At the risk of
documenting a moving target, here is a
description of the current unit properties. Some
properties are associated with assets (images or
sound effects) which need to be saved as files in
the proper location. These will be in your 'toy4'
folder which, for a typical installation of
Arcadia, is located here:
what follows in that light. Use the PROPERTIES
section of the EMPIRE EDITOR to alter properties
of individual units.
Every unit in
your empire must have a unique ID number. These
are assigned for you automatically when you press
the NEW (unit) button on the Empire editor. You
are limited to a total of 256 unit IDs per
empire. (note: this is 256 POSSIBLE unique unit
designs. During the game, the players will choose
which of those units they actually want to make,
and will probably make large numbers of specific
designs (like 50 tanks, all of which are unit id
Every unit can
have its own name. If it serves some sinister
purpose, you can re-use the same name on several
units. (for example a morph-chain where clicking
repeatedly on a unit morphs it in a cycle of N
units... say #2 --> #34 --> #12 --> #2
and you wanted them all to appear to be the same
unit (have the same name).
Here you specify
what sort of thing the unit it. Building,
Aircraft, etc. Amongst other
things this will determine what weaponry the unit
is sensitive to.
This is the Unit
ID of the 'factory' which maufactures this unit
(for example, your soldiers might be manufactured
by a barracks unit while your airplanes might
come from a vehicle assembly unit). A newly
minted unit appears on the map near its factory.
(If you have more than one instance of the
factory, only one of them is the 'primary'
factory at any given time. You can re-designate a
factory as being primary by selecting it and then
clicking on it again (and yes, this conflicts
with morphing, so good luck!)
This is the ID
of another unit which the player must have built
before they can build this unit. For example an
"Advanced Jet Fighter" unit might have
an "Airbase" as its factory unit, but
also require a "Research Lab" and an
"Advanced Fuel Depot" unit to have been
deployed before it can be manufactured. You can
specify several 'require' units.
You are charged
this much to manufacture the unit. If you cancel
construction before the unit is deployed, then
you can recover these funds.
The unit will
consume this much power for as long as it exists
(i.e. until it is destroyed). A negative value
means the unit GENERATEs power.
This is the size
of the full 'life meter' for this unit. As it is
attacked it will lose hit points until eventually
it is dead and gone.
This is how fast
a unit may move (0 means it is stationary).
optionally may have a primary and/or a secondary
weapon. The type of the weapon (missile, rifle,
bomb, etc.) determines what units it is effective
against (see table above).
The number of
hit points of damage the unit inflicts (A
negative value here means it actually heals the
unit it 'attacks'). Actual damage delivered will
be less than this based on distance, accuracy of
shot, effectiveness of weapon type on target,
How far (in
screen pixels) the weapon can shoot
Weapons can be
given an additional cool-down period (appropriate
for super powerful weapons so they do not
Targets Friendly Units
This option lets
you pick whether the weapon will preferentially
attack enemy or allied units. Generally one would
always attack enemies. The allied option is
really intended for units with negative (healing)
weapon power.. thus providing 'medics' and
Chooses Best Effect (0-100)
If this is
non-zero, then the weapon will only consider
attacking units against which it is at least this
effective (based on the weapons effectiveness
table). Hence a value of 50 means it would only
attack units against which it was at least 50%
effective, and not waste shots shooting at
targets which were impervious to it.
This lets you
teach the weapon to prefer to attack the closest,
strongest, or weakest target in range. (Remember,
the player just moves the units around, they
pretty much decide on their own when they will
This lets you
specify the sound effect which is played when
that weapon fires. Sound effects are .WAV files
(and for downloading purposes should be kept as
small as possible. I suggest 11KHz mono files of
500 ms or less)
This lets you
specify an animation filmstrip of the explosion
your weapon should cause to occur on the target.
Check out the contents of Toy4/Weapons for an
example. This must be a BMP file using the
standard Synthetic Reality 256 color palette. It
will be interpreted as 16 frames, played in order
from left to right, at the location of the
target. Don't forget your transparency pixels!
In matches with
Fog of War turned on, this setting controls how
much fog is lifted in a radius around this unit.
Once lifted, fog does not return for the
remainder of the game.
This is the unit
ID of a unit into which this unit may be morphed.
If a unit has a morph target then it will show
the special morph cursor when you point to a
selected instance of this unit. Whether the morph
target itself morphs to something else (or back
to the original unit) is up to you. The classic
use of morph target is the tank which can be
'deployed' to a stationary 'dug-in' unit with
greater defense (but no mobility).
This Much To Click Morph
optionally charge money to do the morph.
Insufficient Funds --> no morph.
Decays Into Unit
This is like a
click morph, only it happens automatically after
a set period of time. You might use this to relax
a powerup state (like click-morph to
super-power-enraged monster unit, then morph
decay back to normal unit.)
Until Morph Decay
This sets how
many seconds until it morph decays. Morp decay
can also be used to degrade units to imply
wearing out.. For example a new unit which starts
off strong, but as it ages it morph decays into
weaker (or stronger) versions.
Sorry for the
odd name. This is the image file to be used for
this unit. It should be a 16 frame filmstrip
showing the unit turning in a full circle. It
should use a transparent background color for all
pixels which are not the unit itself, and it
should ideally NOT include any shadow below the
unit (especially if the unit is an aircraft).
Please check out the toy4/units folder for
examples. Note that the image rules for a
building/factory are different from mobile units.
For mobile units frame 0 is the unit
facing/travelling due south, 4 is east, 8 is
north, and 12 is west. (with the other frames
being the incremental rotations between those
'camera' is looking down at a 45 degree angle, so
if your unit were a flat circle on the ground,
the image would be of an ellipse which was only
half as tall as it was wide.
experiment with shadows, but it is probably best
to NOT have any ground shadow included in your
image art, especially for aircraft, since the
game will auto-render ground shadows, and the
distance 'above the shadow' is the primary visual
clue for the aircraft's current location.
For a building
unit, this controls how much of the building is
'on the ground' in the sense of do nearby units
appear to be in front of it, behind it, below it,
or on top of it. Please review some existing
empires to get a feel for how this works.
Some units, like
tanks, look cooler if their primary weapon is
associated with a rotating turret (which points
in a different direction to the direction of
travel). If you provide this bitmap, then it will
be drawn 'on top of' the Move0 bitmap in such a
way as to track the primary weapon heading. You
will need to provide a full 16 frames for this
bitmap, again with frame 0 being the turret
aiming 'due south', frame 4 'due east', frame 8
'due north' and frame 12 'due west'
units this controls the algorithm used to pick
which frame to use for each step of the walk
cycle (the Move0 bitmap is still just a 360
rotation of the unit, so the walk cycle is mainly
a swaggering of the 'hips' back and forth a bit
from the primary unit travel heading.
With This Many
This lets you
indicate how many of this unit are given to the
player at the start of the match. There is an
overall limit to the total number of units at
start of match, so don't go crazy now.
This is intended
for resource-collection units and indicates how
much ore (how many dollars worth) are collected
for each 'load'. A negative value means the unit
will actually consume money instead.
If the Ore
Amount is non-zero, then this is how many seconds
there are between 'loads.' I think of this as
some sort of mining apparatus which takes this
many seconds to pull a load of ore up from a hole
in the ground and then pours "Ore
Amount" of money into your pocket when the
together with Base Height to complete the
flexibility of buildings which stick up from the
ground, versus those which lie flat on the ground
(runways, for example). Well.. ok.. maybe this
does nothing. I guess I added it originally to
have the concept of pads which did something
useful, like repair vehicles parked on them. The
way I would do that today is give the pad a very
short range negative damage weapon of a class
which was effective against vehicles and an AI
that caused it to target the weakest friendly
unit in range.
If you are
staring at the property editor right now and
seeing something not documented above, or which
appears to differ from the documentation above,
well, then I'm sorry.