wanted to have the two combined, I would make a
    3) Zombie and Resource Mod
    But instead of making the whole thing from scratch, I load up 1) Resource Mod and make 2) a dependency?
    Then publish it as 3) ?

    I hope thats clear. It is kinda confusing.

    I can work out myself how to change tech-trees and what-builds-what by myself. However, I have very little knowledge of coding and scripting or anything that requires it. So, for the Zombie mod, I'll try to explain it as simply as possible here.

    Roughly around the middle of the map with some variation in location, Infested Terrans (Zombies) and Infested Marines spawn. Over time they grow stronger with upgrades. They spawn in groups and move towards the players on the map. So you're basically fighting a normal skirmish player-versus-player, but there are non-allied Zombies also attacking everyone.

    I have no idea where to even begin creating this sort of mod. I would love to make my own variant with different, stronger or weaker zombies, more or less of them and so forth - but I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I know there is obviously some scripted trigger event that goes on and repeats, with variables such as the upgrades increasing over time... but I am clueless about the whole thing.

    There are plenty of these sorts of mod extensions currently available, but I would like to make my own. Hence I thought it would be beneficial if I could get my hands on one of the actual Mods to see how they did it, but I cannot find them anywhere, as for obvious protection against plagiarism. However, adding to the complexity of all this, some of these Zombie-Mod extensions also enable additional options to the in-game lobby before a match starts that enable you to customize the Zombies, such as how fast they spawn or how early they begin to attack. How is this done?

    Any information, at all, is appreciated.
  6. Dave312

    Dave312 Censored for your safe viewing

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    You need to make 3) as a new Mod [same as you would for 1) and 2)] and add both 1) and 2) as a dependency. Make sense?

    Like I said previously, I haven't played those Mods so I don't know how they did it. I can however tell you how I would do it. I don't know if your can use triggers in Extension Mods (maybe someone else may be able to confirm this?) so I would be using just the Data Editor to create zombies. I would be creating a behaviour which randomly creates Zombies for the Neutral hostile player. I would then add this behaviour to every structure a player can build. As the game progresses, more structures are built and thus more zombies would be created. You could also add some timing behaviours to certain buildings which cause the Zombies to become upgraded as the game progresses or have extra zombies created.

    You will be able to open a Zombie extension Mod if the person who uploaded decided to leave the Mod unlocked. In the SC2 Editor, if you go File -> Open and then click on the tab, you can try to open maps/mods that have been published online.

    Game Attributes (Map -> Game Attributes) are where pre-game options can be defined. This is another area of the SC2 Editor that I haven't spent much time exploring so I really can't provide much help on it. You should be able to find a few tutorials around about it though.
  7. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    So you 'can' open other published mods on, provided they're unlocked? Great.
    I wondered how so many people made their own versions of Left 2 Die or other Mod Extensions initially made by Blizz, or re-iterated other community items in their own way.

    You can apply triggers and behaviours in the Editor I believe. Its just my knowledge of any such 'coding' is an absolute minimum. Most of my experience and skill is in terrain and overall map creation, but nothing to do with any custom code, AI tweaks, triggers or any of that.

    Your explanation does help though. The terminology of 'timing behaviours', behaviours in general and so forth should help me fiddle around in the Editor. I'll see what I can do.

    I've almost finished my second SC2 map so, its as good a time as any to now start on my Mod Extensions.

    Reading and looking through Tutorials 'can' help, but I often find it really frustrating in the sense that you may be looking for an answer to a specific question or point of the topic, and given that the guide isnt directly addressed to you, sometimes you need to scan the entire document to find the answer you're looking for either briefly alluded to or hidden 5 paragraphs down in another segment of the overall tutorial.

    Hence why I prefer asking direct questions for a direct answer, like here.
    Thanks for your help thus far though.

    > As for Dependencies. Yes, that seems to make sense. Making a new 'blank' mod, but then adding 1) and 2) as Dependencies ought to load them together, right?

    As in, having 1) Resources and 2) Zombie mods, and 3) is just blank.
    But 3) has 1) and 2) as Dependencies, combining them into the 'one' third mod.

    Sorry for making it a bit complicated. Its just hard to word adequately. Wanted to make sure. Thanks.
  8. Dave312

    Dave312 Censored for your safe viewing

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    I should probably clarify what I mean by 'timing behaviours' as you will not find this term in the Data Editor. If you create a Behaviour of the type Buff, you can set duration to something like 5 minutes and the use the Expire Effect to do something (like add another behaviour which randomly creates zombies). That way the buff you have created will act like a timer and cause something to activate after its duration has passed.

    If you're trying to learn something from scratch, a tutorial is the best way to go. It will give you a base knowledge of the topic and then you can use that knowledge to build what you're trying to create. Tutorials rarely cover exactly what you are trying to do, but it will you get that basic knowledge to build upon. Sometimes after you complete a tutorial you'll find that there is a better way to achieve you are trying to do. Just my opinion from my own experiences.

  9. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    I feel the need to clarify, since I heard somewhere a while ago that this might be a problem.
    Apparently Blizzard has an issue with opening up the .MPQ files for its own copyright protection and whatnot. In the Extension Mods I am making, I am adding back some of the units from the original Starcraft, such as the Medic, Firebat and Lurkers.

    These models already exist in SC2 as we see them in the campaign and such, and they already have new voices and things. So that isnt the issue.

    However, is there a problem with me extracting the original SC1 sound files for such things and using them in my Mod Extension?

    I've already painstakingly gone through nothing but sheer walls of text and numbers to work out which numerical files are which and thus sorted them into relevant folders, such as the original Starcraft Marine sounds, Firebat sounds, etc etc.

    But yeah, I remember hearing somewhere that Blizzard is iffy with its source material. I dont think there is any harm in it though, since I am publishing an obviously community-made mod through their own Bnet / SC Editor service?
  10. Venrez

    Venrez New Member

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    Rather than make a new thread, I'll post my next question here. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    I've run into a problem relating to the Camera when creating my own mod extension.
    In the Data Editor > Cameras, on the left side I've clicked on Default Camera.
    Finding the (Basic) UI: Zoom Levels + parameter, I see the following :

    Distance 38 (Enabled)
    Angle of Attack 56 (Enabled).

    Below this are more lines in lower numbers. Every other field apart from Distance and Angle of Attack is (Disabled). I assume this to be the change in tilt and pitch as you zoom in or out to the current SC2 default limit of height 38. Yes?

    I added a whole bunch of lines in larger numerical values 'above' where the previous 38 / 56 line is listed. All the way up to Distance 400 with the same 56 Angle of Attack. Both are (Enabled) whilst I've kept all other things, such as 'Field of View' and 'Near Clip' and so on Disabled, as the default values were also like before I added my own.

    But in-game my camera still cannot zoom out more than the standard SC2 distance. What am I missing?

    I tried changing the (Basic) UI: Height Displacement Factor from 1 to 10. That did nothing.
    The (Basic) UI: Distance Maximum is set to 400.
    The minimum is set to 0.0010. These are both the default unchanged values.
    The Distance Maximum cannot be set above 400.

    There is (Basic) UI: Scroll Distance Maximum and it is set to 5.000 | 5.000 by default.
    But I dont think changing this will do anything either. Not when it is clearly such a low number anyway.

    I've tried looking around elsewhere for answers but I am stuck. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. I really dont know what is wrong or what needs to be changed.

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