Scenario Design Frequently Asked Questions

Created by Shadows and modified by CheeZy monkey.

Got a question? Need an answer? Here is a list of common questions concerning AoM.

General Questions

Q: What is the editor?
A:The Map Editor or Scenario Editor is a tool available in Age of Mythology to create your own maps, known as Scenarios. Ensemble Studios used the same map editor in the game to create the massive Single Player Campaign. You too, have the all the tools necessary to make a campaign like that right in the editor.

Q: Where is the Editor?
A:On the AOM Main Menu, click the “more” button, then click the Editor button. This will take you to the Scenario Editor.

Q: How do I install scenarios and other downloadables?
A: There are many different types of files you can download for AOM. Here at Age of Mythology Heaven, all our files are zipped (compressed), to unzip them just open them in Windows. In the zip will be whatever you downloaded and possibly a readme that introduces you to the file and tells you how to install it. In the AOM directory (Default is C:/program files/microsoft games/age of mythology)…

  • .scn files go in the scenario folder.
  • .xs files go in the rm folder. Note, a random map will also come with an accompanying xml file, it also goes in the rm folder.
  • .mp3 or .wav files go in the sound folder. If a scenario comes with custom sounds the readme will usually say where to put them or extract them to.
  • .rec or .sav files go in the Save Game folder. Rec files are recorded games Sav files are saved games.
  • If you downloaded a mod, it should say exactly where to place it’s files in the readme.

Q: Designers? Editors? Modders? Whaa?
A: If you don’t know what a term used in the Scenario Design Community means, check our Scenario Design Dictionary

Q: How do I setup the players?
A: Under the Players menu, click the Setup Players tab. This’ll let you set how many players are on your map, their starting age, color, and resources.

Q: What are the different Scenario Genres?

  • B&D=Build and Destroy – B&D Scenarios have a player build up his forces and then attack.
  • FF=Fixed Force – FF scenarios have the player control a fixed force on the map, whether it be a city or an army etc, the units and buildings are preset and the player commands them.
  • RPG=Role Playing Game – RPGs usually the player acting as the character through a strong story and set of events.
  • RPS=Role Playing Strategy – this is a RPG game with strategy, for example the main character might have to command forces or build something, or you might control multiple characters. What separates RPS games from just Strategy is the emphasis on the character(s) and the events they play in the story
  • Puz=Puzzle – Puzzles usually are things like mazes or “Where’s Waldo” type scenarios.
  • Mix=Mix – Mixes are a combination of different Genres and doesn’t generally apply to one game theme.
  • Str=Strategy – Games that involve strategy to win, for example finding a way to defeat an opponent or defending a wonder.
  • Otr=Other – games under this genre don’t apply to anything stated above.

Q: How do I submit my own scenarios for others to download?
A: Fill out this Form


Q: How do you Zoom and Rotate the camera?
A:To rotate, hold ctrl and press either the left or right arrow. Too zoom, press the “-” or “=” keys on your keyboard

Q: How does creating events during an in-game cinematic work? Do you have to trigger them, or is there a special tool for cinematic?
A: In the Editor a special Menu made for the creation of movies, using the creation new tracks, and use way-points to control the direction and viewing angle of the movie .

Q: How do I create a movie?
A: Look at our Cinematics Guide

Q: How do I change the camera’s pitch?
A: In Age of Mythology, camera pitching is not supported, however people have found numerous work-arounds, each getting better as time expands. Search for and download the “New Editor” by Reyk – you can get it from Our Download Section. The “New Editor” has hundreds of new features introduced the AOM editor, and also lets you change camera pitch instantly in the game.

Q: How do I start and stop a Cinematic Movie?
A: Using the Cinematic Mode effect, and choosing either ON or OFF.

Q: How do I zoom out more?
A: You can’t however there are many work-arounds found by the community. Here’s one good method

Q: What does Tension, Continuity and Bias mean?
A: Tension: Controls the amount of curvature in the animation curve. High Tension produces a linear curve. It also has a slight Ease To and Ease From effect. Low Tension produces a very wide, rounded, curve. It also has a slight negative Ease To and Ease From effect. The default value of 25 produces an even amount of curvature through the key. Continuity: Controls the tangential property of the curve at the key. The default setting is the only value that produces a smooth animation curve through the key. All other values produce a discontinuity in the animation curve causing an abrupt change in the animation. Default=25. High Continuity values create curved overshoot on both sides of the key. Low Continuity values create a linear animation curve. Low continuity creates a linear curve similar to high tension except without the Ease To and Ease From side effect. The default setting creates a smooth continuous curve at the key. Bias: Controls where the animation curve occurs with respect to the key. Default=25. High Bias pushes the curve beyond the key. This produces a linear curve coming into the key and an exaggerated curve leaving the key. Low Bias pulls the curve before the key. This produces an exaggerated curve coming into the key and a linear curve leaving the key. The default setting distributes the curve evenly to both sides of the key. Note that none of these settings need to be changed to make your cinematic work.

Map Design

Q: How do I create snow?
A: The same way you would create the sky, use Render Snow. This will though, cover the entire map with falling snow.

Q: How do I create rain?
A: Rain is created by the use of objects. Check your objects menu, search for rain or rain light. Placing these objects creates the picture of falling rain, along with mist and floating clouds.

Q: How do I create waterfalls?
A: There is only one waterfall, and you can find it under the objects menu. Place it near a foundation of water which is raised, beside water which is lower to give the effect of the waterfall. To make taller or bigger waterfalls simply be creative and stack them up or put them together

Q: How can you make the paint brush bigger?
A: Hold down CTRL then click and drag the mouse either up or down. The paint brush will expand when you move the mouse up and contract when you move it down. If you have it set to “square” you can make the paint brush into a rectangle. Use this method to make the paint brush be as big as you want. Also remember the hotkeys for brush size, press 1 to 0 on your keyboard to set different sizes for the brush.

Q: How do I get rid of all the elevation from the default map that loads in the editor?
A: Use the Level Terrain to level all the terrain on the map and make it flat.

Q: Where can I find the “Gaia Objects” like in AOK?
A: Unlike AoK, any object can be placed down for ANY player. So Gaia objects do not exist, and every object is available for every player. However you can set objects to be owned by “Gaia” which is a neutral player. Unlike AOK’s Gaia, AOM’s Gaia units usually are on the offensive and attack and can be attacked. The Gaia civilization is always Set, the Gaia civilization can only be specified through an RMS (Random Map Script).

Q: How do I get those nice waves on my coastlines?
A: There’s two ways you can do this. One is a lot easier then the other, but doesn’t work for all river and sea types. You can either select “edit water” and then select “beautify” which will add even waves, rocks, tree and MISC. to your coastline.” Or, you can search under objects and find “Wave” and place them down manually wherever you wish.

Q: Is it possible to edit terrain in-game?
A: Like most editors, no. Such editing would be far too complicated to impliment.

Q: How do I change the lighting?
A: Click the “Light bulb” icon in the editor. A drag down list will appear with your lighting choices. It is possible to make your own custom lighting sets. To do so download A LGT Editor

Trigger Questions

Q: There’s so many triggers! How do I go about finding the one I want?
A: One of our fellow forumers has created a nice thread for this, for more information, check Here

Q: How do I activate triggers?, I can’t find the “Activate Trigger” effect.
A:: Use the “Fire Event” effect to activate triggers.

Q: How do you edit objects? The option is faded out…
A:Editing objects requires heavy (though not difficult) modding of the game. It’s a big hastle and is not worth the effort or result. Keep in mind, this is not an ES supported way of editing unit files. Be cautious in your editing!

Q: How do I create new objectives?
A: Use the objective editor. You create new objectives and apply a number to each one. Then, using the “Objectives” effect, use the number of the objective you wish to activate.

Q: How do I use Animations?
A: Use the effect “Set Animations” and select the unit you wish the animation to effect. Keep in mind that only certain animations work for certain units. The latest versions of the “New Editor” installments have lists of unit animations you can use built into the editor.

Q: I’m still having trouble with Animations!
A:Kumar Shah has created a thread for more help with animations. For more information, check this thread.

Q: How do I use God powers?
A: To use a god power, keep several things in mind. 1)The player casting the god power must actually have this power. 2)The player casting the god power must actually have the area which is being struck in their Line of Sight. Lastly, to use a god power. Simple activate the effect “invoke god power”, selecting either the area or unit in which it will strike.

Q: How do I change player diplomacy in game? A: Use the Diplomacy Effect. Making sure you change the diplomacy for BOTH players.

Q: How do I do use Play Dialog effects?
A:Play Dialog works like this. This is meant to be used in Cinematics while in Cinematic Mode. When creating a dialog, there’s several things you should keep in mind. TRIGGER- Refers to a trigger this effect can activate FILE- Refers to a sound file for voicing or other sound effects SUBTITLE: This is where you should insert your texts. If you put a “:” with anything in front of it, it will be bolded and placed above the rest of the text. Portrait: This is where you would insert the location of a unit’s icon, which would be displayed next to where the “subtitle” would go. The latest “New Editor” Installments has a list of all the icons you can use built into the editor.

Q: How do I create “Unit in Area” Conditions?
A: AoM uses a different area system then most, but for the most part it is pretty easy.

  • First you will need to create the condition “Unit In Area”
  • A box will open, asking you to select an object. Now you can place down a cinema block, a gaia unit or whatever. As long as this unit is the “center” or your desired area.
  • Select this unit, and double check it is selected by clicking “show”
  • Below you should see “Player” and “Unit Name”.
  • This information concerns which player and what unit needs to be at that area for the trigger to activate.

For example. If you wish for Kastor to be in the area, and he belongs to player two. You could do either of these two.

“Player: Player Two
Unit Name: kastor”

“Player: Player Two”
“Unit Name : Default”.

Both work, with the second allowing any player two units to activate the trigger. Below are radius options, and how far or near the unit needs to be. Edit with them to your desire.

Q: How does the effect “Unit Heading” operate?
A:In Math, we learn that a circle is made of 360 degrees. Each degree represents a direction as well. When using this effect, think of a circle, divided into four different sections. 0 Degrees being up, 90 degrees being right ( also a right angle), 180 degrees being downward, and 270 degrees being left. Keep in mind though, you can still use any degree. You select a degree between 0 and 360 to determine the position your unit will face.

Q: How do I change a unit’s ownership?
A: Use the “Convert” or “Convert Army” effects.

Q: How to I change the lighting in the game? Or create a Day/Night cycle?
A: Simple really. Check your effects listing, you will notice there is a trigger with a name familiar or relative to “Set Lighting”. It allows you to choose which lighting you would like to change to. It also gives you the option of determining the amount of time it will take for the light to change…or “Fading”. So in other words, you really only need four different lightings for this. One is Night, Dawn, Dusk and Default which is basically noon.
Lets say we want to start at exactly midnight. And, we want the entire cycle from Night to Night again to last, 24 mins. Which is reasonable.
Have the lighting set on Night, and have a trigger change the lighting from Night to Dawn for a time of 6 mins. Or, 360 seconds.
After that time has elapsed, have another trigger change the lighting from Dawn to Default. Same time amount.
Move from that to Dusk, then to night once again.

Q: I know how to disable villagers from coming out of my town center, but the pharaoh and Set’s animal still come out? What should I do?
A: Use the following trigger:

Set Tech Status
Tech: Pharaoh respawn
Status: Unobtainable

Tech: Set’s critter Age 1/2/3/4
Status: Unobtainable

Q: Can you edit unit stats in AOM?
A: Yes and No. There no stat specific triggers in AOM like there were in AOK, but people (as always) have found a work around to this. As you know, to change an ulfsark to a medium ulfsark in AOM you have to use the Set Tech Status effect. If you keep researching “medium ulfsark” the ulfsark’s stats will continue to improve. So it’s possible to have Ulfsarks with 500 HP and 30 attack, you just have to keep researching techs for it. The same applies to other units. Unfortunately this applies to all Ulfsarks on the map. Currently there are expiramental ways of editing unit HP, LOS, name, and things like that however it’s very complicated and requires a lot of modding. We might have an article on this shortly.

Q: How can I use more advanced features in my triggers, such as global variables, or even make my own trigger effects and conditions based on the in-game ones? For example, I’d like to be able to do things such as:

  • Keep an invisble counter that can be increased, decreased, and checked in triggers
  • Have a trigger setup whose conditions are OR’ed together instead of being AND’ed
  • Prevent a player from repairing any buildings/gathering any gold/chopping any trees
  • Have all units attacked by a special hero get lightning-bolted
  • Have all buildings produced by a player grant a small amount of gold every second, regardless of how many total buildings there are
  • Display variable chat messages, for example a score message saying every minute or so how many soldiers each player has
  • Have a unit that changes ownership to the player with the most gold
  • Have a player’s villagers get converted to ulfsarks for free when they attack something and have the ulfsarks get converted back to villagers when they are idle.

A: The typetest.xml file in your Age of Mythology\trigger directory lists all the triggers in the game and tells it how to translate them into code. You can use the commands listed there as well as other scripting commands to create custom effects, often very powerful ones. Check out TwentyOneScore’s post about it at This Thread . You can copy-and-paste his custom condition in the <conditions> part of typetest.xml and copy-and-paste his 3 effects in the <effects> part, and they’ll be available in the editor. Basically, you can use any script commands in the game in these triggers, and have variables, loops, if statements, etc like in a program. Your game will still be compatible for online play, and the custom effects will transfer to others in multiplayer scenarios.


Q: Why don’t the computer villagers move in my scenario?
A: You must assign an AI (Artificial Intelligence) to the computer player. Click the AI button on Player Setup to give the computer an AI. Make sure you hit “Ok” for the AI to be set.

Q: How do I take an in game screenshot?
A:cntrl F12 creates a screenshot, which will be created in your screenshot folder located in your AoM Directory. cntrl F12 ALT will create a full map screenshot, located in the same area. CAUTION: A full map screenshot takes a while to generate, be patient.

Q: How do I make the villagers active? Chopping wood, farming and mining?
A:Use the “Unit Work” effect.

Q: How do I remove Allied Line of Sight(LOS)?
A: 1.) Go to the Diplomacy Folder
2.) Change Diplomacy from Player 1 to Player # whatever, to ally
3.) Set that players Diplomacy to you to Neutral

Q: How do I use “Armies”?
A: Refer to this thread for assistance. Thread

Q: How do I make bloods? I don’t see any Unit Killed or Count conditions.
A: Check this thread

Q: Some units seem to be missing. I can’t seem to find “Medium” “Champion” EXT of certain units, such as Toxotes. Where are they?
A: Use the effect “Set Tech Status” and activate the techs necessary for such upgrades. For example, if you were wishing to use Medium Hoplites. You would set the tech for “Medium Infantry” to “Active”.

Q: How do I stop units from walking through walls?
A: ES suggestions that you use the Object Position options and double check that each wall is slightly overlapping the other. If the problems still occurs, use the painting tool to paint “Black Rock” – which is an impassable terrain – under your structures. The “Cliff” terrains also are impassable and can be used as well (especially if you don’t want bits of blackness poking out from under your walls)

Q: Is it possible to create new lighting settings?
A: Very possible, Render has created an excellent program for this use, and you can download it from the Download Section.
More Information.

Q: How do I make units, such as the Hyrda , which gain more heads when they kill a unit, have more heads in the editor?
A: Place the unit near several weak units in an area the player will not see. After starting the scenario, and the unit has killed these weak units, fix it’s HP using EO’s Set HP Effect, and then transport it to the desired location.
Keep in mind, units killed in the editor might change the heads in the editor. But once the game is started it will be back to one. So do it in game! Not in editor.

Q: I placed down the Healing Spring, yet it does nothing! How do I make it work?
A: The healing spring is eyecandy, and does not work if you simply place it down as an object. You need to invoke the god power to make the healing spring work.

Q: How do I stop villagers/scouts/priests from popping out of Towncenters in the beginning of the game?
A: Use the effect Set Tech Status, and select the tech Starting Units {Greek, Egypt, or Norse}, and set the status as Unobtainable. Run the trigger immediately at the start of the game.

Q: How do I disable my Allies’ Line of Sight (LOS)?
A: Use the effect Set Tech Status, and select the tech Shared LOS, and set the status as Unobtainable. Notes: to enable the Allies’ LOS, create Set Tech Status, and set Shared LOS as active

Q: How do I copy triggers?
A: The Latest version of the “New Editor” installment lets you copy triggers as well as camera tracks, and can even export them into a file which you can load again in the editor.

Q: When I put down a Trojan Horse and test, it disappears for some strange reason.
A: When you place the Trojan Horse from the menu, it will turn into the skeleton version (the wooden frame). If you want the fully built version, click on that skeleton and copy/paste it. The pasted version will be the horse.

Q: How come AI players won’t build on any Settlements on my map? How can I make them do so?
A: The reason the AI can’t build on Settlements you place on a map is that they’re not aligned to the map grid. It’s almost impossible to align one to the grid by hand, but you can do this: 1) Create an area of flat terrain (all the same elevation) 2) Place a Berry Bush for Gaia in the middle of it 3) Add a new trigger with no conditions and two effects: first, Unit Heading on the Berry Bush for 180 (or 90 or 270 or 0 depending which way you want your Settlement to face), and second Change Unit Type on the Berry Bush to Settlement When you test the game, you get a Settlement that the AI can build on. The reason this works is that Berry Bushes are always aligned to the map grid when you place them for some reason, so when you turn them to Settlements the Settlements remain aligned to the grid. You have to set heading to 0, 90, 180 or 270 to make sure the sides of the building are aligned to the grid too however.

Q: How do I play my scenario in multiplayer? Do I have to convert it to a random map?
A: Host a LAN game or an Advanced Setup game on ESO and in the game style dropdown, where it says Supremacy or Death Match or whatever, select Scenario. Then select your particular scenario from the list available. Random maps are different from scenarios; they are scripts or programs that tell the game how to lay out terrain and resources, and they are complicated to make.

Thats it for the FAQ! If your question wasn’t answered, post in our Forums!

FAQ Last updated 9/1/03