Might & Magic: Heroes VII Editor – Part 3
In the previous part we started a basic scenario map with terrain above and below ground, drew some textures and planted trees. Today we’ll continue on that map and are going to add neutral buildings and objects which will later be used to create scripted events. If you don’t have the previous map at hand, you can find the file download from the previous article. You can also download the finished map we’re going to create in this article from below.
(4,6 MB .zip file)
|Number of players:|
|Save location: \My Documents\My Games\Might & Magic Heroes VII\MMH7Game\EditorWorkspace|
Neutral Buildings and Objects
We have already learned how to place plants and trees on the adventure map, and for the rest of the objects the procedure is exactly the same. Under the Neutral Buildings tab you can find all kinds of buildings adding various bonuses to heroes. First we want to increase the hero’s Movement and Destiny, so drag a Blind Maiden Land statue next to your blue hero. 1 Notice the three colored arrows: green and red for X and Y axis (horizontal position), and blue for Z-axis (vertical position). Hovering the mouse over the arrows or the rectangle will turn them yellow and allow you to move the object.
Double-clicking (or right-clicking) the selected object opens the property window. For most objects you can edit its name (change “Use Custom Name” to True) and determine whether you wish to tie its position to ground level or align it with the grid. 2 Some objects have additional properties to edit, eg. Signpost has a headline and a message for the entering hero.
In the previous article we learned how to Rotate the object, so now we’re going to alter its size. Click on the Scale icon and instead of arrows, small cubes will apper at the end of the axes. Now you can resize the object by pulling the cubes. 3 There’s no limit on how big the object can be, but you should factor in two things when resizing: don’t leave anything important under the enlarged object, and make sure the object is accessible by ensuring the red bubble marking the entrance isn’t too far from the object’s edge. You can test the map to make sure your hero can access the object. The entrance point can be manually moved by editing the offset value in the Unreal editor, but we’ll cover that in another article. For now, leave the statue close to its original size.
Unfortunately there’s no easy way to check what effects and properties the different objects have, so for now if you’re unsure about the effects of a certain building, you can drag the building to the map and test play it to see more detailed information.
Next we are going to demonstrate passability through the foliage. Drag a Mysterious Crypt on the map and place it over some trees (in our example map, on the left foot of the mountain range) like you see in 4. Switch to 2D View and scroll over the crypt you placed. You can see that there are black squares around the crypt: they represent areas that are blocked and the hero can’t cross them. A building is usually accessible when the entrance square is placed in or next to a passable square, but in this example the path to the building is completely blocked. 5
If you wish to place a building or an object into a blocked spot, you have two options: either remove the foliage blocking the entrance, or create a passable zone for your hero. Now let’s create a path through the trees so our hero will be able to enter the crypt.
Change to the Terrain Painting panel . From the Tools section, select the icon with a horseback rider. In the Target Layer section, there are three choices: Automatic (gray) – the game decides automatically whether terrain is passable, Blocking (black) – impassable square, and Passable (white) – passable square. As you can see all the squares are gray by default, which means the game itself decides whether the squares are passable or not. Select the Passable (white) option and draw a path downwards the crypt and through the trees. 6 When you test the map, you can see that the hero can pass through the trees and enter the crypt. With this tool you can create hidden paths through forest or rocky areas which normally wouldn’t allow a hero to pass. The passage tool works with foliage and certain terrains; eg. high mountains and lava can’t be crossed although the squares can be painted as accessible. When using this tool, always test the behavior properly.
Now it’s time to create a passage between the surface and underground levels.
Insert a Gate To Underground to the green area in the middle of the northern mountain range. 7 Switch to the underground level and insert the Gate To Surface into the top left corner of the underground surface. 8 Notice that the gateways can be placed anywhere in the map, the positions do not have to align with eachother.
Gateways (as well as portals) have to be connected in order to function properly. Return to the surface and double-click on the selected gate. In the Linked Stairway dropdown, select the stairway you placed underground (Gate To Surface 1). If you have multiple gateways on a map, you can give them custom names to make linking easier. 9 Test the map to see if you’ve made the connection correctly.
Adding enemy heroes and towns
Then it’s time to add some competition to our map. Move over to the little ford we previously formed for our hero to be able to cross the river. Let’s place a guard hero in front of the ford. Open the Hero Tool and click New Hero. We’d like to have someone resembling the legendary genie hero Solmyr on our map, so make up a Name (we’ll use “The Storm Emperor”). Find the correct Portrait and Model for him and select the Visual “Djinn Channeler”. Select the remaining fields as shown in the picture 1.
After clicking OK, our custom hero appears under the Heroes tab . Drag him to the center of the ford. 2 You may also want to Rotate him facing the Player 1 hero coming from the west. Then we need to set up a third player to which The Storm Emperor belongs to. Open the Map Properties window and add a third player as shown in the image 3.
Finally we need to set up the properties of The Storm Emperor. Double-click him and the Properties window will open up. On the General tab, change Player affinity to Player 3, check NPC Hero box and raise his Level to 30. You can also adjust the basic attributes here. 4
Now switch to Underground and move to the southeastern corner of the map where we have the Player 2’s random red hero. Delete the red hero and create a new custom one (like we did with The Storm Emperor). 5 Drag him on the map and remember to assign him to Player 2 in the Properties window (opens by double-clicking the hero).
Then let’s insert a town for Player 2. Unfortunately the game does not have a hellish Inferno city to go with the theme, so we’ll have to settle with a classic Academy town. From the left menu, select Player Buildings tab . Here you can find all the towns, dwelling buildings and mines. Drag the Academy Town to the southeastern corner of the underground level. Double-click the town to open the property window and give it a Custom Name and assign it to Player 2. 6 Here you can also define the garrison army and pre-built buildings, but now we’ll leave them to default.
After clickin OK a red error message should appear telling our newly inserted town does not have an Area of Control assigned. Switch to Terrain Painting panel and select the Areas of Control tool. Choose the red color and paint the surface around the town to assign the AoC for it. Make sure to paint the red color directly underneath the town too, since the area is automatically assigned to the town it covers. 7 All mines and dwellings on the red area will now automatically belong to the Player 2.
When you’re done with the Area of Control, you’ll want to make sure the AI Player 2 will not be interfering the Human Player 1 on the quests around the map. Move on to the Neutral Buildings tab and place a Seal Arkath at the end of the Player 2 AoC. 8 Seals are basically gateways which block pathways and can be entered only after a corresponding Altar has been visited. So for a hero to pass Seal Arkath, a Seal Arkath Altar must be visited first.
To prevent the enemy hero simply walking past the seal, we’ll have to block the pathway with Inferno Wall A, found under the Props tab . Remember that you can dublicate objects with Ctrl+D. 9 If you look at the 2D View of the area, you’ll find that the walls aren’t actually blocking the passage, the Player 2 hero could just walk through them. 10 Therefore we need to block the path manually. Select the Terrain Painting tab and paint Blocking (black) texture along the walls to force the hero to be able to pass only through the Seal. 11
Do you remember the black underground area we created in the previous article? Now let’s make use of it! Locate the black abyss and insert a Dimension Portal (found under Neutral Buildings) on the edge of it. 12 Apply some ground texture at the other end of the black area and place another Dimension Portal on it. Open the Properties window of the second portal and connect it with the first by selecting “Dimension Portal 0” in the Linked Dimension Portal dropdown. 13 You can also change the portal coloring to your liking here. A blue line appears between the portals to represent the link you just created. 14
We want to make sure portals are the only option across the abyss, so paint the black area between them with Blocking texture. 15 Now all that’s left is placing the Soul Arkath Altar next to the second portal. 16
Preparing for scripts
Let’s return to the surface. There’s one special object in the Editor Objects tab, called Visitable Shell. You can change the appearance of the shell to resemble an inactive object that normally can’t be visited (eg. a tree or a statue) and link custom behavior and scripts with it. Let’s place one on the small projection where the river makes a curve. 1 Double-click on the Visitable Shell to open the properties window and change its appearance to Fountain Round. Give the object a custom name (if left empty, the game will display “mName”). After you click Close, the object transforms into a fountain that a hero can access. 2
Now let’s make use of this visitable well and create a spot for a secret underground passage!
Switch to the underground view and raise a small island in the southwestern lake we made in the previous article 3
The script we’re going to create in the next article will need to know where our hero is going to land via the well. For that reason we have to set up a Mark from the Editor Objects tab . Select the Tile Marker and drag it (a red square) to the center of the island. 4
Of course we need a reason to visit this small island, so let’s create a custom artifact for our hero to pick up. Select the Artifact tool from the toolbar and click New Artifact. Give the artifact a Name (we’ll call it “Celestial Key”), select a suitable Icon, a Tier (Relic) and to which Slot it will be fitted (Torso). You can adjust the Buy (15000) and Sell (7500) prices, give it a Description and select whether the artifact is related to a quest (yes), will it be transferred with the hero through the campaign (no) and whether it can be transferred to another hero (no). You can also define the Faction the artifact belongs to (Haven) and choose to restrict the artifact based on hero Affinity (No restriction). The Bonus fields are where the artifact effects are determined. For Bonus 1, select “Increase certain hero stat” and a properties section appears below. Set the Stat to “Magic” and Amount to 10. 5
After clicking OK our Celestial Key can be found on the Artifacts tab . Drag it to the island. 6
Back to the surface. Since our main quest is going to be acquiring the newly created Celestial Key artifact, we want to ensure the player does not receive it from the Mysterious Crypt (which grants a random artifact). Go to the Crypt’s properties and set a Specific Artifact Reward that will be awarded to the visiting hero, eg. Scouts Hat. 1
Finally we’ll want to make sure there aren’t any loopholes in our map design by testing it properly . During testing we notice that we’re able to avoid fighting The Storm Emperor we placed in the river ford. Return to the spot with the custom hero and paint Blocking terrain around him so the only way through is fighting him. 2 Additionally we find a small area in the northern woods that can be used to circle around the enemy. Again use Blocking texture to prevent the player from taking a detour. 3
That’s it for today! In part 4 we’ll be finally creating custom events and quests, and linking them to our existing objects. See you soon!