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Creature Format

Required data

In order to make functional creature you also need:

Animation

  • Battle animation (1 def file)
  • Set of rendered projectiles (1 def files, shooters only)
  • Adventure map animation (1 def file)

Images

  • Small portrait for hero exchange window (1 image)
  • Large portrait for hero window (1 image)

Sounds

  • Set of sounds (up to 8 sounds)

Format

// camelCase unique creature identifier
"creatureName" : 
{
    // Translatable names for this creature
    "name" :
    {
        "singular" : "Creature",
        "plural" : "Creatures"
    },

    // Description of creature
    "description" : "",

    "level" : 0,

    // Marks this object as special and not available by default
    "special" : true, 

    // Faction this creature belongs to. Examples: castle, rampart
    "faction" : "", 

    // Cost to recruit this creature, zero values can be omitted.
    "cost" : 
    {
        "wood" : 0,
        "mercury" : 0,
        "ore" : 0,
        "sulfur" : 0,
        "crystal" : 0,
        "gems" : 0,
        "gold" : 0
    },
    // "value" of creature, used to determine for example army strength
    "fightValue" : 0,

    // Describes how valuable this creature is to AI. Usually similar to fightValue
    "aiValue" : 0,

    // Basic growth of this creature in town or in external dwellings
    "growth" : 0,

    // Bonus growth of this creature from built horde, if any
    "horde" : 0,

    // Creature stats in battle
    "attack" : 0,
    "defense" : 0,
    "hitPoints" : 0,
    "speed" : 0,
    "damage" :
    {
        "min" : 0,
        "max" : 0
    },

    // Number of shots this creature has, required only for ranged units
    "shots" : 0,

    // Spell points this creature has (usually equal to number of casts)
    "spellPoints" : 0,

    // Initial size of random stacks on adventure map
    "advMapAmount" :
    {
        "min" : 0,
        "max" : 0
    },

    // List of creatures to which this one can be upgraded
    "upgrades" :
    [
        "anotherCreature"
    ],

    // If set, creature will be two tiles wide on battlefield
    "doubleWide" : false,

    // Creature abilities described using Bonus system
    "abilities" :
    [
        "someName1" : Bonus Format,
        "someName2" : Bonus Format
    ],

    // creature may receive "week of" events
    "hasDoubleWeek": true,

    "graphics" :
    {
        // File with animation of this creature in battles
        "animation" : "",
        // File with animation of this creature on adventure map
        "map" : "",
        // Optional. Object mask that describes on which tiles object is visible/blocked/activatable
        "mapMask" : [ "VV", "VA" ],

        // Small icon for this creature, used for example in exchange screen
        "iconSmall" : "",
        // Large icon for this creature, used for example in town screen
        "iconLarge" : "",

        // animation parameters

        // how often creature should play idle animation
        "timeBetweenFidgets" : 1.00,

        "animationTime" :
        {
            // movement animation time factor
            "walk" : 1.00,

            // idle animation time. For H3 creatures this value is always 10
            "idle" : 10.00,

            // ranged attack animation time. Applicable to shooting and casting animation
            // NOTE: does NOT affects melee attacks
            // This is H3 behaviour, likely for proper synchronization of attack/defense animations
            "attack" : 1.00,
        },
        "missile" :
        {
            // name of file for missile
            "animation" : "", 

            // indicates that creature uses ray animation for ranged attacks instead of missile image (e.g. Evil Eye)
            "ray" : 
            [
                { // definition of first (top-most) line in the ray
                    "start" : [ 160, 192, 0, 255 ], // color (RGBA components) of ray at starting point
                    "end" : [ 160, 192, 0,  64 ]  // color (RGBA components) of ray at finishing point
                },
                {}, // definition of second from top line in the ray, identical format
                ... // definitions of remaining lines, till desired width of the ray
            ],
            // Frame at which shooter shoots his projectile (e.g. releases arrow)
            "attackClimaxFrame" : 0,

            // Position where projectile image appears during shooting in specific direction
            "offset" :
            {
                "upperX" : 0,
                "upperY" : 0,
                "middleX" : 0,
                "middleY" : 0,
                "lowerX" : 0,
                "lowerY" : 0
            },
            // angles from which frames in .def file were rendered, -90...90 range
            // Example below will work for file that contains following frames:
            // 1) facing top, 2) facing top-right, 3)facing right,
            // 4) facing bottom-right 5) facing bottom.
            "frameAngles" : [ -90, -45, 0, 45, 90]
        }
    },

    // names of sound files
    "sound" : 
    {
        // Creature attack enemy in melee (counter-)attack
        "attack": "",
        // Creature in "defend mode" is attacked
        "defend": "",
        // Creature killed
        "killed": "",
        // Plays in loop during creature movement
        "move": "",
        // Shooters only, creature shoots
        "shoot" : "",
        // Creature not in "defend mode" is under attack 
        "wince": "",

        // Creature start/end movement or teleports
        "startMoving" : "",
        "endMoving" : ""
    },

    // Stack experience, using bonus system
    "stackExperience" : [
        {
            // Bonus description
            "bonus" : { BONUS_FORMAT },
            // Per-level value of bonus. Must have 10 elements
            "values" : [
                0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4
            ]
        },
        ...
    ]
}