Welcome to the Hero Lab Authoring Kit Wiki.
The Authoring Kit for Hero Lab provides a vast array of capabilities, and those capabilities will continue to evolve with the product. As such, we needed a means of documenting all those capabilities that could readily adapt and evolve as well. We concluded that the best way to accomplish this is to create a wiki that we can extend on an ongoing basis. As an added bonus, the wiki can also enable users to share tips and suggestions.
If you are not familiar with wikis, you can think of them as an intelligently structured assortment web pages. For information on using this wiki, please refer to the User's Guide.
Wikis are designed to be easily searched, so you can enter whatever term you are interested in and quickly find all the various entries pertaining to that topic. This will be invaluable as you become proficient with the Authoring Kit and want information on specific capabilities. Until you reach that point, you can simply start with this page and follow the various links below to read through all the various topics.
- 1 Introduction to the Kit
- 2 Documentation Conventions
- 3 PDF Available
- 4 Data File Authoring Topics
- 5 Legal Details
Introduction to the Kit
The goal of the Authoring Kit is to provide everything you need to create and/or edit data files for Hero Lab. When adding material to an existing game system, you can typically utilize the integrated Editor within Hero Lab. However, if you want to create data files for a new game system, you can use the information provided in the Authoring Kit to achieve that objective.
All public file formats utilized by Hero Lab subscribe to the XML standard for document exchange. By adhering to this international standard, Hero Lab makes it easy for you to utilize off-the-shelf tools for editing and manipulating all of the data files. It also makes it straightforward to write custom tools that utilize and/or interface with the various file formats used by Hero Lab.
For brevity, the Authoring Kit will often be referred to as simply the "Kit" and Hero Lab will typically be referred to as "HL".
Within the Kit documentation, there are a few conventions utilized. Anytime that important points arise within the text, they will be flagged appropriately using one of the techniques below.
- WARNING: Used to flag the most critical items, which have significant impact on the usability and maintainability of your data files
- IMPORTANT: Identifies considerations that impact the way in which you create your data files, but the results won't usually be horrible if you ignore them
- NOTE: Indicates topics that may influence your choices in data file creation in some situations
The Kit documentation is also available in PDF format for offline reference. The PDF version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. You can download the PDF document via the link below.
NOTE! The PDF version will usually not be as up-to-date as the online wiki, since the wiki is updated on an ongoing basis and the PDF version is updated only periodically. If there is a discrepancy between the PDF and the wiki, always treat the information here in the wiki as the most accurate.
Data File Authoring Topics
Each of the topics below will take you to detailed documentation on the corresponding facet of the Kit. A brief summary of each section is provided below as well. It is highly recommended that you start with the first topic in the list and work your way downward, just like you would normally read the chapters of a book in the sequence they appear within the book. Most chapters build upon the material from previous chapters, so skipping material may lead to some level confusion.
This section covers all of the fundamental topics that the Authoring Kit is built upon. It's critical that you are familiar with all of these topics before continuing with the other sections.
Building on the basic concepts, this section outlines assorted mechanisms that are not critical to data file development but that you will likely want to leverage.
Details regarding syntax and structure for every facet of the Kit are spelled out in this section.
There are numerous capabilities that you'll likely want to integrate into your data files, and this section provides details on how to accomplish that objective.
A vast array of different capabilities will be appropriate for different game systems. This section provides a laundry list of how to integrate the necessary mechanisms to tailor your data files to a particular game system.
This section provides a bunch of concrete examples of how to add a wide range of features to your data files. The most important is the detailed walk-through of creating complete data file for the Savage Worlds game system.
Skinning the Interface
The Kit provides you with the ability to completely change the visual look and feel of your data files. Once the basic functionality is in place, you can adapt the visuals just like has been done for games like Mutants & Masterminds and World of Darkness.
This section outlines an assortment of tips and suggestions that have been submitted by other users. If you have your own suggestions, please send them to us and we can get them added.
Hero Lab is Copyright © 2006-2008 by Lone Wolf Development, Inc. All rights reserved. Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are registered trademarks of Lone Wolf Development, Inc. Lone Wolf Development is a trademark of Lone Wolf Development, Inc. Other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. No challenge to the status of other trademarks is intended by their use.
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