The Unofficial Help for the Medieval Heroes II Game Editor


This help file was updated to include the creation of games for both the Palm OS and PPC versions

Getting Started
The Map
Basic Colors
Map Tips
Starting A Build (Basic Controls)
Loading Map and Checking Paths
Province Creation
Creating Heroes
Skills & Such
Assigning Provinces to Heroes (Owners)
Assigning Capitals
Mission Properties
Saving & Compiling
Loading Missions
Objectives And Design Notes
What to do with Missions
Deleting Missions
Closing Thought


The Legal Stuff:
The game editor is copyrighted by Arcona Magi, creators of Medieval Heroes II

Be forewarned, I like to talk, use the index to skip around my jabber.

If your needing help, best place to go is the Medieval Heroes II  Forums  Drop a note, pitch a fit, or give them all a Howdy Dowty, There all good guys and gals and some one can help guide you through the tough spot.

My Thoughts:
First let me say I am not an expert at the Game Editor, but I found it vary intuitive and easy to learn, if you spend fifteen minutes playing around with the sample missions, you may find you don’t really need to read much of this, but since I like to be heard, I’ll write on any way.
(back to top)

Getting Started:

Install issues:
That’s easy, the game editor does’t need an installer, just unzip it, place it someplace, preferably on your hard drive and your good to go, just launch “MH2MissionEditor.exe” to start.

Did I mention this software is for Windows?   Sorry Mac guys, go down the hall and find some geek using his Windows LapTop their mom gave them as a doorstop and borrow it.

Personally I like loading new software, its like driving a new car, pushing buttons, tweaking things, seeing what it does, and finding out if I can crash it, the software that is, not the car, that’s another story.

Now load up one of the samples and look around, making a new mission is not really as daunting a task as it may look.

Ok, that’s enough, close the editor, if you really want to make a new mission the real work begins outside of the game editor.
(back to top)

The Map

The Game Editor uses bmp’s, not gif's, or jpeg’s, although I will tell you how you can start off with one of those latter in this text, but first you need a graphic program, any will do, even that cheesy little MSPaint program that comes with Windows, I use PaintShop Pro 7, yes I know its old, but its paid for and it works for me.

Basic Colors:
The Game Editor will recognize any and all colors, but two colors are used for specific objects, water and non-playable land areas, for all water use pure blue, a blue with a RGB value of 0,0,255 the other specific color, for the non-playable areas, is pure green with an RGB value of 0,255,0

All other colors are treated as playable areas, each playable area is separated by the others not by black lines or any other divider, just simply by having the other area a different color.  And its not required to have every province a unique color, you can use four or five colors alternately to define all provinces, load up the sample bmp Muscovy.bmp in your graphic program and you can see how pure red (RGB 255,0,0) is used repeatedly throughout the map for playable provinces.

I’m sure you get the idea.

Ideas – Historic, Real or Fantasy
Of course the hard part is figuring out how or what to map, you can start off copying a real map and colorizing it, downloading and colorizing it, or make it up on the fly, one technique would be to draw a map, scan it and colorizing it.

Map Tips:
Size: well don’t really know what the size limits are, but 640x480 is a good place to start, create your land of enchantment and resize from there, you don’t want to leave too much un-used map space, doing so will draw criticism from Ancient in the official forum, I happen to like my over sized maps, and I dont mind scrolling around the place, and so what if I show too much of France, an un-playable France at that, so whats the big deal Ancient, afraid you'll get a cramp scrolling my tooo big map!!   and yes, your right,  I don’t take criticism well.

Although not required, they are a good means of blocking movement from one province to the next, forcing armies to go around, look at the sample map Europe14th.bmp and you can see how rivers are used to block, and you can see how bridges are used selectively to allow movement, even across larger bodies of water as in the map NorthernLands.bmp.

Now get creative and make a map, when you’re done, come back and we will move on to the Game Editor.
(back to top)

Starting A Build

Basic Controls
Tool Bar

Loading Map and Checking Paths:

Loading a map is easy, just start a new project and follow the dialog to your map.

Once your map is loaded lets do a quick check to insure all is ok, if the first thing you notice is the area that should be water is gray and not blue, then the color you used for the water in your map was not pure blue (RGB 0,0,255) but instead something else, perhaps you were thinking of the Muddy Mississippi or some other pollution, stop here and go back to part one.

Now check the area you wanted to exclude from play, this should be green in the Game Editor, if that is gray, then the color you used is not pure green (RGB 0,255,0) Once again go back to step one.

If your water is showing blue, the “neutral” provinces are green, and all the other provinces are gray, then your map should be ok, let’s check movement paths to see if everything is connecting the way you wanted.

Path Icon

The green lines you now see on the map you loaded are army movement paths, with this you can see if the rivers you created are really blocking movement, and the bridges you added are allowing movement, you can pull up one of the sample maps to see this if your own map does not have rivers.

Of course if any of the movement paths or blocks are not what you were thinking of, your forced to go back to step one, making a map, the Game Editor has no graphic editing capabilities.

Once your satisfied with your water, the sissy neutral provinces and the movement paths, lets give the file a name and save this puppy before we screw it up too bad.
(back to top)

Province Creation:

Now load up your map again and click on the province tab, you could just use the default names of “Noname x” for all the provinces, but that’s boring, go ahead and put that crown on your head and act like a king and give everything a name.

Now you’ll notice as you select “Noname x” you will see the province highlighted on the map you loaded, this seems self explanatory, it works the other way as well, click on a province on the map, and that province properties pop up in the properties window, now move your cursor down to the “Selected Province(s) Properties” box and click on the “Noname x” right of the “Name” heading, you do know the “x” is really a number right?

Lets not worry about any of the other properties just yet, we will get to those, but after you give it a name instead of hitting “enter” and discover nothing seems to happen move cursor further down to the “Selected Provinces Info” box and click on the resources icon


Resources Icon

This will give your newly named province a random mix of resources, most of the time this may be good enough for game play and will only need to be adjusted for fine tuning game play.  Of course you could always set the amount of gold, metal and stone manually, but for now, go ahead and click the Random Resource Generator button.

Ok, stop clicking the resources icon and finish naming all your provinces.

There are a couple of other tools you can use to fine tune the look of each province, Castle display mode, and Army Placement mode, these just allow you to decide where the icons show up during game play.

Last note on Provinces, just to the right of all the provinces you’ll see these two icons

Add & Delete Provinces

With a province selected clicking the “Delete Province” icon will convert that province to green space (Neutral Territory) it will still appear gray on the map, but checking the army path icon on the tool bar will confirm its no longer in game play, to get it back don’t bother trying to get the “Add Province” button to do anything, that’s why its called a beta.

Your best to leave these two alone and use your graphic editor to add or create green space.
(back to top)

Creating Heroes:

OK, good players are not born but created right?

I’m sure you see the tab that says “Players and Domains”, select it, You now see these really cool names like “Player 1” and “Player 2” We have to change these, first use the check boxes to define how many players you will have, Hopefully your crown is still on your head so you can come up with names for these guys.

Skills & Such:
Once the naming is done, lets set some skill levels, you have Melee, Builder, and Stealth, by default each skill level is 2, and of course if all were equal in the game that would be boring, so readjust the skills keeping in mind the program will not allow the skills to exceed 6, so you need to reduce one before you add to another.

As far as the difference between a player that has a high Melee skill and a low Stealth skill, and one that is low Melee and high Stealth, figure it out, you came this far, I cant spell it all out for you.

“Playability” is the next setting, this allows you to decide if this player must be human, can be human or computer controlled, or strictly computer controlled.

Ok, get that grin off your face, making a game with only computer controlled players would not be vary fun.

Under Playability is the “AI Type”.  You have Standard, Builder, Warrior, and Cautious, you can mix these up or leave all at standard for now and readjust latter to help balance game play. 

Now comes the Treasury, I’m sure you have played the game more then once by now, so you know what resources can do for an army, the Treasury settings are what your hero is starting off with, want to make things really hard, give a computer controlled player lots of resources and see how fast you get crushed.

Below the Treasury are the Unit Types this player has access to, other then unit 1, the standard Swordsman, each other unit type has a pull down window.  Again these settings can be used to adjust game play, if one player seems to get crushed a lot, change the Archers to Long Bowmen and see if that helps.

Below Unit Types is Campaign Army, this adjust how large each players starting army is, wow, I think this is another one of those settings that can be used to adjust game play.
(back to top)

Assigning Provinces to Heroes (Owners)

Ok the boring stuff is done, now the fun begins, go back to the province tag and use your mouse to select a province on the map, doing so will bring up the provinces properties, now when you click on the word “none” next to “Owner” a drop down menu will appear showing your players, if you want to give up this province to some one select them now.

Once a province is assigned to a player additional properties are presented, such as, “Guardian Army”, again I am sure you played the game enough to know what that is, you can leave a token force there or not, its your game.

Right above the Guardian Army is Castle, clicking the space to the right will bring up a check box, if so selected additional properties are presented, most are fairly self explanatory, Hit Points refers to the condition of the castle at game start.

Now of course you need not assign all provinces to a player, you can if you wish to start the game off with everything all ready spoken for, or you can start off with each player only holding one province, or start off some where in between.

A note on Catapults, you will see the pull down menu go from none to 4, but only the capital of each player will have 4, all other castles will only mount 2, not sure what the thinking is behind that one, but thats the way it is, get over it.

Now another note on Castles, you can place a castle on any province, not just the province assigned to a player, the castles on provinces not assigned to a player will be in the game, its sort of like left behind and abandoned stuff, you wouldn’t want to leave a lot of stuff there, like a bank or metal mine, and the castle should be left with a low hit number, but hey, its your game right?
(back to top)

Assigning Capitals:

Well, every player must have a home, with out one how could he lose, there’s nothing to capture, so move back to “Players and Domains”, now when you click on the space right of “Capital” the drop down menu will list all the provinces you assigned to that player, selecting one as this players capital will place a four tower icon on that territory, regardless of the castle setting you left behind when setting up the provinces. (thats the castle that will have 4 catapult towers if so selected)

Get on with it, give all your players a capital.
(back to top)

Mission Properties:

Wow, believe it or not we are almost finished, now we need to set the properties, really only one needs to be set, the mission name, click on the properties icon

Properties Icon

By now you should be familiar with the programs menus so change “My Mission” to something a bit more original, like Dark Island, or Clash of Mace, or Strip Search ... woops, thinking of a different game.  You get the idea, this name sets the database and is the name the game sees on the “Select Game” menu when loaded on the PDA

One idea here is to just call your game Temp that way if it really blows, your next try also named Temp will simply over write the last one, and if your second mission really blows, maybe you should just play the game and leave the mission creation to some one that does’t really care if their mission really blows.

Underneath Mission Name is Author, well that should be you, unless your worried other people will think your mission really blows,  if that’s the way you feel then back up one paragraph.

Next is Author Notes, the built in text editor will not allow you to put a lot of text here, don’t know why, some of us like to jabber and write and when we get in the mood could really fill in a lot of text with meaningless thoughts and other rambles, I mean how do they get off over at Arcona Magi thinking three short lines are all that’s required to allow the author to dump his notes in, hell I could write a book of notes over the thoughts I put in mission creation, or at least a short story, and if my girl friend stays mad at me any longer, that short story will be vary long, and .. woops getting way off track, sorry.

Under Mission Notes is the Short Description, and this is more important than first glance, of course you don’t have to say anything, but this description is displayed on the handheld in the select game menu, and it gives you a vary small window, basically 8 lines of 23 characters are all that is displayed on the select game menu, and with word wrapping you will end up with less then 23 characters per line.

The best way to format this is use your favorite text editor and resize the window down to 23 characters across.  I use PSPad, its free and will also help you fine tune HTML really easy.

Next two properties are fairly self-explanatory, what to say when you win, what to say when you lose, you get it.
(back to top)

Saving & Compiling:

Well we have saved the mission file at least once right?   I mean come on, we are all using Windows so we all know what data loss is all about, so go ahead and save the file again.

When your ready to compile the mission just click “File”“Compile Mission for PDA”

Follow the dialog and you will create both the Palm OS version "game-name.pdb" and the Pocket PC version "game-name.pak", and now your done, well you do need to load it in your PDA first, then your done.

And if the game really blows, just open the game file and “tweak” city.
(back to top)

Loading Missions:

Of  course you will need to load the mission to play it and up to this point I had assumed you knew how to do that, if your using a Palm OS handheald just use your Palm installer as you would any other program or data base, if your using a Pocket PC device you will need to copy the game-name.pak file into the "Data" subdirectory created when you installed the game Medieval Heroes II.  if you used the default directory the location would be "\Program Files\Medieval Heroes II\Data" you can use the "explore" option on your ActiveSync to locate the directory

Remember, the .pdb file will only work on Palm OS units while the .pak files will only work on PPC units, and if you have a Linux handheald what the hell are you doing reading this?

Objectives And Design Notes:

Well of course the first objective is to have a cool mission, one that offers a challenge, but is not imposable.  The guys at Arcona Magi did a great job in balancing the five missions that came with the game, balanced to the point that it does’t really matter where you start, the same tactics you used before to rule the day will work once again.

This is a good thing, but vary hard to achieve, I on the other hand prefer to keep things a bit out of balance, which requires different tactics to win depending on where you start.

Earler in this text I pointed out different things to help ballance the game, there is no reason why all your players must start off with the same number of Provencess, same size army, same AI setting, or the same number of resourcess.  You can use all of these to provide a handycap to one, or criple another to bring your mission into ballance.
(back to top)

What to do with Missions:

Well have fun and play them of course, post them and share with other is a thought, or email them to me and I’ll post them and share with others, at this point in this text I don’t really care any more, I’m getting tired.

Deleting Missions:
Well for this your on your own, there are no built in mechanism to deleting add-on games once installed, of course deleting “Medieval Heroes II” from your PDA will delete them, but thats a little radical for getting rid of a mission that really blows, so deleting just the add on missions might be a little harder, one idea is to use your favorite file editor and search the database of your PDA for the mission file, I haven’t tried this yet, I’ll let you know if it works.
(back to top)

Closing Thought:

Not much to say here, I’m done and not about to edit or proof this text, you get it as-is for now, my girl friend is about to wake up and I know we are going to have that whole “Quality Time” issue come up again, I tried the argument last night “But Sweetie, I sleep next to you six plus hours a night, does’t that count?”

That explains why I was able to sit on the couch all night writing this, the argument didn’t work, so dont try that one your self.

Any way, have fun.

Comments and grips should be directed at the official forums, I take no responsibility for my late night ramblings.

ErstO out.