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Exile 3 to .Blades


keira
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In Exile 3 I was hoping that Erika Redmark, that old witch, would be the villain. A remake of Exile 3 would be welcome here.

 

As for a point of turning Exile 3 into a BoE scenario, it would be a resource for anyone writing a scenario involving the continent of Valorim. In Blades of Avernum there is a template based upon Avernum 2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's already been done, sort of. Assault on Valorim: Part One recreated the entire continent of Valorim and most of it's towns. It was MASSIVE, it was also a MASSIVELY horrible scenario. One outdoor square to search with nothing to find can ruin a scenario. It had many.

 

If someone made an editor that took off passwords we could use that. And the editor would be much better received and utilized then any new E3 recreation. I can pretty much guarantee.

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Quote:
Originally written by Celtic Minstrel:
Nobody should make a BoE scenario of Exile III. It would probably illegal, for a start. However, a duplicate of the tarrain and any non-plot-related stuff would be a useful resource.
I tried to make E3 into a BoE scenario once, but gave up.

I also tried duplicating the terrain in Upper Exile and the Honeycomb, but couldn't get the duplicate to match the original.
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I am occasionally doing a translation of Avernum 3 to a Blades of Avernum resource scenario. One thing that I have found: a lot of the floor numbers are different for the two programs. It is not just a matter of cut and paste, I would need to figure out a list of translations first. You might have the same problem, I don't know as I have never tried an Exile 3 to Blades of Exile translation.

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I seem to recall making a duplicate of Fort Emergence. I also made the Exile 2 tests (Tests of Strength, Speed, and Mind), but I can't remember if that was an exact duplicate or a remake. And I created a Test of Patience, because I liked that from Avernum 2.

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So we already have an E3 re-enactment in the form of Assault on Valorim: Part One. It may be dreadful but who cares, you only need the floors and terrain from the thing.

 

(As for an Avernum 3 resource, all I need do is port the above Exile scenario to Blades of Avernum. Not practical, it also features lousy maps of Valorim for good measure.)

 

Removing the password, requires a re - write of the editor, quite simple if anyone knows how to program. I can't do it because I can't get the editor source code to compile properly into a functioning program.

 

Alternately, if you can figure out the password formula, you might be able to write a program that derives the password from the exs file.

 

These are the only passwords that I know:

All scenarios by "Drizzt" – 071576. Password found on home page.

"Rubacus", by Leon Lin: 28134.

"Islands of the Wheel": 23457 (best hand in deuce-to-seven lowball)

"Tatterdemalion": akqj10 (as a royal flush, best hand in most forms of poker)

"War on Bigail": bob

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  • 4 months later...

I have devised Excel spreadsheets that can translate Exile 2 to BoE.

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/E2OutdoorTerrainTemplate.zip

(If you click this link it will bounce back to this forum, when it does, type Alt + D, then hit Enter.)

 

Also I have spreadsheets that turn Avernum 3 zones to Blades of Avernum. I could easily devise sheets to turn Exile 3 into a BoE scenario resource.

 

As for avoiding piracy, I can simply leave out the special nodes.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
As for avoiding piracy, I can simply leave out the special nodes.
Precisely.

What about the dialogue though? Should that be left out? Or should it be kept? I would think the ideal way would be to keep, say, the basic responses and any nodes which reference a shop...
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Probably the best shot is to leave the shops in, this will take some time for me to do. Certain special nodes will need to be included for stairways.

If a scenario designer does not want the shops he can always delete them.

 

Draft decryption of the Exile 3 file outdoor.dat:

file consists of 90 zones, each of length 3,220 bytes.

 

Start~Length~Data Type~Name

0~2,304~ unsigned char~terrain[48][48];

2,304~36~ location~special_locs[18];

2,340~18~ unsigned char~special_id[18];

2,358~16~ location~exit_locs[8];

2,374~8~ char~exit_dests[8];

2,382~16~ location~sign_locs[8];

2,398~96~~wandering encounters?

2,494~8~ location~wandering_locs[4];

2,502~64~RECT~info_rect[8];

2,566~270~char~Area names

2,836~384~?~(Unknown)

Sum: 3,220

(Here the tildes ~ represent tab stops because this forum does not support tab stops in posts.)

 

This is interesting, the Exile 3 area names have a fixed length of 30 characters while BoE uses dynamic storage. I will rush off a quick version where all names have a fixed length of 30 bytes, with blank spaces being padded.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Probably the best shot is to leave the shops in, this will take some time for me to do. Certain special nodes will need to be included for stairways.
If a scenario designer does not want the shops he can always delete them.
Ah, yes, the stairways would be kind of important. Also any portal nodes.

And as for the dialogue... I suggest that all basic dialogue in the towns (the responses to "look", "name", "job", "purchase", and "sell") be retained, but any dialogue in the dungeons (there won't be much...) be removed. In fact, you could make the dungeons as they might appear after the adventurers have beaten them. The simplest way to do this would be to omit all monsters (except maybe things like bats and rats?). And maybe omit the useful items... and speaking of items, perhaps any unique items should be omitted...




Basically what I'm getting at is that it should represent the state of Avernum after the end of Exile 2 (or Exile 1 if applicable). Some of this may require a lot of tweaking though... how much is worth it?
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Now some designers might want a resource for the period between Exile 2 and Exile 3 while others might want to do a scenario based in the period after the events of Exile 3. This will be a bit tough trying to please everybody.

 

Tweaking can be done by omission.

 

Exile 3 seems to be simpler than Avernum 3, the latter has some terrain types vary according to the underlying floor. Thus Jeff could keep the terrain as single-byte and yet have the same variety as found in BoA. For example, hills are grass, cave or dirt according to the floor underneath them.

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Right, I now have an Excel spreadsheet for the outdoor surface areas:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/E3OutdoorTerrain.zip

I have added five outdoor zones in a new Exile 3 scenario:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/exthree.zip

 

As more zones are added, the exs file will be updated.

 

By "hills" I mean the BoA terrain types 74-89, 90-105 and 106-121.

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I meant to say that I lack a high level Exile 3 party, one that has done all the quests, one that can wander at will. It will take me some time to work this one out.

 

As for the translations, my normal trick is to alter a zone in outdoor.dat, give it all 256 terrain types in one hit. (I have a special 48x48 collection of hex numbers stored in a spreadsheet, just paste it in...) This time I kept hitting error messages, so I will have to manually check the translations.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
I meant to say that I lack a high level Exile 3 party, one that has done all the quests, one that can wander at will. It will take me some time to work this one out.
I think you could still use the character editor, but of course that's only if you own Exile 3.
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Hack the save files to change the SDFs? That's the sort of thing you seem to be good at, after all...

 

Of course, the trouble then is determining just which SDFs to change.

 

 

 

Alternatively, create a god party and then play through the game. I would think you could get through it pretty quickly when you can kill most creatures in a single hit.

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Of course this time I have to work without the source code, unlike BoE.

 

I am currently working on a spreadsheet for large towns.

 

Edit:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/E3LargeTownTemplate.zip

 

Finally done, apparently Windows E3 is sometimes big - endian, unlike BoE. Hence my scenario kept crashing for no apparent reason.

 

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Now I have Robsta's save file I will have to find the time to check some large towns and then decrypt the medium and small towns. Then I need to decrypt a whole lot of strange data at the end of the town.dat file.

Draft decryption of large town entries:

 

Start~Length~Data Type~Name

0~28~ ~ ?

28~80~location~special_locs[40];

108~40~unsigned char~spec_id[40];

148~26~ ~?

174~8~location ~start_locs[4];

182~8~ ~?

190~8~location ~exit_locs[4];

198~8~RECT16 ~in_town_rect;

206~640~ ~preset_items [64]

846~200~ ~preset fields [50]

1046~12~ ~?

1,058~4,096~unsigned char ~terrain[64][64];

5,154~96~ ~?

5,250~360~ ~room rect names[12]

5,610~896~monster type~monsters [64]

6,506~456~ ~?

 

Total length is thus 6,962 bytes. Tildes represent tab stops.

 

Edit:

 

Around 180 meaningful towns and I can find records in town.dat for only 121 of them! The other towns do exist, they are Delan, Delis, Colchis, Pergies&&& I can only guess that the missing records are found in the second half of the Exile 3 program.

 

The current town is listed in the save game file, it has a one size fits all format. If all else fails, this will yield the missing records.

 

Edit:

Maybe Jeff went into modular architecture, the nameless town 20 looks like a collection of modules waiting to be assembled into a town.

 

In summary, I can find no trace of town maps for towns 121 onwards, the modular idea above is my best guess. I am of course assuming that the Exile 3 game is not actually magical: that Jeff is not a powerful cosmic archmage masquerading as a medium - time programmer. In which case the town maps magically materialize on your computer screen, the perfect match of magic and technology. (For all we know this may be the case, why is he not living in a tower then?)

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Finally, a spreadsheet that decrypts the town record in a save game file:

 

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/E3SaveTownRecordDecryptor.zip

 

I will probably only include the first version of a town, where a town has multiple versions. Each subsequent version is more damaged than the last. The damaged versions are specific to the plot of E3.

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Presumably before the plagues they were in good shape too. Fast approach: use Change Terrain to turn all damaged walls back into the normal variety. Then use the rectangle functions to repair the floors. That leaves people and items to create.

 

Strangely enough, the contents of signs and all dialog data is stored in the program itself, not the "town.dat" file. This is another problem that will take a while to resolve. In the original Nethergate and in Avernum 1 the terrain graphics were all compiled into the program itself.

 

Edit: there are enough damaged towns, presumably before the plagues they were in good shape too. Vahnatai towns only existed just before the plagues. After the plagues the southeast part of Valorim is now "New Exile"(?).

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All (or most) of the special encounter dialogs in the Exile trilogy (at least the Mac version) are hard-coded as Dialog resources within the application. If you have a resource editor, you may discover the same is true in the Windows version.

 

The only catch is that in Exile 3, he uses his special dialog engine – which means the buttons and graphics will show up as codes (something of the form 4_2423, I believe).

 

 

Signs? In the Mac version, I bet they're in a STR# resource... again, a resource editor may reveal something comparable in the application.

 

 

Colchis was one town which, I believe, was never undamaged in the game.

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From what I can see, there are around 200 towns in Exile 3. Towns 0 through 119 are stored in town.dat in a conventional form. The remaining eighty towns have their terrain made up of modules, a maximum of 15 per town. For surface towns like Colchis the modules are stored in the map of town 20.

There are also up to ten rectangles containing one terrain type.

 

As it happens, most of the 64 modules come in pairs, one undamaged and one damaged. If you want to rapidly create pre-plague or post-plague editions of the ravaged towns, just rewrite the map of town 20 so that each pair consists of two undamaged identical modules.

 

Only the Ernest portal towns have multiple copies, all others have the same map for the entire game, this goes for Colchis.

 

Edit:

Map of town 20 has been re-written.

 

Execa Island was wrecked about a century before the events of Exile 3, so it needs wrecked towns for any scenario set in that time.

 

I will need to remove monsters from towns if they relate closely to the plague of monsters.

 

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The first twenty towns have been done. One thing I am now sure of is that Exile 3 had provision for customizable terrain in each town. Blades of Exile does not, so currently Exile 3 can't be finally represented by a BoE scenario.

Progress to date:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/exthree.zip

 

Edit:

Most of the outdoors town entrances have not had their town numbers corrected. I have not added any stairways.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
I figure that Exile 3 uses all the standard BoE terrain types.
Well, let me see...

There's no doubt that it uses most of the terrain types from 0-90... however there are a few that it may not need. For example, I bet it does not include terrain types 6, 8, 10, and 12 (secret passages in cave wall), instead using some other mechanism to create a secret passage. I don't recall ever seeing #76 (the non-damaging lava), though I never finished the game. It may not use terrain types 79-81 if there is some other way for it to create the roads. I would guess it does not contain terrain types 82 and 83 (walkway) as such, but rather replaces them with a set of 9 terrains, meaning the edges of the walkways would be hard-coded.

From 91 onward, I think most of the terrains are used, though some have different properties (I think the boulder is passable, for example) or different icons. Some possible exceptions, however, would be 171 and 211, the blocked floors; 172, the damaging floor; 135, 152, and 167, the crumbling walls without mold or cracks; and 236, the hidden town.


However, if all my suppositions are correct, that only frees up eight slots. And probably some of them are wrong...
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My impression is that it uses everything in the standard BoE line up. Then there are five graphics in the Exile 3 folder that are not among the graphics for the 256 standard BoE types: Slime pool, rubbish wall, machinery, machinery wall and Barrier.

 

If I can decrypt the town records better I might get an idea of just what custom terrain there is.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Slime pool,
This one is actually impossible to implement in Blades of Exile, either as a monster or as a terrain, because it requires that nothing affects it except for the Fireball spell. Also, since it's plot-related, you probably don't actually need it.

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
rubbish wall,
I was going to say you don't need this one either, since the filth factory collapses, but you would still need it in the friendly roach pit...

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Barrier.
You mean the red barrier that also appears in Exile 2?

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
My impression is that it uses everything in the standard BoE line up.
How do you come by this impression?
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BoE Slime Pool, that would be fun to design. You won't need it of course. Maybe a terrain that is changed due to a town state that is called when an invisible creature dies? Or a monster with a custom graphic?

 

The creature would not move. If it radiated sleep clouds that would deter melee attacks somewhat. A high armor class would help here too. It would be immune to Magic, Cold and Poison. The stipulation that a Fireball or stronger spell must be used, this can't be finally done.

 

Barriers, if I recall, the red barriers would be what separates Giants from Troglos.

 

My impression came from drawing up the indoors terrain translation tables used in the spreadsheets.

 

Generally, there will just be enough terrain slots if I omit the distinctly Vahnatai stuff (slime pools, barriers, machinery&).

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
BoE Slime Pool, that would be fun to design. You won't need it of course. Maybe a terrain that is changed due to a town state that is called when an invisible creature dies? Or a monster with a custom graphic?

The creature would not move. If it radiated sleep clouds that would deter melee attacks somewhat. A high armor class would help here too. It would be immune to Magic, Cold and Poison. The stipulation that a Fireball or stronger spell must be used, this can't be finally done.
I've done it, actually. The slime pool terrain type had no special properties (I probably could have simply used it as a graphic for the monster, really). The monster was invisible, and had 20 health. It also had 50 armour (the maximum). It was immune to magic, cold, and poison. And it radiated sleep fields with an 80% chance. In the dungeon, I placed the monster on the slime pool terrain and surrounded it with blocked spaces to guarantee it would not move.

However, the overall effect is rather different from the Exile 3 slime pool. The first thing is that it is not exclusively vulnerable to the Fireball spell – it could just as well be killed with a Flame spell or two. The second thing is that the Radiate Sleep Fields ability only creates fields adjacent to the monster, in the manner of the Radiate Fire Walls ability and other similar ones.

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Generally, there will just be enough terrain slots if I omit the distinctly Vahnatai stuff (slime pools, barriers, machinery&).
Well, if the barriers are only used in that one place, you will not need them because they have already been brought down. You may need the machinery though, unless that dungeon collapses when you leave (which I doubt, but whatever). You won't need the slime pools, because those have been destroyed. And you'll need the filth wall, because it's used in a friendly town.
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If it is invisible you could only target it with area effect spells anyway?

If it is visible, plenty of hp would make Flame a slow way to kill it. If visible you would need a custom graphic.

 

Sounds like what we need is a new edition of BoE, one with more terrain slots or with the ability to have custom terrain slots for each town.

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  • 3 years later...

If there is a version of BoE that has more than 255 terrain types, finishing an Exile 3 Template scenario would then be relatively straightforward. I have to check what the latest Windows version has. Currently I am finishing the Avernum 3 Template.

 

Edit:

If the Vahnatai parts were skipped, here and now you could probably do the suface areas easily enough.

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