Rapture asked me if i could give her an introduction to modding, so after writing a couple of paragraphs, i thought bugger it, its gonna end up a full blown guide - i may as well make it one.
This is as simple to use, straight forward step-by-step as i could make it. If there's anything that needs adding/understood, lemme know and ill add it to the guide
Ahem, *clears throat*...Exen'Dar's Hastily Written, Probably Grammatically Incorrect, Crash-Course to Basic Modding!Introduction
Okay, so most people think modding is tough because they think they arent "techy" enough or think it involves something worse like writing code - it doesnt. At its easiest, its as simple as renaming a file on your computer to something else.
I want my imperial hat turned into a mandalorian helmet? I find the mandalorian helmet file, "Armor_mando_helmet.sat" rename it to the imperial hat "hat_imp_10.sat" and Voila! My hat looks like a mandalorian helmet ingame!
Only for advanced users who want to *really* fiddle with the minutest detail does it get even slightly tough, but im not going to focus on that.
First of all however, the limits need to be told...What you can and what you CANT do...
Everything in the game can be changed technically, but modding makes the distinction of only changing what *you* can see, not what others can see. And this is the very reason there is one type of file you can never hope to change.INTERIORS
Everything is changable. The sky, the ground textures, all the objects, weapons, ships, and buildings you see around you. Everything BUT interiors. You can change the objects -inside- of them, and even the textures, but you'll never swap the interiors themselves or move them or place them somewhere else...ever.
The reason is because the server needs to know where your character is, and wont let you go anywhere you are not supposed to be. So when you enter a 4ft by 4ft room modded to be a giant hall, the game server will know you are not supposed to be there, and before you even think you might get away with it - you wont. Because the game server checks your interiors when you load and when one doesnt match up? You just crash.
Better modders have tried and failed to see places like the ISD bridge, or put the YT1700 cockpit on a planet. It doesnt work, never will, and this is the last ill speak of it.
.pob files are your enemy, hate them, fear them, but respect they are there to stop hackers and hacking.
But everything else, -that- is your playground!Starting Out
To rename files and change them to what you want, first of course you need to be able to *read* the gamefiles.
Most modders will only ever need one tool... SwgExplorer.http://mods.mandalorians.de/system/infusions/pro_download_panel/download.php?catid=4
At its most basic, it reads the decryption the game files are stored in and allows you to see the names of all the files for each item, object, ship, building, species,texture, and particle effect in the game.
The installation is a bit crappy, but ill show you where to look and after that you'll be away!
Download the file, and install to a place of your choosing.
The guy who made it didnt put a directory in the start menu or a desktop launcher icon.
So just open up Windows Explorer, find where you installed it, follow the picture below to the exe folder, and inside is SWG Explorer.SWG Explorer
Its a basic simple tool. Very simple to use. There's only a few options to choose from when you load it, and only 1 you're most likely to use.
LOAD is what we want. It opens the gamefiles.NEVER....EVER....IN THE DEPTHS OF HELL.... -EVER-
press "LOAD ALL" Because as the name implies, it tries to open and read *every* single file in SWG. And that, even with the most powerful computer on the market, would take an hour, maybe more. On a normal computer? Turn it off now, it'll be suppertime before it finishes.
"RESET" is just to blank the list of files you are looking at. "View an Extracted File" is, along with "use testcenter" not worth the time for what we're doing.
So we hit "LOAD" and we're given options of what to load.
Now, to cut a long story short. When the NGE hit, SoE changed the way they stored files, what you currently see is all the old encrypted "Datafile" gamefiles and their directories, and for maximum user friendly modding, we want to ignore them and use the current stuff SoE uses.
So hit the "Files of Type" section as seen in the picture below, and select "SWG TOC Files"....
Below you will now see that ALL of the entire games files have been fitted neatly down into just *4* files. Much easier than trawling through 80+ directories for what you want...
sku0_client.toc contains the bulk of stuff in SWG. Its the longest to load, but you'll use this most.
sku1, sku2, and sku3 contain the bulk of files for the expansion packs, Space, Kash, and Must, tho not necessarily in that order.
Feel free to load and browse them as you wish.
As you see above, there's a good few folders once you open up a TOC file, the sound is for...well, sound. Textures for textures. Clienteffect, sample, and shader you'll hopefully never want to touch.
"Appearance" is where everything that "appears" in SWG is stored.
This is what you'll be delving through the most.The Basic File Types
Its very simple if you bare with me, when looking at these files, to tell what does what. And it is important to know for when you swap files....
- .APT ANYthing named .apt is a *stationary* non-moving, un-animated object. Like a rock, or a ship, or a mug. Something that didnt require the devs to animate.
- .SAT Sat files are just the opposite, they are everything that needs movement. From your basic human, to a droideka, to a piece of armor that goes on your arm or head. Basically creatures, armor, weapons or other miscellanious stuff that for one reason or another... moves.
- .POB I told you already! Dont mention nor think of this, they are interior layouts... you aint ever gonna change them so dont even dream of "thm_stardestroyer_s01.pob" and getting a look inside at the bridge. It -will- -never- -happen-.
It's very important to know the first two, because you -cannot- directly swap a .SAT file with an .APT file, not without a lot of advanced stuff. And this aint an advanced guide!...
So for now, just know the limitations. If it moves, and its a .sat, it'll only swap with another .sat file. Same for .apt's.A Demonstration...
To walk you through a mod, ill show a step by step process to keep it simple.
- First, find something you think is cool that you'd like to see ingame, placed wherever you want...
Here as you see, ive picked the Avatar Space Platform (what!?, i like BIG!)
- When you click the "SAVE" button, it'll then extract this file from the game (dont worry, not removing it, just copying it) and save it wherever you want.
To make life simpler and easier on yourself, create a folder "Mods" where you can plonk these files, otherwise life will get confusing.
So ive saved "spacestation_avatar_platform.apt" to my mods folder. Now i want it to take the place of something already ingame...
Scrolling down, (and from experience testing stuff out) I know that "poi_r2_powerdown.apt" is a Storyteller Prop of a powered down R2 unit. This is cool, because it means i can place it virtually wherever i want!
You dont have to extract this file, you only really need the name. But i usually keep a subfolder of item files with the names of the objects i want to change things to, so i dont have to keep scrolling through SWGExplorer looking for them.---------IMPORTANT-----------
- Now is the important part, go to where you extracted "spacestation_avatar_platform.apt" and simply change its filename to "poi_r2_powerdown.apt"
**This is now the avatar space platform in a file labelled as the R2 unit.**
The most important thing here is to know where to place it in the StarWarsGalaxies folder.
You see, everything is encrypted, so the normal game folders the game accesses cant be seen. But by using SWG Explorer, you have now seen them.
Remember opening this, to find those files in the first place?
Well thats what you need to create in your ProgramFiles/StarWarsGalaxies directory, a NEW folder called "Appearance"
(eg. ProgramFiles/StarWarsGalaxies/appearance )
- So go into the SWG directory and right click, and click "create new folder" and name it "appearance"
...and because the game prefers to read unencrypted files over encrypted files, it'll access this folder first, and read that over the normal directories first... Allowing modding to be possible.
After creating "appearance" in your SWG directory folder, simply copy and paste the renamed file you made "poi_r2_powerdown.apt" into this new folder, and hey presto!...
Go into SWG, find a storyteller, buy a powered down R2 unit, run out into the wilds, plonk it down and BANG! The avatar space platform! (although remember , you'll be inside of it and will need to run out to see it properly)Leftovers
TO mod other stuff, like textures, do just the same, except instead of creating an "appearance" folder in the SWG directory, create "texture" if what you alter is in a category even further into the file structure, you'll have to create that too (like "Appearance" then "Object" and place the file in that)
But for most needs, appearance will do the job.
To view and alter textures, you'll need to convert or find a program that reads and saves .DDS picture files. For which google is your friend!
That's the basics of modding. And once you try it once or twice, you can hardly believe you thought it would be difficult.
The galaxy is your oyster, so go swap its file name with something cooler today! Personally i think a Jawa would be better...
*goes off to mod an oyster to a jawa*
Hmm, i didnt like that mod. How about pod-racing Jawas instead?
(yes, this is a real mod i did, a jawa podracing on tatooine)
For More - (Advanced or just other guides on modding)http://mods.mandalorians.de/system/forum/viewforum.php?forum_id=19