Introduction To Missiles
Hello, this is my first contribution to the Skill Walkthroughs that OedipusTex has spearheaded. I don't claim to know everything about making Skills in GUTS, but I'm willing to share what I've learned so far and hope it can help others. Feel free to correct anything you believe I have wrong. I don't know everything about missile skills. If there's a field or element I've left off, it's because I don't know what it does. Some minor experimentation can probably get you the information you want about them. If you do figure them out, please feel free to share the information in the comments below. I'll add your findings and credit you in this walkthrough.
Now, time for
Warning: this is a fairly long walkthrough. If you want a simple breakdown of the steps to make a missile, you'll find it in the Checklist for making a missile skill section. Everyone else, make sure you have some noms because this could take a while.
For missiles, we're going to look at the Outlander skill Glaive Throw. It's one of the simpler missile skills in the game, which is good, because missiles can be kinda involved. It launches a glaive that can hit a single target and bounce to hit a second target if one is within range. It applies its effects to enemies and grants the player 2% charge per enemy struck.
Now let's figure out the essential elements that we need for a missile skill. First is, of course, the skill.
Glaive Throw is easy enough to find. Just open up the Skills Editor and type media/skills/wanderer in the filter. Sort by Display Name and you'll find it under Glaive Throw. You might see some other skills that look related to Glaive Throw that have no display name but are titled 'Glaive Throw 1' and so forth. Only the one file, 'Glaive Throw', is used in the final version of this skill. The other files are leftovers from previous versions of the skill.
Head straight to the Level data for Glaive Throw and find the layout file. It should look like this:
Click 'open layout' and change your view to the GUTS layout window.
On the left-hand side of the window you'll see a few elements of the skill layout. One of them will be the Unit Spawner. This is the third essential element. The fourth is right next to it; the Timeline.
Select the timeline and open it with the toolkit icon above the elements list.
See how the Unit Spawner is included in the Timeline and has a green dot on its line? That's essential. I call that green dot essential number 4.a.
Next we need to find the fifth peice of our puzzle; our missile. Select the Unit Spawner and scroll down until you see the field for Resource. It should look like: RESOURCE: GLAIVE. This is a reference for the missile's file. The missile happens to be a layout, so we can open it by clicking File, Open in the Layout window which we're already on. We're going to look for that file in the MEDIA/MISSILES folder (base files, not your mod). Thankfully, Glaive's file has practically the same name as its defined resource name; Glaive.layout. Open that.
Select the missile in the left pane and scroll down the properties in the right pane until you find MISSILE NAME. That's the name you look for when you add a missile to your layout. Your missile must have a MISSILE NAME.
Scroll back up the properties pane until you see the fields ACTIVE, DIE, HIT, etc. These are the associated particle effects that give your missile its appearance. Obviously, without these no one will ever see your missile. Great for stealth attacks, but not as pretty as you might like. Plus, you can't tell what your missile is doing if you can't see it. These particles are the sixth and final peice of our missile skill.
Okay, now lets put those steps back in the right order so you have a list you can follow to go about making your missile skill.
1. Create/choose your particle effects. 2. Create/choose your missile layout. a. Remember to give it a unique name if you're creating a new misile! 3. Create/choose your skill layout. a. Add a unit spawner. b. Add a timeline. c. Your unit spawner needs to be added to the timeline and given at least 1 green point! 4. Create/choose your missile skill. 5. Add the layout to your skill. Usually in the EVENT_TRIGGER.
Okay, that's the basic outline of missile skills. Following is a more in-depth look at the properties and items you'll encounter as you wade through the process of modifying a missile skill.
[SKILL] <STRING>NAME:Glaive Throw <TRANSLATE>DISPLAYNAME:Glaive Throw <TRANSLATE>BASE_DESCRIPTION:You hurl a throwing glaive, slicing through your target, rebounding once to strike additional foes, and generating extra |c00ff9933Charge|u. <TRANSLATE>TIER1_DESCRIPTION:The Glaive rebounds 2 times <TRANSLATE>TIER2_DESCRIPTION:The Glaive rebounds 3 times <TRANSLATE>TIER3_DESCRIPTION:The Glaive rebounds 4 times <STRING>SKILL_ICON:skillicon_throwing_glaive <STRING>SKILL_ICON_INACTIVE:skillicon_throwing_glaive_gray <STRING>ACTIVATION_TYPE:NORMAL <STRING>TARGET_ALIGNMENT:EVIL <STRING>ANIMATION:Special_Glaive_Throw <FLOAT>RANDOMRANGE:0 <FLOAT>RANGE:12 <STRING>MANA_COST_GRAPH:MANACOST_NORMAL <FLOAT>SPEED:1.5 <FLOAT>FINDTARGETANGLE:30 <FLOAT>TURNRATEOVERRIDE:-1 <STRING>REQUIREMENT_GRAPH:SKILLTIER1 <BOOL>CAN_BE_SILENCED:0 <INTEGER>LEVEL_REQUIRED:0 <BOOL>CAN_ATTACK_FALLBACK:1 <INTEGER>MAX_INVEST_LEVEL:15 <BOOL>CAN_LEFT_MAP:true <INTEGER64>UNIQUE_GUID:-7519018519606783521
Most of these entries have already been covered in the walkthrough of Elemental Boon, but I'd like to talk about a couple that are of interest in missile skills.
[LEVEL1] <FLOAT>RANDOMRANGE:0 [EVENT_TRIGGER] <STRING>FILE:media/skills/wanderer/glaivethrow/glaivethrow.layout <BOOL>CAN_CLONE:0 [AFFIXES] <INTEGER>AFFIXLEVEL:1 <STRING>AFFIX:WANDERER_GLAIVE_THROW [/AFFIXES] [/EVENT_TRIGGER] [EVENT_UNITHIT] <BOOL>NOSTEALEFFECTS:0 [EFFECTS] <STRING>TARGET:SELF [EFFECT] <STRING>ACTIVATION:DYNAMIC <STRING>DURATION:INSTANT <STRING>TYPE:ADD CHARGE PERCENT <FLOAT>MIN:2 <FLOAT>MAX:2 [/EFFECT] [/EFFECTS] [/EVENT_UNITHIT] [/LEVEL1]
Select EVENT_TRIGGER in the middle pane then click Open Layout just above the yellow bar on the right. Go to the layout window.
Note: Make sure 'Properties' is selected in the lower-right corner.
BEFORE WE BEGIN, go up to File and select Save then save the layout in your mod folder under the same name. We're going to mess with it a bit.
LAYOUT LINK PARTICLE
This is where we set what missile we want to cast and how to launch them. Look at the Properties window.
If the Unit Spawner summons multiple missiles, Duration actually creates a period over time over which each missile will appear. For example, if set to 2, if the missile count is say, 12, then 12 missiles will appear over 2 seconds. The Outlander skill that throws knives (can't think of the name right now) I believe uses this. The Theolentist skill Litany of Quills also use it, along with two different layouts, one that sprays from left to right, the other that sprays right to left. That is why the Theo skill Litany of Quills appears to fire back and forth, machine gun style.
Whew, Unit Spawners are intense. Now, on to the last asset in our layout.
This is an essential piece of our missile skill. Heck, it's essential to any active skill. Click on it and then click on the toolkit button at the top of the layout pane. You should see this:
The elements in the left pane should look familiar. They're the same ones that are in our layout. Important: EVERY layout element that you want to include in your layout NEEDS to be included in this list on the lift AND needs to have a timeline with a GREEN POINT on it in order to function. If any of these things are missing, that element will be ignored. No green point on the Unit Spawner timeline and no missile.
Now, that said, I hope you're not worried. Timelines are fun, unlike at work. You can do some nifty stuff in them. The timeline represents the schedule for the elements to happen. In Glaive Throw they all happen at once. However, here we can make TONS of interesting changes to the way our missile fires.
Just for funsies, lets modify the timeline just a bit. Right-click on your Unit Spawner's timeline in the middle and add a few points at different times.
Close the timeline window. In the Timeline properties on the right side, change the Timeline duration to 0.3. That's about a third of a second and is usually a good duration for a single-cast active skill. I don't know why Glaive Throw's is set to 5 seconds. Save your layout and open GUTS' game mode with the Wanderer. Try firing your modified skill and see what happens! If you put as many points as I did, you should see a quick succession of 4 glaives shoot now. It definitely would need some tweaking to make it look right, though.
To return the layout to normal, simply delete it from your mod folder.
Okay, moving on to more meat. Nom nom nom.
The Properties of the missile are going to determine everything from the way it looks to the way it flies (or scurries across the ground).
APPLY FORCE AFTER X
COLLIDE WITH OBJECTS
COLLIDE WITH WORLD
DAMAGE SCALE/DAMAGE SOAK SCALE
RADIUS/RADIUS FOR UNITS
RETARGET ANGLE/TARGETING ANGLE
USE OWNER TARGET
This is used for missiles that travel in a vertical arch shape. Think of the spears thrown by enemies in the intro area or the grenades thrown by Fire Bomb type skills. If the Arch Distance is smaller than the Max Distance of the missile, depending on other settings relative to the ground, it is possible that it will arch, stabilize on the ground, and keep moving. If it is a negative number, the Arch Distance is based on the target location of the skill, ie you lob the grenade directly onto the targeted spot.
The vertical height of the arch at its peak.
COLLIDE AFTER X
The number of seconds after which the missile becomes capable of collision. For example, if set to 1, the missile will not collide with enemies until 1 second after it is thrown. While not that practical for (most) player skills it can be an effective way to give players a fighting chance to run away during a missiles “conjuration” phase.
MAX TURN RATE
I think this is a maximum speed cap for all turns of the missile, whether random or planned.
The distance the missile must travel. Mainly I have seen this used with grenade-like missiles. For example if you set it to 3, the player can't lob a grenade directly at his or her feet. (I used this in the Shotgun version of the Theolentist skill Sky Prophecy to prevent the caster from shooting the exploding bullets directly overhead, for example).
The amount of time, in seconds, between resets of the missile's path. If you use a high Randomization Rate with a high Turn Randomization, the missile will change directions frequently and generally act crazy.
RANDOM TURNS BEFORE HOMING
The missile will employ Turn Randomization until the homing timer kicks in, at which point it homes instead.
RANDOMIZE ON LAUNCH
If true, the first randomization tick happens the instant the missile is generated. If false, the first randomization tick happens after the first tick of the randomization rate. For example, if you set this to False and gave Randomization Rate a value of 2, you could make a up-to-that-point very predictable missile suddenly go insane.
A random value to used for turning. The higher the value seemingly the faster the maximum possible rate of spinning based on a random roll. Setting this very high increases the chance that the missile will spin in a tight circle.
This refers to the speed at which the missile turns in a predictable direction. If this is set to a high number, say 300, and no other values are set, the missile will spin rapidly in place. Putting a negative value here will cause the missile to spin in the opposite direction.
If a missile both has this property and Ricochet set, it will spin in place until it strikes something, then continue to spin again in a new location after the hit. If missile seeking behavior is set, it will spin in place until the [i]caster[/i] comes within range of a suitable target. For example, if a spinning missile is cast toward the edge of the screen but the caster isn't nearby the missile won't seek the target until the caster brings it into view (note however that there may be ways to change this at the skill level).
If you set both Turn Acceleration and a Force value, instead of spinning in a perfect circle, the missile will spiral outwards. The higher the Force, the further out it will spiral outward, until the missile hits its Max Velocity, at which point it will make circles again.
From what I can tell, if Turn Acceleration is employed at the same time as Turn Randomization, the value higher of the 2 wins out.
Note that missiles that seem to spin one direction and then reverse course are achieved by using 2 different Missiles, one with a positive Turn Acceleration and one with a negative. Orbit Glaive is an example.[/quote]
Lastly, test your missiles in-game. They can function very differently once they encounter all the objects and terrain you'll meet up with in TL2.
Alright, that's all there is to it! Go make me some missiles!
Continue the Walkthrough with Triggerables