The Colossus File Formats
NOTE: THIS IS COMPLETELY OUT OF DATE. WE HAVE SWITCHED TO XML.
This file documents file formats for the various datafile used by
Colossus. In all these files, comments start with a "#" and
extend to the end-of-line.
All files, and the two subdirectory "Battlelands" and
"images" should be in the same directory. Default files live in
"Default", "Default/images" and
This file describe the variant. It can be either a pure text file or a
HTML file. It must be named README, README.txt (both should be pure text)
or README.html (should be HTML) and live in the same directory as the
VAR file (see below, section ). It's displayed in the
2 MAP file format
(default file used: "Default/Default.map")
This file defines the Colossus Masterboard ; what terrain type to use for
an hex and what sort of exit to which hex. It's composed first of a
pair of integers represanting the map size (horizontally then vertically),
and then of a succession of lines:
<case_label> <terrain_name> <exit_1_label>
<exit_1_type> <exit_2_label> <exit_2_type>
<exit_3_label> <exit_3_type> <X_pos> <Y_pos>
All of those should be on one line.
- <case_label> is the numeric label of the Hex.
- <terrain_name> is the name of the terrain type of the hex
(same as in the TER file).
- <exit_N_label> are numeric labels for exits 1-3, or 0 for no
(second, third) exit.
- <exit_N_type> is the type of exits (ARROW,
ARROWS, ARCH, BLOCK) ; for exit of label
'0' (no exit) any of the four value can be used, as exit type
- <X_pos> and <Y_pos> is the position X, of the Hex on
the masterboard. They both start from 'zero', on the first line
and first column. Not all lines are different (i.e. on the default
master board, case 126 and 125 are on the same line number 0 and on
columns 4 and 3).
NOTE: Put at least MAXPLAYERS (see below the VAR file, section ) towers
currently, as having less Towers than players is going to cause problems.
The upper number is not constrained (or isn't supposed to be), and
neither are the labels. For readability reasons, it's probably better
to use 100 to 900 as the labels for the first 9 towers.
WARNING: The way the Hex are displayed (pointy part upside or downside)
depend on the parity of the X+Y sum. It is possible to create a perfectly
legit MAP where all the Hex are upside-down ! Should this
happen, the only way to fix this 'feature' currently, is to move
everything one column right or one row down, i.e., force the
reversal of the parity. Sorry about that, the problem hasn't yet been
3 TER file format
(default file used: "Default/Default.ter")
This file define the Colossus Recruit Trees ; what can recruit and be
recruited on what terrain. it's composed of a succession of line of
four different kind. The first two are mandatory (at least one of each
should appear), the other two are optional (default values are supplied).
The first kind is:
<terrain_color> <terrain_name> <regular_recruit> (
<recruiter_needed> <recruit>)+ <terrain_display_name
- <terrain_color> is the color used to display this terrain
type, see HTMLColor.java for the various available color.
- <terrain_name> is the descriptive name of the terrain
(Brush, ...) ; it is used also as the Battlelands file name. If
<terrain_display_name> is not present, it is also used as the
display name. Must be unique.
- <regular_recruit>> is a boolean (i.e. true or false)
telling if a Creature can recruit below or above its rank (usually true
except for Tower).
- <recruiter_needed> is the number of lower-rank creature
needed to recruit the next creature.
- <recruit> is the name of the recruit creature (Gargoyle,
- <terrain_display_name> is an optional string, used to
display the name of the terrain on the MasterBoard, and as the name of
the overlay file (see section "Images files" below). If
absent, <terrain_name> is used instead.
The last two as a pair can be repeated any number of time. Any later
creature can recruit a previous one or itself. A creature can recruit the
next one only if they are numerous enough, as indicated by the
<recruiter_needed> of the recruit.
Three specials names exist (pseudo-creature):
- Anything, which means any creature can recruit the
following creature provided they are numerous enough
- AnyNonLord which is the same but excludes Immortal (Lord
or DemiLord) from the possible recruiters
- Lord which means a Lord (Angel, Titan, Archangel, etc.,
but not a Demilord) can recruit the following creature.
Note that for Lord and Titan, only one recruiter is
needed, and the number before the recruits indicate how many of the
creatures before Lord or Titan are needed.
When <recruiter_needed> is 0 (zero), then the creature can be
recruited, but the recruiter will remain anonymous. This is useful only
if the recruiter is Anything or AnyNonLord, of course.
Don't use with a regular recruiter.
When <recruiter_needed> is -1 (minus one), then the creature can
recruit, but cannot be recruited. Such creature, and the pseudo-creature
above, are ignored for the purpose of normal recruitements. If you put
Titan as a recruiter, it should always be -1, as beeing
able to recruit Titan is going to cause lots of trouble.
Exemple: if you use 0 Anything 3 ogre 0 Titan 2 Gargoyle, you
will be able to recruit an Ogre with any 3 creatures or with a Gargoyle,
and you will be able to recruits a gargoyle with two Ogres or the Titan.
You won't be able to recruit Anything or Titan, of
Any line that will be used as a Tower (See Battlelands below) should
follow these rules: There should always be at least 3 regular creatures,
recruitable with zero of Anything, at the begining. The line should be
marked as "non-regular" recruitments. The 3 creatures will be
used as starting creatures for the Player starting in that kind of Tower.
Both <terrain_name> and <terrain_display_name> can be
either purely alphabetical, or alphanumerical plus spaces between
doublequotes ""'. If a filename is involved, all spaces
will be replaced by underscores "_".
The second kind is:
ACQUIRABLE <point_value> <acquirable_name> ((
ACQUIRABLE is the literal string ACQUIRABLE
- <point_value> is the amount of points needed to recruit the
- <acquirable_name> is the name of the Creature to consider as
- <terrain_name> is an (optional) comma-separated list of
terrain name (see above) that restrict the availability of the
Acquirable. If the list is ommited, the Acquirable can be recruited
Note that all <point_value> must be even multiple of the first
<point_value> ; other values are erroneous and will be flagged as
such. Also, the first acquirable creature should be a Lord, and is
recruited in the starting stack (it's the 'primary'
Multiple line can be present, in which case, the behavior is the same as
if all the Acquirable where on one line. Order of Acquirable is not
important, except for the first one, which defines the reference for
<point_value> and the primary acquirable creature.
The third kind is:
To give the amount of points required for the Titan to improve by one.
Said differently, Titan power is equal to 6 + ( <player_points> /
<above_value>). The default supplied value is 100.
The fourth kind is:
To give the amount of points required for the Titan to be able to Titan
Teleport. The default supplied value is 400.
4 CRE file format
(default file used: "Default/Default.cre")
This file define the Colossus Creatures ; it's composed of a
succession of lines:
<name> <power> <skill> <rangestrikes>
<flies> <nativeBramble> <nativeDrift> <nativeBog
> <nativeSandDune> <nativeSlope> <nativeVolcano>
<nativeRiver> <nativeStone> <nativeTree>
<waterDwelling> <magicMissile> <summonable> <lord
> <demilord> <maxCount> <pluralName> (
all on one line.
- <name> is the display name of the creature
- <power> and <skill> are the numeric value of power
and skill respectively.
- <rangestrikes> <and flies> are boolean values
('true' or 'false'), defining if the creature can
rangestrike or fly respectively.
- <nativeXXX> are boolean values defining if the creature is
native for terrain type XXX.
- <waterDwelling> is a boolean value defining if the creature
can live in water (i.e., Bog or Lake). Water Dweller don't like
being dry, and as such take damage in Sand as other Creatures do in
- <magicMissile> is a boolean value defining if the creature
use magic missile, i.e. it can fires through anything (foe, obstacle,
...) toward anyone (including lord).
- <summonable> is a boolean value defining if the creature can
be summoned in a fight.
- <lord> and <demilord> are boolean values, defining if
the creature is a lord or a demilord (mutually exclusive).
- <maxCount> is the max number of creature in the caretaker
- <pluralName> is the same as name, just plural.
- <baseColorName> (optional) is the name of the color to use
for the name, power and skill value of the creature (when displayed on
screen). This name (is used to determine which overlay to use for
name/power/skill, or which color to use for drawing them (black is the
default in this case). If this field is not present, then no
overlay are used: Colossus will assume a simgle image is enough to
supply all informations.
Both <name> and <pluralName> can be either purely
alphabetical, or alphanumerical plus spaces between doublequotes
""'. If a filename is involved, all spaces will be replaced
by underscores "_".
5 Battleland file format (files
used: by terrain name under "Battlelands")
These files define the Colossus Battlelands. they're composed of a
succession of lines:
<X_pos> <Y_pos> <terrain_name>
<terrain_elevation> ( <border_number> <border_type
all on one line.
Any cas not mentioned in this file is assumed to be of type 'p',
at elevation '0', and no border.
- <X_pos> and <Y_pos> are the X and Y position of the
- <terrain_name> is the terrain type of the case ; it's
currently one of: Plains, Brambles, Sand, Tree, Bog, Volcano, Drift,
Tower, Lake, Stone. Case is significant here.
- <terrain_elevation> is the altitude of the terrain (between
0 and 2)
finally. between 0 and 6 pair of the form <border_number>
<border_type>, where <border_number> is between 0 and 5 and
<border_type> is currently one of: d, c, s, w, r (Dune, Cliff,
Slope, Wall, River).
Lake, Stone and River are non-standard hazards:
- Lake is impassable except by Water Dweller, and has no other
- Stone is impassable except by Stone Native, block rangestrike, and
doesn't allow flying through (or over). A non-native attacking a
Stone Native in a Stone loose one skill (both hand-to-hand and
- River slows non-River Native non-Water Dweller crossing it.
Also, non-Tree Native attacking a Tree Native in a Tree lose one skill
(but not rangestriker).
NOTE: There is a graphical tool, designed to allow easy
creations of Battlelands. It doesn't handle Startlist yet (see
One more line exists: the startlist. It's a single line containing
first the word STARTLIST, then a space-separated list of hex
labels (one letter followed by one digit, displayed in each hexagon of the
Battleland). This is where the Defender will enter the terrain. For
instance, in the usual Titan Tower, the line used is:
STARTLIST D4 C4 E4 D3 C3 E3 D5
Also, the line imply the Attacker will enter by the bottom side. This is
usually used for Tower, but can be used for other terrain as well.
Towers are denoted by the keyword TOWER by itself on a line. The
terrain is then considered a Tower, i.e. you can Tower Teleport from it,
and players are allowed to start in it.
6 HINT file format
(default file used: "Default/Default.hin")
This file lists some hints to the Colossus AI on how to play the game.
The file is cut off into sections, each specifying behavior for one kind
of AI. Any hints appearing before a section name is assumed to belong to
section "AllAI:". A section name is a name ending in
"AI:" ; known values are "AllAI:",
"OffensiveAI:" and "DefensiveAI:". Any section name
can be used, but if none of the AI is aware of a section, it won't be
used. All AI will used hints from section "AllAI" as a last
resort, after trying zero, one or more other section(s). Note that some
AIs may ignore hints entirely, and some may decide to change the used
sections in the middle of the game :-) A hint belongs to the last section
whose name appears before the hint.
Each hint is a line of one of the forms:
RECRUIT <terrain_name> <recruiter_name>
<recruiter_number> <recruitee_name> <optional_condition
INITIALSPLIT <hex_label> <decimal_value> "("
<split_creature_name> * ")" *
RECRUITVALUE <creature_name> <value_offset>
where for RECRUIT:
- <terrain_name> is the name of the terrain
- <recruiter_name> is the name of the recruiting creature
- <recruiter_number> is the number of recruiting creature
- <recruitee_name> is the name of the suggested recruited
and <optional_condition> is an optional condition builded with the
- ( <condition_node> AND <condition_node> ) :
both condition must be true.
- ( <condition_node> OR <condition_node> ) :
one condition at least must be true.
- ( NOT <condition_node>) : the condition must be
- ( CANREACH <terrain_name> ) : The recruiting stack
can reach at least one terrain of type <terrain_name> in the
- ( HASCREATURE <creature_name> ) : The stack already
has one creature by the name of <creature_name>.
- ( OTHERSTACKHASCREATURE <creature_name>+ ) : A
different stack from the same player already has at least one of each
creature in the list of <creature_name>.
- ( RANDOM <decimal_value> ) : True (100 *
<decimal_value>) % of the time ( <decimal_value> must be
between 0.0 and 1.0).
- ( <number> <creature_name> AVAILABLE ) : At
least <number> of the creature <creature_name> are
available in the caretaker's stack.
- ( CANRECRUIT <creature_name> ) : The stack can also
recruit the creature <creature_name>.
- ( HEIGHTIS <number> ) : The stack is exactly
<number> in height.
- ( LABELIS <hex_label> ) : The stack is in hex
- ( ALLATTACKERSMALLERTHAN <number> ) : The stack
cannot by attacked by a stack more (strictly) than <number> in
height. A value of 0 means that no enemy stack can attack.
If the recruitee's name is "nothing" or
"Nothing", then the hint suggests not recruiting there.
where for INITIALSPLIT:
- <hex_label> is the label of the Tower where the split occurs
(should be quoted in double quote \", as most label are
- <decimal_value> is the probability (between 0.0 and 1.0) of
this split to occurs.
- <split_creature_name> is the name of one splitted
At the moment, there should be exactly two lists of exactly four
creatures in the hint. The 8 creatures should be exactly one Titan, one
Angel (those two in different stacks), and 2 of each of the three
starting creatures of the Tower.
Each split for a given Tower is checked in order, and the first to pass
the test is used, so the last one for each Tower should always use
"1.0" as the probability.
where for RECRUITVALUE
The <creature_name> is the name of the affected creature, and the
<value_offset> is how many points to add/retire to the normal
value. This only affect the AI estimation of the recruitment value of the
crature: a creature with a big positive value will be recruited before
anything else, a creature with a big negative value will be recruited
after anything else.
7 VAR file format
(default file used: "Default/Default.var")
This file contains a variant definition, i.e. which MAP,
CRE and TER file should be used and other informations
such as which other variants are required.
Six different lines can exist, in any number and order (only the last one
of each type is used):
HINT: <comma-separated list of hint_filenames>
DEPEND: <comma-separated list of dependecies>
MAXPLAYERS: <max number of players>
Note: if one of the first three type is missing, the Default file
is implied. if DEPEND is missing, no dependencies are implied.
In all case, the "Default" directory is looked-up last, so
mentioning "Default" as a dependency is not required.
Note: Do not use a MAXPLAYERS value higher than the
number of Tower in the MAP file, this will crash Colossus. If
MAXPLAYERS isn't specified, 6 is the default value used. If
MAXPLAYERS is too big for Colossus, the default maximum will be
used instead to avoid crashing.
Exemple: A variant that use creatures from ExtTitan, Battlelands
from Badlands and a local map could be described as:
8 Images files under
A variant can customize the legion marker appearances and names. Legion
markers are 56x56 GIF files that lives in "images" and
are named with the marker short color name (see ) followed by its number
(between 01 and 12), i.e. the first marker of the black set is
Bk01.gif. The short name is mapped to a long name in the file
"MarkersName", a java property file. A variant can supply its
own "MarkersName", either fully or partially redefining the
marker's names (the default mapping is used for missing entries).