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Two questions on modding

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Two questions on modding Empty Two questions on modding

Post  Earl of Uxbridge Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:43 am

I have two ideas for potential modifications to the base game, and want to ask about the feasibility of each.

1. My first proposal would be a modification that gives "Volley Fire" a higher priority in any AI-controlled units (potentially setting it as a default behavior); this would also presumably require modifications to the AI logic itself to account for the change in unit behavior. How feasible would this be with what we are given in the SDK/development tools?

2. My second proposal is a modification of the game to "real-world" distances/scaling/travel times. Presumably this would require extensive modification of existing sprites/maps/map objects, as well as potentially changing movement speeds.

I would appreciate any feedback on the possibility of accomplishing each of these, and would be open to suggestions on how to get started in either area.

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Post  Mr. Digby Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:12 pm

Kevin is the guru here but the ai.dll file is written in C++ and you'd need to be comfortable reading and writing that.

I do not think a "true scale" game world is possible. The game has a limitation of 200 sprites per unit and you'd need 1:1 figure scale for true scale to work. So the game you'd end up with would have infantry companies and cavalry squadrons and possibly sections of guns (2 guns). Its do-able but you won't get the same playing feel at all. It would become a skirmish or brigade level game. The game has no capacity to control more command levels than it already does.

Rescaling everything would mean that most of the AI files would have to be re-written. All sorts of reaction checks and visibility checks are calculated all the time for all units and rescaling would affect all of these. Simply making the 150 yd musketry max range a range that fits the scale of the sprites would initiate an immense number of other changes because this number is a reaction threshold. All the buildings are scaled down to "trainset" type caricature representations of buildings so you'd need to create all new scenery as well. Most of the maps have compressed scale as well, especially the early ones we re-used from Gettysburg with very exaggerated vertical features (hills). You could not use these maps and the project would therefore need a set of new maps creating to prevent it being limited to just a few of the flatter maps.

People have wanted a 1:1 scale game since Take Command First Manassas was released but it really isn't possible in this game engine. You are not the first to have this idea, nor even the tenth, but sadly it's not possible.
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Post  Uncle Billy Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:41 pm

Making volley fire the default mode would impossible since it is partly controlled by the game engine code. It would also not be historically accurate either. Although it was used often by troops in a defensive line against a marching enemy, after one or perhaps two volleys, firing would break down into individual fire.

One to one scaling is also infeasible for the reasons Martin has stated.
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Post  Earl of Uxbridge Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:13 pm

Regarding the 200-sprite-per-battalion limit, can this be modified in any way, or is it hard-coded into the game engine?

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Post  Uncle Billy Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:39 pm

It is a game engine limitation and therefore cannot be changed.
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