The Scenario Tree is one of the the central tools you will be using when working on a map. It contains all the objects on the map and provides "at-your-fingertips" access to all Painter tools, sub-menus, and views of the editor.
This guide offers an in-depth look at the various functions of the Scenario Tree and how to use them. This is useful both if you are just starting out and learning the editor, as well as if you are more experienced and looking to increase your capabilities and efficiency when working with it.
Scenario Tree Toolbar
The main toolbar of the Scenario tree provides access to a number of key functions when working on a map. This toolbar consists of a collection of icons located across the top of the Scenario Tree.
If the width of the Scenario Tree is reduced, any icons that cannot fit onto the interface can be accessed by selecting the Downwards Arrow icon on the right of the interface.
The icons along the top of the interface control the major functions related to working on a map, including vision modes and quick access to secondary interfaces.
These controls and their functions are covered below, covering the icons as they appear from left from right.
Returns to the default, standard map view with no special view modes.
Fog of War Mode
Turns on the fog-of-war visualization mode.
A patch of explored area appears underneath your mouse cursor so you can see what the fog-of-war looks like in-game.
Turns on the measuring grid view.
Pressing the Left Mouse Button places a Blue marker and pressing the Right Mouse Button places a Red marker. These mark
The lines between the markers show the distance between the two points, including true distance (Straight Line) and actual unit travel distance (Pathfinding).
The data for the ruler is displayed in the Ruler panel, which opens automatically upon selecting Ruler Mode.
This panel displays the Pathfinding between the the two points as well as the exact Distances between the points.
Terrain mode allows you to select sections of the terrain and copy them to others.
The cursor switches to a selector, allowing you to select an area of terrain.
The selected space is then copied, allowing you to move it to another area.
The icons below the main controls allow you to lock certain aspects of your map, preventing them from being modified.
This can be a convenient way of preventing accidental changes to certain types of objects that have been placed on the map.
Functions that are currently locked are highlighted by a blue background.
Note that even while locked, these objects can still be selected using the Scenario Tree.
From left-to-right, these lock controls are:
- Lock Action Marker Selection: Prevents the selection of Action Markers.
- Lock Action Marker Component Selection: Prevents selection of the components within an Action Marker line.
- Lock Decal Selection: Prevents the selection of Decals.
- Lock Deform Component Selection: Prevents the selection of Deform Components along splines.
- Lock Entity Selection: Prevents the selection of Entity objects.
- Lock Fog Volume Selection: Prevents the selection of Fog Volume entities.
- Lock Heightfield Deform Selection: Prevents the selection of Heightfield Deform entities.
- Lock Light Selection: Prevents the selection of Lights.
- Lock Message Selection: Prevents the selection of Developer Messages.
- Lock Prefab Selection: Prevents the selection of Prefabs used in scripted events.
- Lock Prefab Marker Selection: Prevents the selection of Prefab Markers used in scripted events.
- Lock Preset Destruction Volume Selection: Prevents the selection of Preset Destruction entities.
- Lock Scar Marker Selection: Prevents the selection of Scar Markers used for scripting.
- Lock Shape Deform Selection: Prevents the selection of Terrain Deform shapes.
- Lock Slotted Spline Group Selection: Prevents the selection of Slotted Spline components for making walls along splines.
- Lock Splat Selection: Prevents the selection of Splats.
- Lock Squad Selection: Prevents the selection of any unit classified as a Squad.
- Lock Strip Component Selection: Prevents the selection of Strip Components along splines.
- Lock Visual Selection: Prevents the selection of Visual entities.
- Lock Wall Component Selection: Prevents the selection of Wall Components along splines.
- Lock Water Flood Marker Selection: Prevents the selection of Water Flood Markers.
- Lock Water Flow Marker Selection: Prevents the selection of Water Flow Markers.
- Lock Waypoint Path Selection: Prevents the selection of Waypoint Path Markers.
One of the primary functions of the Scenario Tree is to contain all the assets you have currently added to your map.
These assets are stored in a series of folders at the top of the Scenario Tree.
The default folder shares a name with your map, and normally is placed at the top of the list.
If you use the Generation tools, a folder named Generated should be created
Additional folders can be added manually by Right-Clicking on Scenario and choosing +Add.
The Atmospherecontrols allow you to make modifications to your map's sun, sky, clouds, ambient lighting, wind, and similar global environmental effects.
Master Atmosphere Controls
Selecting Atmosphere in the Scenario Tree opens the master controls for your map's atmosphere.
These controls allow you to toggle on or off key aspects of a map's atmosphere.
These effect of these settings will not be reflected in the editor, but will appear in-game.
- Sun Enabled: Toggles on or off the map's sun, which provides global illumination from above and casts shadows.
- Soldier Light Enabled: Toggles on or off lighting of infantry, cavalry, siege engines, ships and other units.
- Sun Cloud Enabled: Toggles on or off the cloud system, which can cast shadows and affect the map's lighting.
- Ambient Enabled: Toggles on or off ambient lighting, which lightens shadows and lights materials.
- Fog Enabled: Toggles on or off the map's fog effects. This is not fog of war, but rather environmental mist and low-lying clouds.
- Exposure Enabled:
Selecting Default under Atmosphere in the Scenario Tree selects the settings for your map's atmosphere.
These controls cover every major aspect of the lighting and special effects that can affect a map.
A full breakdown of what these do can be found in the Ultimate Atmosphere guide, and a quick breakdown is given below.
- Name: The name of your atmosphere settings. This is named "default" when the map is created but if creating multiple atmospheres states for a map, you can give each one a unique name.
- Sun: Controls the colour, position, intensity, and shadow effects of the map's sun.
- Ambient: Controls the ambient lighting of the map.
- Wind: Controls wind effects on the map, affecting grass, water, and tree movement.
- Exposure: Controls lighting exposure effects on the map.
- Atm Scattering: Controls how light scatters as well as how it us absorbed and diffused on the map.
- Volumetric Fog Scattering: Controls the density, behavior, and colour of fog on the map such as mist, low-lying clouds, and similar effects.
- LayerCloud: Controls the pattern, size, coverage, and density of clouds on the map, which can filter the sun's light and create shadows as they move across the sky.
- TeamColourEmissive: Controls how team colour banners and unit markings appear, including the emissive material and the distance at which they appear.
- UnitVisibility: Controls some basic visibility settings for units such as excluding them from certain effects and the texture that controls visibility.
- Contour LUT: Controls contour lighting. This likely does not need to be changed.
- FogOfWar: Controls the colour of the map's shroud (unexplored areas) and fog of war.
- Colour Grading: Controls how the map displays unit, terrain, and building colours such as highlights, midtones and shadows.
- Debug Overrides: Provides a selection of overrides to perform debugging actions.
- Influenced Settings: Includes a selection of additional settings that affect how light, clouds, fog, and light scattering effects.
The Players settings allow you to access the settings for the various players on your map.
Every player that currently has a starting location on the map with appear in Black near the top of the list, and every player that does not have a starting location will appear crossed out.
Selecting a player will bring up the Properties for that player, which allows you to modify the settings for that player.
These settings allow you to control a selection of fundamental aspects about how the player functions.
The function of these settings is covered in greater detail in the Playersguide.
Another primary function of the Scenario Tree is to provide a quick-access to a variety of terrain tools that allow you to immediately gain access to a set of tools.
These tools allow you to modify how the map itself appears and functions, including audio, terrain, water, grass, and subsystem map overlay regions.
The Audio Region controls allow you to see what audio is currently playing in each area of your map.
These regions consist of five basic sound files and play whenever the player's screen is centered in the area. You are likely familiar with these sound effects in-game, but in general they produce the following combinations of sounds:
- Field - birds, insects
- Hills - wind, crickets
- Mountains - wind, hawks
- Ocean - waves, seagulls
- Forest - songbirds, insects
The Camera Mesh shows the grid that the in-game camera rests on.
Selecting this control in the Scenario Tree grants access to the Painter tool that allows you to modify the shape of this grid.
The Colour Map simply allows access to the colour Painter tools, which allows you to paint different hues of colour onto the map's terrain.
Unlike other tools in the Scenario Tree, the Grass controls list all types of grass you currently have on your map.
Selecting Grass will convert the Painter tool to show all Grass options and allow you to import additional grass types onto your map.
The Height Map controls allow you to perform terrain deformation, sculpting hills, mountains, trenches, and valleys to shape the map.
The Impasse Map controls overlay a grid on the map that shows where units can and cannot move.
Areas marked in Red indicate where units cannot move, and areas in White indicate areas that units are free to pass.
Impassable areas are divided between four unit types, which can block movement independently of each other,
These unit categories are as follows:
- Infantry: soldiers, archers, cavalry
- Vehicles: siege engines
- Waterdefault: fishing boats, navy units
- Can't Build: buildings
The Interactivity Map allows you to "close off" sections of the map from players, unlocking them during play using a script after a pre-defined event occurs, an objective is achieved, or a defined time period elapses.
These regions are painted onto the map with the Painter tool and and activated with a script, so require some scripting knowledge to make work.
The Megatile tool allows you to apply a specific tile type to your entire map, changing the texture of the ground.
This can have dramatic effects on a map's look and feel, offering a dynamic way to apply a global effect such as mud, snow, and other textures to a map without having to paint these areas by hand.
The Metadata Map allows you to paint areas of the map to generate Forests or define areas of Fog-of-War on your map.
These areas are painted onto the map using the Painter tool.
Fog-of-War areas appear in-game as painted with the tool, while any painted Forest areas can then be made into trees using the Generation tools.
Snow Depth Map
The Snow Depth Map is a system that is not implemented in Age of Empires IV.
You can see this system in-use in Company of Heroes 2, where snow on certain maps is raised above ground level so that units can move through and deform it.
In Age of Empires, you can safely ignore this feature as it does not do anything.
Similar to Grass, the Tilesarea lists all types of ground textures that are currently being used on your map.
Selecting Tiles will convert the Painter tool to show all Tile options and allow you to import additional tile types onto your map.
When you select Tiles and hover your mouse over the map, any tiles currently covering the area beneath your mouse cursor will be highlighted in purple in the tile list.
Water Flow Map
The Water Flow Map controls activate the tools to paint flow, foam, and related water effects onto the water of your map.
These tools are essential for creating realistic looking water in places where there is a current flowing in a specific direction such as in rivers, streams, and canals. If no flow is set for a given body of water, it will then react to the ambient wind effects to determine the behavior of water.
Selecting Water Flow Map in the Scenario tree opens the Painter tools for painting water effects onto your map's water.
Water Height Map
The Water Height Map controls the height of water using Flow markers.
Any Flood Marker objects you add to your map will be added underneath Water Height Map in the Scenario Tree.
The Water Tiles controls allow you to paint different water colours and transparencies onto water in your map.