Brawl of Ages Steam Workshop Guide

Welcome to the Brawl of Ages Steam workshop guide. This will give you a general understanding of the game,  tools, and procedures to start creating your own artwork for Brawl of Ages. Once you submit artwork, the community will vote on the content for inclusion in the game. You will can receive real money when the item is purchased in the steam marketplace.

Dyes

Dyes are color and skin changes to a unit or card. These are new textures applied to the original geometry and animations of a base unit or even to a gearset.

 

Gear Sets

Gear sets are more detailed vs dyes and skins. They are comprised of new models and often new animations. They offer a lot more customizability.

 

Account Icons

Create custom icons to be used as account icons which represent you in the game.

 

Icon Frames

These are the frames that surround the account icons. Also visible in game.

 

Death Effects

Death effects are played every time a unit is killed on the battlefield. These should be fun yet subtle as not to be distracting.

 

Tower Sets

Tower sets replace the lane and throne towers. These will also require model, textures, sounds, animation and effects.

 

Units / Cards

Units / Cards are made up of models, animations, sounds, effects and textures and also have subsets of dyes, gear sets, other types of visual upgrades. Currently we are not accepting new unit submissions however once users become proficient at adding the other components we may allow this.

Submission Types

Dyes

Dyes are color and skin changes to a unit or card. These are new textures applied to the original geometry and animations of a base unit or even gearset.

 

The best dyes are based on a solid idea. Try to think up a fun, cool, unique theme for the dye / skin. To create a dye just open the units color texture as a guide and paint over a new theme using photoshop or other paint program. You can use the model viewer submission tools to submit your texture changes. If you are looking to create a more advanced dye utilizing special shaders or materials you’ll need to create those by hand. More information on that later.

 

Textures should be kept under 1024x1024. The typical shader supports color map, normal, and opacity. The color.tga is used for color with alpha acting as opacity. The normal maps alpha channel is often used for specularity. More complicated shaders exist for things like glow maps and reflection maps. Feel free to explore.

 

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Gear Sets

Gear sets are total model swaps. They can be as simple adding some geometry for armor or as complex as changing the complete structure of the unit. If your design doesn’t change the overall structure of the unit too much you can carefully rig the gear set to the original bones.  If you keep all of the same bone names and sizing all of the old animations should still work. Once you deviate from that you will then need to add new bones and new animations.

 

The actual number of animation vary depending on what the unit does. Most units at least need attack animations, movement, and any other special ability animations.

 

 

 

 

Icons

Icons are a great way to represent yourself in Brawl. They are 512x512 pixel targa files (.tga) with alpha channel. You can find a template I created here: Brawl of Ages Content Starter Kit/Reference/icon_template.psd

 

 

 

 

 


Icon Frames

Icon Frames are the frames that surround the account icons. Also visible in game.  Icon frames should look nice framing the icons without obstructing too much. 512x512 .tga files with alpha.

 

These should should be creative, fun but also not too distracting. They need to feature and not block too much of the icon.

 

 

 

 


Death Effects

Death effects are played every time a unit is killed on the battlefield. There are small, medium, large, legendary_large, building and flying versions.

 

To create and test, make a folder in \game\shared\effects\brawls\. Copy and paste the default death files from the Content Starter Kit and edit them. That will give you an appropriate scale reference. You can drag and drop the death effect on a model in the model viewer to see its effect.

 

For instance load the “Bo” model and drag and drop a death effect onto it. See the section called “Basic Directory Setup and File Testing” for information on testing the effects in the actual game.

 

Death effects need a careful balance to ensure they are not annoying since they play so frequently. The small and medium effects should be fairly low key while the larger and legendary can be a bit more impactful.

 

 

 

Tower Sets

Tower sets replace the lane and throne towers. These will also require model, textures, sounds, animation and effects.   In addition to there being two separate towers, they are usually set up with a base and a top.  The base usually stays stationary and the top will rotate to aim at the enemy it is firing upon.

 

For instance a turret on a tank, or an archer on a tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Units / Cards

In addition to game design, scripting and balance, Units / Cards are made up of models, animations, sounds, effects and textures and also have subsets of dyes, gear sets, other types of visual upgrades. Currently we are not accepting new unit submissions however once users become proficient at adding the other components we may allow this.

 

 

Submission Type Details

The Kodiak Engine

The Kodiak Engine is a powerful custom engine built from the ground up. Its most important feature is its very powerful entity scripting system. All of the units, abilities, spells,  items and  gameplay can be fully scripted using it.

 

 

Basic Directory Setup and File Testing

Brawl of Ages uses compressed files to store its data. To understand this browse to your installed game directory. This is usually found in your steam folder somewhere like “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Brawl of Ages\game”.  You can view the directory structure if you rename the .s2z to a .zip in windows(make sure to name it back to s2z) or open the s2z with other common zip compression programs.

 

 

Model Viewer

The model viewer, like it sounds, is used to view exported models. You can quickly cycle through models, and effects. Using the model viewer is the easiest way to check your models, run through animations, and build and test effects. It is also the primary tool used for submitting your packages to the Steam Workshop.

 

To access the S2 Model Viewer just right click on “Brawl of Ages” in your steam library and choose the model viewer.

 

 

 

Workshop Submission Panel

The Workshop Submission Panel is part of the model viewer. You use this to submit your finished item to the workshop. You also use this tool to initialize your item. It will create a folder in your mods folder as well as configuration files. Only files inside this folder will be submitted.

 

 

 

Model Exporter

The Exporter is a custom tool designed for 3ds Max 2017 and used to export models and animations to a format Brawl can read.

 

Installation:

 

  1. Locate “s2exporter64.dlu in the Brawl of Ages Content Starter Kit under Tools > 3ds Max 2017 Exporter.
  2. Copy the file to your 3ds Max plugins director. This can be found where you installed 3ds Max 2017. For example:  C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2017\Plugins\
  3. Once the file is placed the next time you restart 3ds Max you should find the plugin S2 exporter by going to  the Utility tab > Click More > Find the S2 Exporter > click OK
  4. When you export a model it must reside somewhere inside of the the brawl of ages directory structure in order  for the game/model viewer to see  to see it.  For example  C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Brawl of Ages\mods\(your_mod_folder)

 

 

Our Tools

Model (.model)

This is the actual 3d mesh data for the character. This is generated from your 3d model and converted to the game format by the exporter.

 

Model Definition File (.mdf)

The .mdf file is a simple XML file  with configuration data linking animation, effect, and model settings and more. .

Animation Clips(clip)

Clips are animation segments which include the animated bone information. These are also generated via the model exporter. The mdf then points to these files when calling animations.

 

Materials (.material)

XML configuration  files which point to shaders and textures used by the model.

 

Textures (.tga)

Textures such as color, normal, opacity, lightmap and more. Once the game is built these files become the compressed dds files.

 

Effects (.effect)

Effect files are XML based and quite powerful. They control the look of particles, beams, ground sprites, models and more. Effects can be called by in game entity files and from within Model Definition files to sync to certain animations. Units usually have passive effects as well as damage, attack, and other special ability effects.

 

Icon

This represents the unit on the card and other places throughout the game.

 

Preview Image

This image is used in the interface as the gear preview

 

Sound Effects

Units usually have spawn, death, impact, footstep, and other voice over sounds. These can be called in effect files, entity files and in mdf files. You should convert your sound effect files to the (.ogg)  format.

 

Dyes

Units have dyes which are texture skins that change their appearance. This can be as simple as switching colors from red to green or more advanced such as a total repaint which changes the theme. They consist of textures as well as can use new shaders and effects.

 

Sound

Sound effects for voice, attacks, deaths, anything really should be saved in the ogg vorbis sound format.

 

Entity and Other Gameplay Files

Most of the game is driven by entity files and scripting. Entity files control all attributes of how the game works. This is a more advanced topic. You most likely will not need to edit entity files for basic workshop projects.

What makes up a Unit / Card?

Model Viewer Overview

 

How to Export a Model

 

Creating Account Icons

 

Creating a Dye

 

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