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WoS World Developer Pages

Well of Souls:
Home Page
Contact Us

Bulletin Board
WorldDev Forum

Developer Pages:
Story and Place
Heroes and Monsters
Items, Weapons & Spells
Music and SFX
Non-linear Storytelling
The 'Quest' Language
Publishing Your World

Custom Skins
Other Worlds
Beta Testers Page

Synthetic Reality

So, you've decided to make your own world...

Making a good world for Well of Souls is perhaps not as easy as it sounds. But it can be a rewarding experience, and your work is sure to be appreciated by the thousands of other WoS players around the world.

These Developer Pages are only one resource available to you as a budding World Developer. (And trust me, you should accept all the help you can get!). When it comes to the actual fiddly details of which numbers have which effect in the many data tables you will have to craft, you should always heed the instructions in the data file's comments above all else. Anything else might already be out of date, including these words here!

In an emergency, you might also consider pressing the F1 button while playing the game and see if the answer you seek is in there.

You're not alone!

Many have come before you, and many are sure to follow. You should all keep in touch! In addition to sharing your wisdom on the WoS World Developer's Forum, you can also find words of wisdom from your fellow designers on these web sites:

Quest Author's Guidlines General Ramblings
Quest Language Dictionary Uncle Dan's Ultimate Compendium of Quest Commands
World Developer Resource Center Cool Asset and Info Site
WoS Cookie Guide Complete list of "Stock Cookies"
Custom Skins Notes about crafting hero and monster skins (graphic images)
Art Submission Guidelines General Description of Asset Formats

If you're inspired to add to the collective pool of wisdom, be sure to email me with a URL to add to this list!

Table of Contents

Notice that the left column (blue as I write this) has a miniature table of contents for these Developer Pages. You can use that to quickly pop to any page. And let me apologize in advance for any missing pages (as I write this, just about every page is blank!)

  Overview   This wonderful page you have already met!  
  Story and Place   Your world should have a history. It needs geography. How to set up maps, scenes, and links.  
  Heroes and Monsters   Your world needs people, some good and some bad. How to define your character classes (warrior, wizard, elf, etc) and the monsters they must fight to achieve higher levels.  
  Items, Weapons, and Spells   You'll want stuff you can pick up and use (to hit people with, generally). How to define items, how to sell them, where to find them. How to give equipment special powers. How to define elements and spells.  
  Music and Sound Effects   How to make the right music appear for every map. How to make the right sound for every game action.  
  Nonlinear Storytelling   How to organize your world's plot lines so they can be played in any order. How to use 'tokens' to see what the player has already done.  
  The QUEST Scripting Language   Quests in your world are carried out by running short programs in the scripting language called QUEST. Here is an overview of all available QUEST commands, with some useful examples.  
  Publishing Your World   What to do after building your world, so that others can play it. How to version your world, so that others can't hack it.  
  Trophies and the Trophy Bag   How to use Trophies and maintain a Trophy Bag for your Heroes.  
  Missions   How to set up a Mission, which is a light-weight form of Quest defined in your world's mission.ini file. Requires a trophy bag.  
Getting Started - Know Thy Computer!

These developer pages are going to go on and on about files and tables that you'll need to provide, or edit, as you craft your world. If you don't know what a file or a folder is, then you should find out a bit more about your computer before attempting to craft a world.

The FIRST thing you'll want to know about your computer, is just where you installed WoS. I'll be referring to the "WoS Folder" a lot. If you accepted the default installation, it will be at "C:\WoS" Otherwise, I leave it to you to know where it is.

Inside of your WoS folder are other folders, but the one we are interested in is called "Worlds". All WoS worlds live in their own folder inside of this one. The name of a world's folder is also the name of the world.

Hence the world "Britannica" would be located in this folder: WoS\Worlds\Britannica.

And I should have chosen an example I could spell, huh? In any case, this is what we'll be referring to as Your World's Folder from time to time. You only own the contents of your own world's folder, so if you want to play with other people's worlds, be sure to MAKE A COPY and play with the copy and not the original.

Here's another tip: BACKUP YOUR WORLD FOLDER REGULARLY. It's easy to make a mistake and you could quickly lose a lot of your work. Plus you never know, you might have the pleasure of being the first to discover some new bug with one of the world editor programs.

Folders and Files and Tables, Oh My!

Inside your world's folder are files (mostly .txt files that you can edit with any text editor, including the "/q" editor included with the game.) But also your world folder will include additional sub-folders of its own. These are:

  • MIDI (hold's your music files, which MUST be in .mid format)
  • MAPS (holds the files which control maps and links)
  • ART (hold miscellaneous art files - optional)
  • MONSTERS (holds the graphic skin files for your monsters)
  • SCENES (holds the graphic background images you use in your scenes)
  • SFX (holds the 11KHz mono .WAV files used in your world)

Again, you might find it educational to make a copy of someone else's world (say "Evergreen" for example) and fiddle with things to see what they do. To make your life easier, you can assume that all players possess 'evergreen' and you can generally take advantage of an asset (a monster skin, for example) from evergreen instead of drawing your own. But if you do, you should credit Josh Worts (or me, if appropriate) for anything you borrow in that way. In general, try to credit anyone you borrow from. In most cases, a little credit from you is the only recompense these people get. And now that YOU'RE a designer, too, you'll be wanting people to give YOU a little credit, as well!

Each sub-folder of Evergreen includes a "readme.txt" file which summarizes what that folder is used for. Likewise, most .TXT files include comments which describe in varying degrees of detail exactly what that file can do. Some files are modified using one of the custom Editors built into the game itself, but most are just text files. Here are some of the more typical text files:

  • Quest.txt (master file which defines your world)
  • Monsters.txt (contains the table which defines the monsters in your world)
  • Spells.txt (contains the table which defines the spells in your world)
  • Items.txt (contains the table which controls which items your world has)
  • Maps.txt (contains the table which controls which maps your world has)
  • Levels.txt (contains the table which controls your character classes)
  • Groups.txt (contains the table which defines monster groups)
  • Trophies.txt (contains the table which defines the trophies in your world)
  • Racers.txt (contains configuration data for the racing mini-game)
  • Gender.ini (contains some 'translation' values based on character gender)
  • Missions.ini (contains the details of your world's MISSIONs)
  • Music.ini (contains the table which controls how music is played)
  • Config.ini (contains special world-control settings)
  • Slots.ini (contains configuration data for the slobber-slots mini game)
  • World.ini (special file maintained by the /version command. do not edit)

In fact, most of these file names are optional, since the game only loads "quest.txt" to load your world. Inside of quest.txt you can use the command "#include <fileName>" to embed other files in the middle of it. This is how a file like "monsters.txt" gets used.

Tables are generally organized as lists, where each line of the table represents a different item, monster, spell etc. On each line are a large number of arguments separated by commas. These form the columns of the table and each column of a table has a very specific purpose. If you leave out a comma, then your table will not work they way you expect. In general, you shouldn't use commas in names or other column entries. But occasionally I let you get away with it if you enclose the field in "double quotes"

Some designers (Lady Gryphon Hawkeye, for example) use a spreadsheet program, like Excel, to organize their tables, and then let it generate a "comma-separated-values" (.CSV) file which they then turn into the actual table file used by WoS.

Please note, however, that Excel likes to use the fancy double quotes (the ones with a bit of angle to them, not the boring old computery ones that look simply like two vertical slashes) and those won't work right. (you'll have to manually edit them all)

Integrated Editors (Link and Quest)

You might find some third party tool which simplifies the editing of specific tables. However, such tools have a hard time staying synchronized with each new release of WoS, so a certain amount of manual table editing is inevitable.

The quest editor is invoked by typing "/q <fileName>" on the chat line while playing the game. It opens a simple text editor which can be used to edit quest, monster, item, spell, and other text files. After saving your changes, use the "/reload" command to reload the quest file. This will mark your character as both a cheater and a modder, but as a world developer that's what you need to be. Make a character or two just for this purpose. For example, type "/q monsters.txt" to open the file containing the monster table. Note that you can only have one file open at a time with this editor. Use somebody else's editor if that bugs you!

Also, use the "/funpak" command to open a floating diagnostic window which will fill with error messages when you reload your world. Watch out for warnings and error in that window.

The link editor is accessed from within the game itself by selecting SOLO MODE PLAY and then selecting the bottom option "Create Your Own World" from the world menu. Press F1 while in the game to get a brief tutorial on the use of this editor. Be prepared to freak out. But it's not as bad as a 3D modeling program, it just LOOKS complicated at first.

The Property Editor is accessed from within the game by typing /props and allows you to easily edit the monsters, spells, items, trophy, and.. some other tables. You should probably only do this in solo mode and when using your official world-developer cheat character. It WILL modify world files, so back up before you start, and don't make changed you didn't mean to make

OK, you now officially know little enough to be dangerous! Remember: BACKUP YOUR WORK and ONLY MODIFY COPIES OF OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK.

Time to have some fun!

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