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Go Back   .com.unity Forums > Illwinter Game Design > Dominions 3: The Awakening > Scenarios, Maps and Mods

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  #1  
Old July 8th, 2010, 03:16 PM

Dimaz Dimaz is offline
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Sometimes it’s necessary to test some battle “offline” before it actually takes place in MP game. How many soldiers you need to capture that tough indy province? How to better position your troops and mages in upcoming big battle with enemy’s army? Will your Tart Cyclop be able to defeat 50 Green Lions and what items he needs to do it?
You can test all this by manually creating .map file putting both side’s armies there, then creating a game, setting the orders and changing the placement, then moving the armies to one province and watching the battle. However, manually adding all the commanders, equipment and units to the map file can take a long time, and you’ll need to move the files here and there after that if you want to test some battle several times. So I was always wondering why there’s no simple tool to automate parts of process and make it faster.
After some particularly long testing session I decided to make it myself. So, the aim of the project:
Create GUI for making small test .map file with 2 armies ready to engage each other. Automate the process of creating the test game and running the test.
Here is version 0.2 of the utility that I called Dominions 3 Extended Tester (dom3xTester). Currently it’s possible to select commanders and give them equipment, units and extra magic, and create a working .map file with nation vs nation or nation vs indies setup.
How to do it:

1) Select commander by unit ID or unit type (possible variants will be listed when you start typing commander’s unit type).
2) Give him items and magic (hope no explanation needed here).
3) Double-click on the tree area to add commander to list.
4) Add more commanders and/or units.
5) Choose nations for both sides or for one if you want to test fight with indies.
6) Select “Make .map file” from File menu.
7) During the process, if you feel your commander “build” can be useful later, you can save it by pressing “Save” button. The commander will appear in small list area and you’ll be able to load him by double-clicking at any time.

After that you can copy the map file (with the name xtestX_vs_Y.map) to dominions map folder and create a game (automation part is not done yet). Select the same nations you did in the dom3xtester (important!) and set both nations to human. Do the usual stuff and start the battle by moving both armies to province 1. Repeat if necessary.

I have to warn that it's really 0.2 version, so many buttons do nothing, probably there are some horrible bugs and so on. If you have good advice or can help with the project somehow, please comment here!
BTW, the program is written in QT/C++, so it should compile without problems on Linux and Macs, too.
Here's the link to get 0.2 version
http://rapidshare.com/files/40576197...st0.2.rar.html

UPDATE 16.12.10
https://rapidshare.com/files/3891512788/0.5.rar - link to latest version (0.5)
Attached dumpItems.rar that should be extracted to data folder for compatibility with CBM 1.71.
Attached Files
File Type: rar dumpItems.rar (8.1 KB, 189 views)

Last edited by Dimaz; September 30th, 2012 at 02:18 AM..
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  #2  
Old July 8th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Gandalf Parker Gandalf Parker is offline
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

There were a few versions to do this already. But not nearly as complete.
Thank you.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

Dimaz, I really appreciate your dedication for completing this and sharing with the community.

I fear however that this tool may have a significant impact on the MP experience: basically a player with enough time on his hands to do however simulations that he needs would not need much of anything else in order to excel. The only way to counter such advantage is to resort to the same practice.
It's similar in a way to gem gens impact.

I think this is why IW shut down their built in sim in the first place.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

Short Comment:
There is also something to be said for the "social psych". The "social player" tends to have a preference for providing information. Which can help build a community exactly along the line of one that social players love, and their presence should be encouraged. But when those same social players stretch out to further aid the community by automating information (help files, guides, walk-thrus, sims) then it detracts from the socializing community that they desire.

Longer comment:
Business has had many decades of access to psychology papers on demographic types and how to increase or decrease their number. It might not be on purpose that online worlds have shifted to minimal help files with glaring errors causing players to socialize more in the game and to frequent the forums where ads are displayed. It might not be on purpose that fan-created help sites are not prominently stickied on official sites. But it also might not be entirely the mindless stupidity that players often chalk it up to. Everything has its Pros and Cons. (by the way, Experts and Gurus who give answers are another category, and also has pros/cons)
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:47 PM

Dimaz Dimaz is offline
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

WL, I remember your opinion as you said it earlier and I had thought about it. However, I cannot agree with you. First, my utility adds nothing that cannot be achieved by other methods, it's just to simplify things a bit. Second, the testing alone definitely cannot win the game for you or even win a war. You still have to plan carefully, talk to people if diplo is allowed, know some tricks and so on. What testing can do, is reduce your losses or in some cases change the outcome of battle or two. You know that I prefer to test many situations, and still I have only one win in HoF. Ano tests almost all battles with indies before attacking, and he plays better than me, and he has 1 win I think, too. So, I'm 99% sure that this tool won't change the general balance between players, as winning one or two extra battles with the help of it doesn't change that much.
In other news, I'm hoping to make 0.3 somewhere this week. I noticed that I forgot to include unit saving to the .map, also, I'm planning to add scenario S/L (full information on both sides) and .map army import if I have time (for maps with already preset armies, it'll be possible to select any province that has an army and it'll be imported).
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Old July 13th, 2010, 12:24 AM

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Default Re: Dom3xTest

I'm with Dimaz. Peoples can run simulation through mapediting and debug mod so the tool just allows the people who don't have mapediting knowledge to test their tactics before using them in MP. IMHO it can't affect MP balance in any respect. If you plan less than your opponents, you deserve to lose.

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." -Sun-Tzu.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

Dimaz, you have a good point there
Very well, I still have some reservations but nonetheless I give my (oh how important ) blessing to your project.

I've even started fiddling with it a bit. If you like I can give you feedback and send files for things that don't work (via email medium I suggest).

Last comment, the tool is impressive, taking into account that it's a one man project. Kudos
What IDE did you use to create it?- Visual C++?
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Old July 13th, 2010, 06:11 AM

Dimaz Dimaz is offline
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

WL, thanks for your blessing I hope it includes W9 part so I'll be able to work on the project 1.5 times as fast at least
Yes, I want to hear the feedback from you, and anybody else in fact, too. I use Visual Studio for development, but as I said the project is fully portable to other platforms and environments as it's pure QT and doesn't include anything system-specific (yet). If anyone is interested, I can send the complete source (I have to warn, though, that it's even worse than the interface). I already mentioned the general ideas of future development: 1) all .map work 2) automation 3) mod support (currently only units from vanilla can be used, and with the popularity of stuff-adding mods like llama's it's becoming a problem). If somebody wants to help with those things or maybe make better interface or whatever, you're welcome.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

I believe it will work just well with the mods wile you know unit id. Let Ember Lord be just an anonymous unit with id XXX. The most commonly used mods may be added just plainly, as an option, while for the rarer ones you may just use an id.
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  #10  
Old July 13th, 2010, 05:10 PM

Dimaz Dimaz is offline
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Default Re: Dom3xTest

No, it uses the Edi's db to know the slot and naming information, so currently you cannot use mod units (you can add some other unit with similar slots and then change the id inside map file, obviously).
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