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  •  10-14-2007, 10:10 AM 586603
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: The Modding Thread.

    The moddingthread!


    Hi, guys.

    I have finallydecided to make a modding thread around here. Currently it isunstickied, but I hope it will be stickied with the time. So now it's“The (unstickied) modding thread”.


    NOTE: You cancall making custom maps modding too, but why should I make a threadabout that, when there already is one? No. When I talk about moddingI mean:

    Modding a newunit/civ/homecity/building. There are many, many other possibilitiestoo.


    But what ismodding?


    [quoted fromBilboBeutlin's introduction to AoE3 modding]

    'Modding'is a usual short word for modding, modifying - that means changingexisting stuff (espec. for games) to get a new outlook, otherbehavior, adapt on individual requirements or to add newfeatures.
    Strictly speaking it's already modding, if you changeanything from the delivered original program state. That may be colorsettings or the keyboard layout. In most cases such changes arealready doable with the program's inbuilt features.
    Most programscome with one or more setup files, which are editable with normaltext editors like eg. Windows' Notepad. From programming aspect, alsothe files which determine game behavior (like AoE3's proto.xml,techtree.xml) are also merely setup files, which the program'sexe(cutable) reads in the initializing startup phase. So changes onsuch files will usually only take effect at a new game start.

    Onlyto mention by the way: very experienced users can mod the program'sexe (executable code) or a dll (dynamic link library). But thisrequires specialized, advanced know-how and particular tools.

    [/quoted from BilboBeutlin's introduction to AoE3modding]


    Read the rest here. link


    Modder's first rule: Never touch anon-backuped file!

     

    Keep in mind that if you mod your game, and suddenly discover that you can't get your game working, ES may not be held responible. You might be forced to perform an uninstall, and then install the game again. If you get the message Intialisation Failed, we might help you.

    IN CASE YOU DELETED A FOLDER IN YOUR GAME CORE, OR ANYTHING HORRIBLE THEN: DO NOT PANIC!!!

    We might be able to help you. Once I was moving the game core from one folder to another, and suddenly everything got messed up. Half of the folders were still in C:Program Files/Microsoft Games/Age of Empires3, while the rest where in a folder on my desktop. I got panic, and I ended up having to uninstall windows.
     

     

    Well. The first thing you shoulddo is to read a couple of tutorials, before you do anything.

    Here are some:


    link


    link


    Okay. Now that you've read throughthis, I can start explaining some things:


    1: Your game core.

    Your game core is located in C:Program Files/Microsoft Games/Age of Empires 3

    This is were the data for almosteverything is located. In this folder you will find:

    All unit data.

    All building data.

    Files for the Scenario Editor

    All triggers

    All random maps (bothloading-screens, and the files)

    And so on...


    Usually when modding the mostimportant folders in your game core are:

    Art and Data.


    2: The art folder:


    The art folder is where you willfind:


    All models, graphics andanimations.

    (more info later)


    3: The data folder:


    In the data folder you will findmany files. The most important of them while modding are:

    Proto.xml (Protox.xml for TWC)

    Stringtable(x).xml

    Techtree(x).xml


    In the proto(x) you will find allunit stats. It is specified in this file if a unit is Light, Heavy orwhatever. I.E. You will find hitpoints, build limit, armour, attack,attack bonus and such in this file.


    The stringtable(x) is also a VERYimportant file. If your game is in Italian, this file would be inItalian. In this file you can find the names of every unit, tech,home city, choice, text in the main menu buttons, and anything. Thisis called strings. Take the skirmisher as an example. In the proto(x)you can find all his stats. But there is more in the proto(x). It isalso referred to a “String” in the stringtable(x). There are alsotags that refers to the rollover text, for the unit, and his name.Every string in the stringtable(x) has a number. And you refer tostrings by referring to these numbers. So a string might look like:


    <string_lockID='23654'Skirmisher'</String>


    So a tag in the proto(x) refers tothis string's number. So... where was I...

    Oh, yeah. Take the skirmisher asan example. In the proto(x) it is refered to a string, that containsthe name of the skirmisher (for everything else in the proto(x)too.). Without this string, the name of the skirmisher wouldn't beshowed.

    You guys understand?


    Note that also techs from theTechtree(x).xml refer to a string in the stringtable (I'll just callit stringtable from now on).


    Then I will explain you thetechtree(x):


    In the techtree (I'll call ittechtree) you will find every tech in the game.

    Yes, I mean like Guard Musketeers,Bastion, Imperial Tercios, church techs, and such.

    Also a tech in the techtree refersto a string in the stringtable.


    4: A little break.


    Just a little break from theconstant reading. Now read through this or the tutorials again, orask a question in this thread if there were some things that youdidn't quite understood.


    5: Modding programs:


    Well... You might have readsomething about these programs in the two tutorials I posted above?Yes?, No?

    Anyway there are a few programsyou will need to use to mod:


    AoE3ED: Download here: link


    Explanation:

    This will add two new programs toyour desktop; AoE3ED Archive Viewer and AoE3ED File Converter.

    Let's all cheer and clap forYkkrosh who made this fantastic tool! *Claps*


    -But what does AoE3ED do?


    Oh, silly boy. You should havetaught of that before clapping and cheering.

    But anyway:

    AoE3ED Archive viewer can read.bar files. As far as I know there are:

    5 bar. files for AoE3 vanilla(without any expansion installed)

    8 bar. files for AoE3 The WarChiefs.


    AoE3ED File Converter convertsfiles as: DDT to TGA (TarGA) and opposite, xmb to xml and opposite.


    Notepad: A program that comes withWindows, and most of you have it on your computer. You use thisprogram to edit XML files.


    Any photo editing program. Youwill need a photo editing program if you want to mod. The programwill only need to be able to read TGA (TarGA) files. Examples: Gimp,Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop.





    6: Files you should know:


    -XML: An xml. file can be editedwith Notepad. (Everyone with Windows should have notepad... it comeswith windows.)


    -XMB: Not readable. You convertthem to edit them, and then convert them back.


    -DDT: Not readable. You have toconvert them to TGA to read them, and edit them. Then you can convertthem back.


    TGA (TarGA): Editable file. Youcan convert it to DDT by using AoE3ED File Converter.


    Okay, currently only these, butthere are more.


    7: Another Tutorial:


    link


    Well... I am going to add moreinto this, but not yet.

    Also if some people has anything against modding, then DO NOT post your posts here, as it only would end up in me being irritated.

    Also note that the thread isn't absolutely finished yet.

    Okay... I think you may post now.

     


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  •  10-14-2007, 10:14 AM 586606 in reply to 586603
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    You may now post.... I think... but observe that the thread is not absolutely finished yet. But it will with time. But nothing more will come today. Comments are welcome.

    kjn:

    I'm assuming you have read the above post and have a basic understanding of what you need to do..

    Making minitemen a full time unit..

    With aoe3-ed..Go into data2 file..(For warchiefs)..Hilight the civs file and extract and convert to an .xml file..Open the file in notepad and Scroll down to the civ you want to do this for..You'll need to change the regen rate for this unit..Look for this line..<rate>-0.2</rate> Change to <rate>0</rate>..Save your changes and then place your civs.xml into your programfiles/microsoft games/aoe3/data folder..It's that easy and you now have full time minitemen.

    Regards and enjoy your full time minitemen!

    kjn

    P.S. We all would greatly appreciate,  if this thread could be pinned..Thank you!

     


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  •  10-14-2007, 10:43 AM 586632 in reply to 586606
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    This is great..We now have a place to discus and ask our modding questions..This was something we needed here!

    Thank you and great job!

    kjn

  •  10-14-2007, 10:46 AM 586636 in reply to 586632
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    I hope ES will sticky it...

    (paragon, I'm looking in your direction, now) 


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  •  10-14-2007, 10:59 AM 586641 in reply to 586632
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    I'm assuming you have read the above post and have a basic understanding of what you need to do..

    Making minitemen a full time unit..

    With aoe3-ed..Go into data2 file..(For warchiefs)..Hilight the civs file and extract and convert to an .xml file..Open the file in notepad and Scroll down to the civ you want to do this for..You'll need to change the regen rate for this unit..Look for this line..<rate>-0.2</rate> Change to <rate>0</rate>..Save your changes and then place your civs.xml into your programfiles/microsoft games/aoe3/data folder..It's that easy and you now have full time minitemen.

    Regards and enjoy your full time minitemen!

    kjn

    P.S. We all would greatly appreciate,  if this thread could be pinned..Thank you!

  •  10-14-2007, 11:01 AM 586642 in reply to 586641
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    Cool. I did not know that. I will add it to the second post.

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  •  10-14-2007, 11:07 AM 586645 in reply to 586642
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    I will have more to come!.

    I think you opened a new door in this category..

    Lately..

    This category has been a very quiet place..

    I hope this thread can change that a little!

    Regards!

  •  10-14-2007, 11:13 AM 586650 in reply to 586645
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    @ES: I also added that you can not be held responsible if a person messes up his whole game while modding. We will try to help him here, then.
     


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  •  10-14-2007, 11:17 AM 586655 in reply to 586650
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    As long as the person modding..Saves a copy of the original file, he's modding,  in a safe place before attempting anything..The golden rule of modding.

    He should not have any problems!

  •  10-14-2007, 11:20 AM 586658 in reply to 586636
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    Northern_lord:

    I hope ES will sticky it...

    (paragon, I'm looking in your direction, now) 

    We all are my friend!

    N_l has given us a lot,  with all his hard work he put into this..

    Regards!

  •  10-14-2007, 11:45 AM 586681 in reply to 586658
    sandstorm sandstorm is not online. Last active: 30/03/2010, 4:07 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    i doubt it will be stickied as there is practiacally no people who do mods here.


    My Scenarios (click pic)
  •  10-14-2007, 11:49 AM 586683 in reply to 586681
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.

    But we can hope. And this thread was not made for people who alredy are modding. Just for those who want to learn, and I have seen a couple of them.
     


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  •  10-14-2007, 12:09 PM 586704 in reply to 586683
    kjn kjn is not online. Last active: 09/03/2011, 6:25 PM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    Yes..This can also be a place to share our modding ideas, as well as help if we can.
  •  10-14-2007, 4:17 PM 586876 in reply to 586704
    C730 C730 is not online. Last active: 12-20-2012, 8:55 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    this is really cool...nice job northern lordYes


  •  10-15-2007, 4:43 AM 587227 in reply to 586876
    Northern_lord Northern_lord is not online. Last active: 02/20/2009, 5:17 AM
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    Subject: Re: The Modding Thread.
    Thanks Big Smile

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