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DGArchitect Tutorials & Tips

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  • DGArchitect Tutorials & Tips

    There has been a certain amount of stuff posted about how to do various things in DGArchitect, but its a bit scattered. I thought it might be more useful and easier to find if there was a single location to check.

    The intention is to post a one line description plus a link here in the first post. Any new tutorials or requests for tutorials should be posted below. I will try and update the first post with any additional relevant links.

    If theres anything missing or mistakes etc please accept my apologies. Drop me a PM here on the forums and I will try to sort it out.

    Please dont post bugs in this thread. Contact HPE directly at or or start your own thread.

    Official Tutorials & Info

    Welcome to DG Architect!

    DG2 Architect Part 1: Designing the Level for Gameplay

    DG2 Architect Part 2: Adding Art to a Level

    DG2 Architect Part 3: Lighting, Particles, and Point Lights

    Getting to know DGArchitect

    Basic DG Architect Info.

    Placing walls, lids & tower doors

    Placing particles

    Community Tutorials & Info

    Roads: A Visual Guide

    road_b variations

    Road Fillets

    Camera Zoom levels

    Camera View Limits

    Camera initial position & rotation settings

    DGArchitect Scripts

    Brushes/Saving part of your level to use in another map

    Block Transformations

    Alien Health/Shields

    Better Screenshots In DGArchitect

    Last edited by Grimlar; 01/13/2016, 04:48 AM. Reason: New Block Transformation tutorial added

  • #2
    Block Transformations - Guide

    You can do block transformations in DGArchitect as it stands at the moment.

    There are events that will trgger at the start of each wave of aliens and you can use these events to trigger your block transformations.

    Basically what you need to do as add keyframes to the list of transformations named user_event_wave_1, user_event_wave_2, user_event_wave_3 etc as required. Then the relevant transformations will trigger when those waves start.

    Example 1
    Build -
    Test -

    This seems to be intended to add bits to a level part way through a mission, or provide a little something extra to liven up the background of a level. Its not intended for wholesale animation of the level whilst aliens are moving around on it.

    Points of Interest
    These are from my tests/experience. Your mileage may vary, or HPE may change things of course. Apologies for the wall of text, I will try and tidy it up later.

    Blocks move from where they currently are, to where the transformation says they should be, they will move in a straight line, and the movement will take the specified amount of time to happen. If you chain multiple moves together over several waves, be very careful to make sure the blocks ARE where you think they should be before each transformation. (Otherwise you may get blocks moving through your map, rather than round it.)

    Blocks only move in a single straight line, left-right, up-down or a combination of the two. No curves. You can do the same for road nodes and I think particle effects.

    If you do move road nodes, make sure that the shape of the road is not changed by the transformation. Ie the road doesnt get longer, shorter or turned sideways etc. (The road may change its shape as indicated, but the graphics for it dont seem to update properly at the moment.)

    Example 2
    Build -
    Test -

    You do seem to be able to rotate blocks during the move, but you should probably limit yourself to 90degrees one way or the other. (If you rotated something 180degrees for example the game wouldnt know which way the rotation occurred, ie clockwise or anti clockwise.)

    Aliens seem to move relative to the world, not the block they are stood on, so moving maps around is probably not going to work well unless you do it when there are guaranteed to be no aliens on it. (Ie adding a piece of map to a level.) Also, path selection for aliens only seems to update after a transformation has completed, so moving a section of map, even slowly, whilst aliens are on it isnt going to work either. These two together will probably mean you get aliens walking on things that arent there and walking through things that are.

    Finally, if you decide to move blocks that are already part of a level, consider very carefully if the aliens will still have a path to the cores or if the player could have blocked the only remaining path to the cores. Because if there is no valid remaining path, the aliens will walk through the towers instead and if the game mode is competitive no sell, then the player will be unable to compensate for this by selling any towers blocking the route.

    When you add a new keyframe, the location of pieces on the map will be based on which keyframe you had selected previously, with nothing marked to be moved. This can be useful to help show the sequence of movement, but can also lead to problems if you arent careful about which blocks are actually marked to be moved.

    Next to the buttons that allow you to add or remove keyframes is another button that allows you to mark/unmark a block as moving. What that block does is indicate if a specific piece of the map should be part of the transformation or not.

    When you move pieces in the block transform mode they are usually automatically given a faint orange glow/wirebox type effect. That indicates that the piece is one that should be considered as moving during the transformation.

    Likewise it is possible for a piece to already be in the correct position, for example if you want to move a block from A to B and then back again. This button would allow you to mark that block as part of the transformation. Without it, even though the block seems to be in the right place, if it isnt marked as moving, it wont change from the previous keyframe.

    Example 3
    Build -
    Test -
    Last edited by Grimlar; 02/10/2015, 07:40 AM.


    • #3
      One thread to rule them all.

      Thanks for putting this together Grimlar, this should be stickied for sure.


      • #4
        Nice indeed


        • #5
          Alien Health/Shields info

          Appreciate that you can probably find this information elsewhere, but in case you cant, I thought Id provide it here.

          These are the base health/shield numbers (ie health multiplier 1) for normal mode difficulty level.
          Easy is 50%, Hard is 150%, Elite is 200%
          Name Health Speed Special
          Bulwark 80 Normal Shield 150
          Carrier 100 Normal Drops shield 100 on death
          Crasher 1000 Slow
          Decoy 400 Normal Invisibility aura (Doesn't cloak itself)
          Juggernaut 2000 Slow
          Lurker 120 Normal Invisibility
          Landing Pod 1000 Stationary Spawns aliens
          Racer 100 Fast
          Regenerator 500 Slow Heals self when not being damaged
          Regenerator Projector (Healer) 1000 Normal Healing aura when not being damaged
          Rhino 150 Normal (Speeds up on straight)
          Rumbler 1000 Fast
          Seeker 500 Slow+ (Just faster than Boss aliens)
          Spire 100 Normal Shield aura 450
          Suppressor 300 Normal Disables nearby towers on death
          Swarmer 50 Normal
          Turtle 500 Slow Spawns aliens on death
          Walker 100 Normal
          Walker Holo 100 Normal Tutorial alien
          Note that whilst HPE tends to use the same health multiplier for all aliens in a given wave, you can set the health multipliers individually. So if you want stronger swarmers and weaker juggernauts, you can adjust the multipliers in your script accordingly.

          This is based on information provided by an old version of the Command Station tool by Operation40 and my own in game testing. My apologies for any errors. If you have corrections to suggest, please post them below.


          • #6
            Better Screenshots in DGArchitect

            Put the road nodes, particle effect/light nodes and spawn/exit point nodes into a selection group and then check the box to make the group not visible.

            All the markers will disappear, but the roads/effects etc remain. Then you just need to be careful where you put the cursor before you take the screenshot same as for any steam game.

            The screenshots only include the 3d elements of the display, not the UI/properties etc.

            You can use the selectionfilterwindow in the bottom right of the screen to unselect everything, then tick light, road nodes and spawnblock. And then just drag a selection box over the entire map. Put them in one group and untick the visible flag. Then for the particle effects, use the worldassetswindow and select all of the cul_annot_particle_origin entries (as you would from any standard list in windows,) and put them in a second group and untick the visible flag.

            The reason for doing it this way is that the particle effect objects count as decorative items but not annotation items, which makes them difficult to select en masse without getting objects you dont want selected too.
            Last edited by Grimlar; 02/07/2016, 09:27 PM. Reason: Added selection info