Hera creates single files which Ares can read. Ares can only read Hera-created files when it's first starting up. When Ares is not running, you can tell it to use a Hera-created file by dragging and dropping the file onto Ares, or by double-clicking the Hera-created file in the finder.

Any data in the Hera-created scenario file supercedes data which is duplicated in Ares' standard data files. For instance, if you have to a snd resource in the Hera-created scenario file with the same ID as a snd resource in the Ares Sounds file, Ares will use the sound in the Hera-created file if it is open.

Hera will never hurt the original Ares data -- any changes you make will be put your custom scenario files. Even if you edit text data that is used by Ares' factory scenarios, it will not be saved in the factory scenario files. The changes will be saved in your scenario's copy of data that's been changed.

The only Ares data which Hera can't edit are the interfaces -- the placement of the buttons on the menu screens.

Data Types

In Ares there are seven unique types of data: scenarios, base objects, actions, conditions, initial objects, briefing points, and sprites.

There are also four additional types of data used by Ares that are standard MacOS resources: TEXT, STR#, PICT, and snd. Hera allows you to directly edit TEXT and STR# resources. As of this writing, you need to use a program like ResEdit to import your own PICT and snd resources into your custom scenario files.


In Hera, a scenario refers to the description of a level, or chapter. A scenario tells Ares what ships start out where, which player is which, and all the basic information that makes a level different from other levels.

When the player selects a level to play, Ares uses the scenario data to determine what objects, sprites, pictures, and sounds will be needed to play the level. It loads everything required (except the text of any messages), places the initial objects where they belong, and begins the game.

Base Object

Base Objects are so named because they describe how the Ares engine should represent an object -- on what a real object should be based.

There are three types of base objects: self-animating sprites, rotating sprites, and devices.

Self-Animating Sprite

A self-animating sprite is any object which doesn't determine its appearance by the direction it is facing. Asteroids, for example, are self-animating sprites.

Rotating Sprite

A rotating sprite is any object which uses its direction to determine its appearance. Most ships are rotating sprites.


A device is a non-physical object. It has no sprite associated with it. Devices are special-purpose base objects used to describe other base objects' weapon behavior. For example, the cruiser base object refers to the photokinetic beam cannon object.


Actions are what make things happen in Ares. Any time a weapon fires, or a missle hits a ship, or a transport approaches a planet, actions get executed.

Actions are organized into sequences. A sequence always gets executed from begining to end.

Actions can be invoked in two ways: by objects, or by scenario conditions.


Conditions are simple rules that get continuously evaluated while a level is being played. While a condition is active, it gets considered every few seconds. When it is found to be true, a sequence of actions is executed.

For example, a condition might be that if a certain planet is occupied by a certain player, then that player wins.

Getting Started

The simplest way to get started with Hera is to use the "factory" scenarios as a source. Here's how:

After you've launched Hera, you'll be presented with the Main Window for the factory data. Click on the "Edit Scenarios" button. The Scenario Editor will open. Select "While the Iron Is Hot" in the scenario list (for now, don't choose any of the networking levels, "Between a Rock and a Rock," "Location, Location, Location," "Space Warz," "Scratching Post," or "Capture the Flagpod." . Select Copy from the Edit menu.

Close the Scenario Editor by clicking OK or Cancel. Select New... from the File menu.

Choose a location and a name for the new Ares Scenario file from the standard file saving dialog box. A new, empty scenario file will be created.

A new Main Window for the scenario you just created will be opened. Click on the "Edit Scenarios" button.

When the Scenario Editor opens, click on the empty scenario list on the left. Then select Paste from the Edit menu.

Presto! You have just copied the scenario. Not only that, you've also copied all the base object, action, briefing point, initial object, and condition data too.

Close the Scenario Editor by clicking OK. Choose Save from the File menu and then quit.

You can now drag and drop the scenario file you created onto the Ares application, and play the scenario you just created.