2.1. Overview of AGE

This chapter will cover all I know about AGE, the tabs I normally use, what the fields mean and some of the values the game admits. This will not be a complete guide, as there are several aspects of the editor I have never used. Nevertheless, given all the features we have included into the Community Patch, it should be very complete.

Open and load a data mod​

When you open Advanced Genie Editor, you will see an open window with several fields to fill. Here are the ones that are actually relevant:
  • Genie version. Which version of the game you are working on. The Community Patch uses The Conquerors+UserPatch but you may also use Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition if you are modding for that game.
  • Compressed data set (*.dat). Path to the file “empires2_x1_p1.dat” in your mod folder.
  • Language file locations. These are .dll language files that only help navigating the code. The one I use, that you can download here, has all the new units and techs, thanks to a program by katsuie.
  • Path for DRS files. Path to the data folder in the root AoE 2 folder. In my case “\Age2HD\data”. Having this file allows to visualize some graphics but only if they are stored there.
  • Recent paths. Saves the last used configurations.
Technically, by adding other files you could access more text strings and graphics but I never made it work.


Main buttons and tabs​

  • SLP menu. Only relevant for graphics and icons and only if you added graphics files when opening AGE.
  • +++ button. Allows to open another window of AGE. This is useful when copying stuff from one data file to another, as opening AGE twice doesn’t allow copy.
  • List button. Useful to leave activated. This way, when you delete text in the search fields, you don’t loose the selected item. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about just trust me.
  • SLP button. Links the graphics from the AoE2 root folder if you selected them when opening AGE. If activated, you won’t be able to open those .drs files with Turtlepack, you have to deactivate it for that.
  • Techs tab. Technologies in the game, the ones you manually research and the ones that activate automatically. In this tab you can modify names, costs, icons, research time, research locations…
  • Effects tab. When you research a technology, it triggers an effect. This tab lists all the effects.
  • Tech tree tab. This creates the technology tree in the game but only the visual layout, it has no effect on the actual behavior of the game. In reality, everything is done through technologies. It can be useful to locate a unit you don't know the name of.
  • Civilizations tab. Lists all the civilizations with their civilization bonus and team bonus (both effects). Also lists all the resources the game uses, from wood, food, etc to other more obscure ones.
  • Units tab. All the units in the game: actual soldiers, buildings, animals, trees, decorative stuff…
  • Graphics tab. Lists all the graphics in the game, with links to their corresponding slp files.
  • Terrains tab. Lists all the terrains the game uses.
  • Sounds tab. Lists all the sounds in the game, with links to their corresponding wav files.


The filter box​

One of the few utilities AGE has to help navigate the code. In almost every tab, above the list of objects there are two dialog boxes and two drop-down menus.
  • The first dialogue box is to write text that must appear in the object. To have several strings, separate them with the symbol “|”, which means “or”. You can change the behavior of “|” from “or” to “and” in the check box next to it.
  • The second dialogue box is to write text that must not appear in the object. The symbol “|” works identically.
  • The two drop-down menus are to activate some extra text in the object description such as “Train location”, “Research time”, etc.
For example, say that you want to check the Mayan castle age unique technology but you don’t remember the name. In this case, in the techs tab, you can go to the dropdown menu and select “Civilization”. This shows the civilization that can research each technology before the actual name. Now write in the dialogue box “C 16” and AGE will show the techs that only Mayans can research, making it easy to locate what you are looking for.
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