@Icemania: glad to see it works with your mod. I still don't know why it works with some mods and not others. I'm a bit burnt out with DW after completing this map, so I've turned to other things for a while.
@Tnarg: thanks for the positive feedback. As for how to make your own scenarios, I will try to outline the procedure. If anyone sees any glaring errors in what I've written below, or thinks any part of it should be clarified, please feel free to step in.
At the outset, I can't release a map “that others could set up with the races they choose.” Having said that, any of my maps can, in principle be used to set up your own scenario. But with the tools presently available, it is a pain to set up scenarios, and there are no shortcuts. However, you can certainly use my maps to set up your own scenarios - within certain limitations.
(1) Before anything else, you have to decide what theme you want to use with your scenario. They’re not interchangeable. If you create a scenario in one theme, it will not work in any other theme.
(2) If you're using the default theme, then it's relatively simple: you can just start my map 1 as a scenario. Just make sure you're in the default theme, then load map 1 as a scenario, and go into the game editor and delete all the events. You then have an almost blank canvas to start on your own scenario. It's not completely blank, because you still have a human empire on Earth. Although it's possible to remove the human empire from Earth, remember that you must have at least one empire in the game at all times and that empire must control at least one colony (at least for non-pirates). Also, even while in the game editor you can’t change the player empire. This is a flaw in the editor, in my opinion.
(3) If you're using the DW Extended universe theme, it's also simple. Just load map 3 as a scenario while in the 'extended' theme, and follow the same procedure as mentioned in point (2).
(4) If you're using a different theme it gets more complicated. First off, you have to load the theme you selected. Next you need to try to load one of my maps (doesn't matter which map you use, as far as I know). To do this, you have to create a custom game and try to load my map into your selected theme. It's important to do it this way, rather than to try to load my map as a scenario in your selected theme. In effect, you'll be following the instructions set out in my first post under the section, '1.1 Playing the map in your own customised game'. However, as noted in subsequent posts, it is possible that the game will crash when you try to load my map in your selected theme. If that happens, then you can't use my map in the theme. I don't know why the crash sometimes occurs with certain themes, and there's nothing I can do about it. As far as I can tell, this is working as designed, and I don't know whether Matrix will ever change things so that my map can be loaded in any theme. If you do manage to load the map into your selected theme, then you can now go to the game editor and set up your scenario. When the scenario is complete you just need to place the file in the '\maps' folder associated with your selected theme (create the '\maps' folder if it doesn't already exist), and you can then load the scenario from the game's main screen.
Here are a few additional tips on creating new scenarios:
(i) If you're creating your starting file by setting up a customised game, it's best to check no pirates and no alien empires and minimum independent races, during game set up. Otherwise, you'll have to delete them all when you're setting up the scenario the way you want it. By starting with no pirates or other races, you get nearer to starting with that all-important blank canvas. Also set 'space monsters' to zero, if you want to add all your own space monsters.
(ii) Your initial game file will most likely have your empire placed at a star system different from the one you want it at. This is because when starting a new customised game, there is no way to specify your initial system. So how the hell to you get your empire to the right place? Here is one way to do this:
- create a new empire of the race you want, and set them as 'playable'.
- add a colony for that empire at the planet(s)/moon(s) you want.
- save the game.
- place the save file in the '\maps' folder of the theme you're playing in (if it's not already there).
- load the save file as a scenario, selecting your newly created empire as the player empire.
- go into the planet editor and delete the initial empire (i.e., the one that you didn't want).
- you now have the map set up with one empire in the right place. You now have to create all the other empires you want and give them colonies where you want them. Unfortunately, there's no way to randomise what the empires are, or where they start. Actually, there is a way (which I'll explain), but it's a bit fiddly and not fully random.
(iii) Note that if you add a new empire to a map, and then give them a colony, that colony’s starting resources will be far worse than the starting resources the empire would normally get in a new game. Specifically, the starting resources are so bloody restricted that it's hard to get out of the first star system in a pre-warp start. If you've played my map 1 or 3 as a scenario, you should know exactly what I mean. The AI cannot cope with this. What this means is that if you create all the AI empires by adding empires in the editor, then giving them each a planet or moon, the AI will not be able to get those empires out of their starting systems. Ok, that's not quite correct: eventually many of them can, but it will take them 20-30 years of game time to do it, by which time your own empire will possess all the best planets in the galaxy. In other words it's easy mode. There is a fix for this, but - sigh! - it's yet another pain to implement. I'll discuss this in point (iv).
(iv) To create a new empire with a colony having enough resources for the AI to handle it, you need to use events to create your empires. So what you do is to set up ruins and an associated event at a planet. You have to use a sequence of events to create all the new empires you want: you have to specify the empire (race) to be created, and the planet/moon it's created at. You then create an explorer belonging to the player's (i.e. 'your') empire near to this planet. You then explore the planet and investigate the ruins, triggering the event. This will create all the empires you wanted. You can then save the game, place the save file in the '\maps' folder of the theme you're playing, and load the map as a scenario. Pick one of the races created by the event (NB in the editor, you must have set at least one of them as playable) as your own empire, start the game and go into the editor. At this time, you can now delete the original empire that was created when you first began the customised game - assuming you want to. Unfortunately, you're still not finished. See point (v).
(v) Ok, so point (iv) told you how to create empires with enough starting resources that the AI can be more effective than a puppy with an iPad, but you're still not done. Each of your empire’s colonies will probably have planetary populations of 10 billion, or more, and they'll have techs going into rank 3 or 4. They'll all have the Gerax hyperdrive, which isn't exactly pre-warp is it? And they'll probably have no leader. So you now have to go through every single empire and edit the planet population to the level you want, and edit the techs back to the level you want, and add any leaders you want. While doing all this you have to be careful not to unpause the game for more than a few moments, or the new empires will start building stuff!
(vi) Oh, I nearly forgot. You're still not done. Each of your empires will have 'explored' at least two of the nearby star systems. In order to set them as 'unexplored' you have to load the scenario and set the explored systems as 'unexplored'; you have to do this for every empire. Of course your home system is still fully explored (i.e. the resources are known). That's not quite a pre-warp start is it? Did you want the home system to be unexplored, i.e., not know where the resources are? To do that, you have to: create a new colony for the player empire, in a different system; remove the original colony; 'unexplore' the home system; add back the original colony; reset its population and any characters wanted; remove the colony you created in the other system; 'unexplore' the other system; rinse and repeat for every other empire, remembering that you need to start the scenario for each empire one after the other. Phew, if you're prepared to do all that, you must be dedicated.
(vii) I mentioned earlier that you could have random empires. This is possible by using events that randomly select an event. However, it's not terribly practical, as you can only have one random event happening, so to add, say, 15 empires, you'd have to have events at 15 separate planets or moons. And each of the created empires would start with a big tech advantage. So it's doable, but not very practical.
That's about all I can think of right now. If you've read this far, it's probably enough to put you off bothering with your own scenarios. You know, my overall feeling is that it's nice that DW is moddable, but it seems to me that the way it's been implemented is far more complicated than it needs to be - though, to be fair, there may be no simple way of doing it, given the path along which DW has evolved. It does now make me think that at this stage perhaps the best route is to start again on a DW2 rather than persevere with DW1. My other gripe is that the editor features are extremely poorly documented, in particular with respect to what is possible; at present, you find out what can and can't be done by trial and error.
< Message edited by Osito -- 7/25/2014 3:23:22 PM >