Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

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Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Jul 22 2019, 6:48

A few months back I posted here about discovering that amazing Heroes of Might & Magic 3 Civilization 3 Mod! As a kid growing up in the 90s playing endless hours of Civ and HoMM I always wanted some sort hybrid game that gave me the HoMM experience but in the Civ sandbox world. Games like Master of Magic and Age of Wonders 2 sort of granted that wish however his mod has REALLY fulfilled that dream of a sandbox HoMM game haha. I was so inspired by the awesomeness of it that I wanted to try and make a Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod to compliment it, as while I'm useless at Civ3 modding I'm pretty good with Civ2 modding. I was still hesitant to try though as I knew it would be a big job, however then I hit the jackpot!

Some of you may have seen me post in the HoMM3 Civ3 thread that I found someone by the name of Metropolis had already started my exact HoMM2 for Civ2 idea and had posted about it in a German Civ forum. However sadly he went and got himself banned before I found it lol but thankfully we were eventually able to track each other down on a different Civ forum and he speaks great English (thankfully as I only speak English and bad English lol) so we're now working together on finishing his vision with a bit of my vision mixed in with it. It's not going to be as amazing as that HoMM3 for Civ3 mod as it's creator (Tom2050) is a friggin genius lol and we're using an older game but we'll do the best we can haha. We know that it's 20 years too late, no one will probably play it and people will wonder why we're wasting our time but we're having a ton of fun making it so meh, we're doing it anyway haha.

Here's some early test screenshots...

One of our first terrain test shots, Civ2's GUI is VERY limited but I've made it look a bit more like HoMM2s. NO units or castles had been added at that point.
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While Metropolis worked on terrains and units I started working on cities..

As we all know HoMM games only have 1 town and castle image to dictate city size/development while Civ2 has 4 unwalled and 4 walled sizes. So we decided to use the town for the un-walled cities and the castle for the walled cities in the scenario. The other BIG problem is that the original images are much higher resolution and are very vertically tall in HoMM2 which means to fit them into a short and wide isometric city cell in Civ2 they have to be shrunk so much that they look way too small (eg see Metropolis's old 2014 shots) so we're trying using a combination of stretching and pixel editing (mostly to shrink the big towers and tall walls) to fully utilize every pixel of width and height that a small Civ2 city cell can give!

Eg I have to somehow squeeze this (actual 1 to 1 size)
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into the pink area in this little thing (actual 1 to 1 size)
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I can go over the grey areas above but NOT below the diamond isometric cell.

WARLOCK
My first attempt. There were many revisions to get to this stage lol.
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NECROMANCER
This castle was a NIGHTMARE as I had to change the shape of the walls to fit in the isometric cell.. still not thrilled about the skull and other stuff so will probably get revisions.
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SORCERESS
This one ended up being rather easy compared to the last 2. Guess I'd started learning from dealing with the past problems haha. Like with the previous 2 the windows and city buildings were horribly distorted by the downsize requiring me to repaint them in. And also much like with the others the castle wall and village fence is completely repainted and reshaped to fit the Civ2 cell limits and remove downsize distortions.
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KNIGHT
This was one tougher than I thought as I quickly realised that the brick pattern on the walls (which was destroyed in the shrinking/downsizing) was also all over the castle so I had repaint the bricks all over the whole bloody thing lol.

Those with a keen eye will see I'd played around with the forts a bit more too. Metropolis also smoothed out the beach shore lines a bit by this stage too.
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BARBARIAN
This one took longer than I wanted as well, as the village had an annoying crisscross fence that trying to do a miniature version of on an angle was hell haha.
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WIZARD
FINISHED! All 6 done!
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And finally here's a shot I just took today where as you can see Metropolis has added HoMM2 units and Heroes to the game and I've snuck some extra decoration into the river tiles. Due to Civ2 not being an strategy RPG with lots of map locations to visit we're very limited in what objects we can place on the map so we've had to pull a lot of tricks like these to get interesting stuff into the maps. You may also notice Metropolis has put some ocean decoration at the river mouths too. Take note that the big Xanadu building is more than just decoration, like several other cool interactive buildings we're planning there is much danger there but also treasure too. ;)
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Last edited by Blake on Nov 2 2019, 7:27, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Pol » Jul 22 2019, 16:06

Very impressive Blake, fingers crossed to make it to the great finale. ;)
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Panda Tar » Jul 22 2019, 16:30

Nice! :-D If I may suggest something?

This castle was a NIGHTMARE as I had to change the shape of the walls to fit in the isometric cell.. still not thrilled about the skull and other stuff so will probably get revisions.


Regarding that Skull tower visuals, there's a small solution you could use then. See the Skull's mouth? You can move it downwards or delete it. Instead, you make the base of the tower top contour darker, making it either the contour and the intended mouth. And in the place of the actual mouth, you draw the nose holes. Let me see if I can make it here to show the idea. Something like this?

Image
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Jul 23 2019, 8:53

Pol wrote:Very impressive Blake, fingers crossed to make it to the great finale. ;)


Thank you Pol!

Panda Tar wrote:Regarding that Skull tower visuals, there's a small solution you could use then. See the Skull's mouth? You can move it downwards or delete it. Instead, you make the base of the tower top contour darker, making it either the contour and the intended mouth. And in the place of the actual mouth, you draw the nose holes. Let me see if I can make it here to show the idea. Something like this?
Image


Wow thank you Panda Tar! Yeah the little gateway skulls aren't too bad but that big top of the castle skull doesn't look all that good. As you pointed out I need to get the nose hole back in. You managed to do it on something that was even smaller so now I've got no excuse for not having a nose in mine haha.
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I hate the mouth in mine as well. The full size one has those lovely fangs but I just don't have enough pixels to replicate that grr..
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Panda Tar » Jul 23 2019, 21:31

I don't think that you must worry too much about that. You can place holes in there without changing the mouth. Perhaps it makes it all better? The eyes of that skull are like slits too, which makes it also difficult to translate to less pixels. I would suggest you that you could add your personal touch to have things visually pleasing. The convertion itself is a hell of a work, very nicely done. But nobody will flail you alive for being original and doing some improvements on your own, eh? :D

@Pol
Shouldn't this be moved to the other subforum? :)
Last edited by Panda Tar on Jul 23 2019, 21:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Aug 5 2019, 8:57

Panda Tar wrote:I don't think that you must worry too much about that. You can place holes in there without changing the mouth. Perhaps it makes it all better? The eyes of that skull are like slits too, which makes it also difficult to translate to less pixels. I would suggest you that you could add your personal touch to have things visually pleasing. The convertion itself is a hell of a work, very nicely done. But nobody will flail you alive for being original and doing some improvements on your own, eh? :D


Thanks mate. :) In the end I brought down the skull tower just a bit more to give me one more line of pixels for the face. I then added a nose and flipped the fangs upside down and recoloured them. I think it looks a bit better now.

Panda Tar wrote:@Pol
Shouldn't this be moved to the other subforum? :)


Oh cr*p did I post this in the wrong forum? If so, sorry guys!!

---------------------------------------------------

Anyway here's a big update post:

Metropolis has been busy working on the event code so I decided to play with background graphics.

Now this was difficult. Civ2 doesn't normally allow you to edit adviser and event background images. They're all stored in a DLL file called Tiles.dll. Clever fans have made an editor that allows you to change these images however you can NOT go over the original image file sizes. This is really tough as most of the Civ2 background images are low resolution grey-scale (sort of black and white) images. I really wanted to get all of the Heroes of Might & Magic 2 castle screens into Civ2 somehow as decoration.

After a LOT of experimenting I was able to do it! I'm pleased to say that I was able to get all 6 HoMM2 castle screens into the game AND with colour! However I had to downsize them quite a bit, reduce details, and severely reduce the colours. I had to put thick marble borders around them to reduce their sizes even future.

Image

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For remaining screens I'm putting in screenshots from HoMM2 cutscenes.

Wonders Screen:
This was the smallest advisor screen of them all at measly 30k. Had a take a chunk of detail out of the picture and it juuuuust fits.
Image

Civ Score Screen:
I've always loved this HoMM2 cutscene of a crashed ship so I couldn't resist using it! Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
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Intel Report Screen:
Used a shot of the the HoMM2 Gold intro. Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
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Top 5 cities screen:
Used a cool castle cutscene video shot.
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Kingdom Screen:
Used a campaign cutscene video shot where you can see Roland's Kingdom (had to massively compress sadly).
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City Capture:
Used a shot from the final bad guy campaign mission cutscene video where you lay siege to Roland's Palace (had to heavily compress sadly).
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Rioting:
Took this shot from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
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Celebration:
Couldn't find any pictures or cutscenes in HoMM2 showing people celebrating. So I just used a cool shot of someone worshiping some royal magical stuff from a HoMM2 addon cutscene video. I thought about using the image from the HoMM3 intro of Catherine's men celebrating but wanted to keep things HoMM2 themed.
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Creating a city:
Took this shot of a little village from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
Image
Last edited by Blake on Aug 5 2019, 17:07, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Maslyonok » Aug 5 2019, 9:40

Blake wrote:
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

For remaining screens I'm putting in screenshots from HoMM2 cutscenes.

Wonders Screen:
This was the smallest advisor screen of them all at measly 30k. Had a take a chunk of detail out of the picture and it juuuuust fits.
Image

Civ Score Screen:
I've always loved this HoMM2 cutscene of a crashed ship so I couldn't resist using it! Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
Image

Intel Report Screen:
Used a shot of the the HoMM2 Gold intro. Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.
Image

Top 5 cities screen:
Used a cool castle cutscene video shot.
Image

Kingdom Screen:
Used a campaign cutscene video shot where you can see Roland's Kingdom (had to massively compress sadly).
Image

City Capture:
Used a shot from the final bad guy campaign mission cutscene video where you lay siege to Roland's Palace (had to heavily compress sadly).
Image

Rioting:
Took this shot from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
Image

Celebration:
Couldn't find any pictures or cutscenes in HoMM2 showing people celebrating. So I just used a cool shot of someone worshiping some royal magical stuff from a HoMM2 addon cutscene video. I thought about using the image from the HoMM3 intro of Catherine's men celebrating but wanted to keep things HoMM2 themed.
Image

Creating a city:
Took this shot of a little village from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
Image


*cough cough* All your images are broken, man.

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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Panda Tar » Aug 5 2019, 14:03

I would wager the place to post this would be Heroes 2 or something related to mods. :) But Pol can move that when he comes around. Don't worry. :tsup:
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Aug 5 2019, 17:18

Panda Tar wrote:I would wager the place to post this would be Heroes 2 or something related to mods. :) But Pol can move that when he comes around. Don't worry. :tsup:


Ahh ok, yeah I know that forum but thought it was just for Mods FOR HoMM games and not mods for other games that relate to HoMM. Probably should have asked you guys first haha!

Maslyonok wrote:*cough cough* All your images are broken, man.


Urgh yeah I just found out elsewhere too. CivFanatics is a great forum for image hosting and sharing so I uploaded the images there as it's worked fine in the past. However this time I forgot that I originally uploaded the images in a private conversation with Metropolis. So as a participant in that convo I could see the shared pictures here just fine and had no idea that no one else could haha.

Took me like 20 mins but is all fixed now. Re-uploaded to a public place there and fixed all links here. Sorry guys, like I said I had no idea anything was wrong as it looked just fine to me haha whoops! :P
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Aug 12 2019, 14:29

Time for another update...

I've now darkened all of the adviser backgrounds and then reconverted back to Civ 2 pallet and the results have come out pretty darn good! Writing is very easy to read now. :)

I won't post the whole lot again but here's a couple of examples:

Image

Image


Meanwhile Metropolis decided to surprise everyone by editing the images inside of the dll file that controls what you see in the Civ2 city view screen! This is something very rarely done before so it's very cool!

Here's a test screenshot from a savegame where I'd built most of the buildings in town and the results are pretty awesome!! He's really out done himself on this one haha:

Image

A while back we decided to replace Civ2's wonders with HoMM2 artifacts and hero skills. We replaced their icons with HoMM2 ones and were done with it. However to add to his above work Metro came up with a way to still have artifacts in the city view where they simply display on pedestals (since they are not buildings). Looks really nice!

Image
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Pol » Aug 12 2019, 20:54

Very well! Published as PoTD. And silently pushed to the right forum. :devious:
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Aug 16 2019, 12:18

Pol wrote:Very well! Published as PoTD. And silently pushed to the right forum. :devious:


Thanks Pol! Much appreciated. :)
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Aug 24 2019, 9:26

Progress pictures time again!

Metro & I have finished replacing all of the 42 Civ2 Leader pictures with HoMM2 hero portraits. Converting their faces into the limitations of the Civ2 colour palette has been a real challenge but the final results are pretty good!

Here's some of the imported leaders (light blue is transparent in-game):
Image Image Image
Image Image Image
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Here is a in-game Diplomacy screenshot (note we'll probably be telling people to disable the 3D 'Heralds' as having a Zulu, a Roman or some big Russian guy dancing away in front of our leaders doesn't really suit the HoMM theme haha).
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Meanwhile Metro & I decided to 'go where no Civ2 scenario maker has gone before' (at least we don't think anyone has) and replace all of Civ2's cutscene videos. As previously mentioned we're using HoMM2 artifacts as the Wonders so we're going to make some sort of cool video that leads to a book or scroll showing what the wonder artifact does using HoMM2 icons of course.

Here's some test shots of Metro's awesome wonder video work (note: titles won't match video as we're testing using the slot 1 Pyramids wonder)
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And last of all here's a new in-game world shot where I've been playing around testing our world decoration. For a game that doesn't have anywhere near as many map objects as HoMM does I think we've done a pretty good job at squeezing as many map decorations into the scenario as possible haha!
Image
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Sep 29 2019, 21:01

Time for a well overdue project update! Metro has been travelling O/S and I've been recovering from some nasty surgery but plenty of progress has been around those over the last month and we're pretty much finished now and just doing final touch ups, sounds, documentation and play testing. :)

Throne Room:
Metro has replaced the entire Civ2 throne room with HoMM2 castle screens broken up into puzzle pieces. As each area is upgraded you'll go through several castle types. So if you choose to upgrade one particular area a few times it will lead to some rather funny results and mixed matches lol. While we would have loved to have done a castle with individual buildings being built (similar to what Tom did with his HoMM3 Civ3 mod) the positioning of objects in the throne room is hard coded and not something we can access to tamper with. So castle image puzzle pieces was the best we could do!
Image

Diplomacy Herald Videos:
Metro has successfully replaced (which was NOT easy) and tested all of Civ2's diplomacy heralds with video animations of top tier HoMM2 units (eg Dragons, Titans, Crusaders, Phoenixes etc). They look awesome and its a real thrill when the leader you're talking to gets angry and the creature does its attack animation!! :) I might post an example video of this here soon...

Genie for our 7th neutral faction
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Happy HoMM2 Warlock Herald:
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Angry HoMM2 Warlock Herald haha:
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New intro video and title screen graphics:
Metro replaced the Civ2 intro with a short piece from HoMM2's intro and I've replaced all the DLL graphics in the main menu screen and start on customized world images. Once again we suffered from severe size limitations of the original Civ 2 DLL image files so the colours aren't too brilliant in some images sadly! Also we don't know of any way to change the ugly Civ2 brown main menu background either!

Intro Video
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Main Menu Screen
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Wonder Videos:
Metro has also completely finished all of his wonder video conversions. These are really impressive and use a number of different videos (mostly from HoMM2) such as a Dragon breathing fire or a camera pass in a medieval library while HoMM2 music plays all leading to a frozen image with the details of our custom wonders all in the actual video! I might post an example video of this here soon as well...

Screenshots from new wonder videos...
Image Image Image Image
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Oct 13 2019, 9:13

Last time I promised videos so here they are!

This is a actual in-game video that shows one of our custom Herald video characters in action. Here I insult the Warlock faction leader Archibald and his black dragon breaths fire!
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This is a simulated in-game video showing off a handful of the awesome custom Wonder videos Metropolis made! In actual in-game the videos look a little grainier due to Civ2's 8bit colour palette.
Image
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Re: Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

Postby Blake » Nov 22 2019, 10:33

Time for another update!

Metro Polis has finished his final changes plus playtesting and is happy with things. All that's left to do is my map creation, my playtest game and documentation writing then this baby should be good to go!

In these final stages we've been finding a few little left over things in Civ2 to convert to HoMM2 style for extra immersion.

Victory Sequence:
I came up with an idea to replace the Civ2 military victory guillotine sequence (where you see all the enemy leaders faces getting the chop lol) with the HoMM1 death guillotine sequence. Once again I was heavily restricted by the image size inside of the DLL file and the view perspective is a bit off however its quite fun watching the blade come down on our custom HoMM2 leaders hehe.
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For the final victory image I decided to go with Archibald and the dragon which thankfully the DLL size limitations weren't too bad so it converted beautifully. :)
(in-game shot)
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Death Video:
Civ2 uses a small video of a underground tomb for its death/failure sequence. It's start & end bits with the text couldn't be changed sadly but I asked Metro to make one last custom video for our mod to replace the tomb video part. For this we naturally used the HoMM2 death/failure video sequence of you hanging in a cage as well as the HoMM2 addon intro video of the dark bloody battlefield of bodies.
Image Image

Custom City Screens:
I've recently been playing around with custom city screen background for my mods and decided it would be fun to make up a transparent HoMM2 city screen for each of the 6 factions. These are completely optional to players of the scenario and Metro has also included a nice plain wooden style city background if people prefer something simpler. Here's the Human Knight background (being tested on the wrong faction haha). You can also see some of the other work we've done such as custom citizens (using HoMM2 hero faces), ToT fantasy scenario resource icons, custom HoMM2 style buildings, and of course as we've previously shown you if players click on the view button they'll get treated to a gorgeous custom city sky view with HoMM2 buildings that Metro made. :)
Image
Last edited by Blake on Nov 23 2019, 4:54, edited 2 times in total.
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