A guide to creating and setting up Skirmish Maps for The Hand of Merlin, written by its Level Designer ‘Sanduk’.
- Files – Saving all necessary files for the level
- Spawn point, moving and rotating objects, & rendering modes
- Camera Bounds & World info
- HOMM Terrain
Here’s Sanduk the Level designer and I’m going to show you how to create a Skirmish map in Serious Engine for The Hand of Merlin. You will learn how to set up characters, make an environment scene and a fighting arena.
.wld is the main extension of Skirmish maps, so anytime you save a map it has to be in .wld and anytime you open it to edit the map it will be this extension.
Let’s start with a simple “how to open a file”. We already have a saved template for you to start.
File → Open → World
Search for the file 00_TemplateWld.wld and open it.
This is the Template scene inside the Engine:
To navigate on the scene press ESCand with the buttons A, W, S and Dyou can move around, while with the mouse you can rotate. You can also move forward and backwards with the left and right mouse clicks. When you navigate through the scene you can’t click on any object. If you want to click on objects again you have to press the ESC button to stop the navigation.
By pressing the key N a new window will open where you can find a list with all the entities that are placed on the scene.
Each map to work MUSThave:
- Player Spawn Point
- Enemy Spawn Point
- World Info
- Probe Light
- Distant light
- Tessellated Terrain
- Cube Background
Saving all necessary files for the level
First you have to save the level as a new map that will have the .wld extension
File -> Save as
Name the levels as you wish.
Saving level on-> RoomC\Merlin_dev\Content\Merlin\Levels ( you can choose in which Zone (01_Albion, 02_Mountains, 03_AlAndalus) you want to save)
Click on the terrain in the scene, on the left side new params will appear.
Click the plus icon on the Terrain Params.
Do the same on Model and Meshes.
On each of these params you have three extensions you have to save.
Click on each of these three files and go toSave as and name it the same as you named your level.
Now you have to set the Script.
The script on the scene looks like an orange box that you can click on.
Or you can go to World Info (press N) and there you can just write “Script” and click the Script there.
Clicking on the Script on the left side, params will show up.
How to make a Script check out the other document. (Modding Guide – Units)
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2807449027 – [steamcommunity.com]
Once you created your script you can save it as the name of your level
The extension of the script is .lua
To check if your script works you can press T (shortcut for Test Game). This will get you into the game view of the level. If you can see both the enemy and players that means the Script works.
These two spheres on each other is the Probe Light. You also need to save the .rsc file of the Probe Light.
By clicking on the Probe Light, on the left side Params will show up. To save the Probe Light click on the drop down arrow then Save As…
The only thing that’s left to save now is the Distant Light. By clicking on the Distant Light (yellow object) on the left side params of the entity will show up and at Shadow buffer resource you can click on Save as and you can name it like your level.
Spawn point, moving and rotating objects, & rendering modes
All Spawn points have a certain “snapping to the grid mode” number. If you move the Spawn point freely on the scene, in game the characters won’t work (move) correctly. They always have to be set on the correct position on the grid.
To set the correct number on the top right side of the screen you have a drop down where it says No snapping. Click on it and then click on Custom fixed.
Set the grid snap value to 1.5 and press Ok.
You can turn on the grid on the terrain to see how the Spawn Point moves.On the top right side click on Settingsthen View Grid.
To move a Spawn Point you have to hold CTRL. By holding CTRL arrows on the object will show up. With that you can drag Spawn Points to set the character on any position you would like in the fighting arena. By pressing the TABbutton you can flip the Spawn Point.
BEWARE:Spawn points ONLY work on FLAT TERRAIN.
When you want to move/rotate freely any other object switch from Custom fixed to No Snapping.
When clicking an object and holding ALT + CTRL + SHIFT and Middle mouse button and dragging out you’re cloning the object.
If you deleted any of the objects, for example the distant light you can find it on the bottom left side called Entity List.
When clicking on it above folders will show up.
Where it says “Filter”, write there an object you need for example distant light. The object will be shown on the list and just drag and drop it to the scene.
On the top right side there is a drop down button called Rendering. By going to Rendering modes you have a lot of varieties of how you want to view your level, depending on what you need. On the Numpad from the number 0 to 7 you have the Rendering modes you’re gonna use the most. On default it’s always on the number 5. Mostly you’re gonna toggle between 5 and 6. On number 6 you can see how the light is creating shadows on the models and terrain but you can’t see entities like Spawn Point, Distant light, Script… If you want to make changes on those objects you have to switch back to render number 5.
Camera Bounds, World info
With Camera bounds you can set how much of the scene will be visible in the game ( how big you want your map to be). To set Camera bounds go to top right corner -> Rendering HOM camera bounds
This is the bound that the camera is showing. To edit the HOM camera bounds you have to edit them in the World Info. To get there press N and in the new window write World Info and double click on it. New parameters will show up on the right side. Click on the plus icon where it says Camera bounds.
Here you can set the sizes on x0,1 and y0,1. Press T (Test Game) to see how it looks in the game.
By default it’s always -10,-10,10,10. The ideal number would be around 20-30.
Next important thing in World Info is camera zoom. Here you can set up how much zoom in and zoom out in the level you would like to have.
There is a situation where you could accidentally delete the whole terrain and when you go into Test Game the camera view is not in the same position. How to set it up again? Well first CTRL+Z it back then you do next:
In the World Info:
Click on the green arrow and click anywhere on the terrain and the camera position should be back again!
Now it’s time to set up the Terrain. When you’re in Test Game you can easily get lost with your character outside the view of the camera to set that we need to edit non walkable areas of terrain.
To change the terrain you have to go into the mesh. To do that click on the terrain and press twice E. Or you can go from where it says World editor to the Mesh editor on the drop down menu.
Now when you’re in Mesh editor you can edit the mesh with Polygon, Vertexor Edge.
You can move the mesh by selecting them with the left mouse button. Hold the left mouse button and drag it around the terrain. Hold CTRL, arrows will show up, you move the arrow, up or down, depending if you want high or low terrain.
If you want certain tiles to be walkable again when you’re in the mesh editor press ALT+SHIFT+X and you can click on the tile you want to be walkable. To turn it off press the button Tilde.
The second way is to paint the mesh with a brush tool. First you have to click on the Tools bar on the bottom left side.
To open the Brush tool go to Modifyon the right side and click Paint/Displace.
On the left side after clicking on Paint/Displace this has to show up:
When you click on Displace, a drop down menu will show up. Displace, Smooth, Flatten and Noise are used for editing the terrain. Depending on what you need.
Meters per second means how strong the hills/abysses will be.
>1 for making hills
<-1 for abysses
On the right side, on Modify you can open the Brush Palette.
Palette window will open up:
In the palette you can choose how much soft brush you want. Strength and size of the brush.
By going back to World editor and clicking shortcut J+D, you can now see which tiles are walkable, which are high or low tiles.
In Serious Engine by default you have seven textures to use for painting terrain. To see where the terrain textures are you have to click on the terrain then go to HOM Tessellated terrain editor.
On the left side this will show up:
You can choose which one you need and on the terrain a blue brush will show up. With the left mouse button you can paint the terrain and with the middle mouse button you can scroll the size.
To add new textures you need to go to Mesh editor of the terrain and on the button left side click on Layer.
Above it click on the plus icon of Polygon maps → materials → materials 7
By clicking on the yellow plus sign on materials you’re adding a new slot for the material.
On ne white plus icon open the new slot and there you can browse your color map, gloss map, height map and normal map of the texture.
BEWARE: Each map can only hold up to 15 materials
I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about The Hand of Merlin – Modding Guide – Skirmish Maps Setup; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!
- All The Hand of Merlin Posts List