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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods) » Official SDK [Modding]
Topic Subject:Official SDK [Modding]
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-13-06 04:29 PM EDT (US)         
Electronic Arts has just released a pack with modding tools for BFME2 and C&C. From an email:

Hey everyone,

Today I bring you some of the most exciting news I've ever had since becoming Community Manager for our two biggest RTS franchises, Command & Conquer and The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth. As many of you know, the prospect of releasing an official Mod SDK has been one of my personal goals and milestones for this community for a very long time. From gathering feedback at various community summits to many long e-mail chains with modders in the community, it's been an epic and worthwhile adventure bringing this Mod SDK to you today!


Behold! The one RTS Mod SDK to rule them all is here! This Mod SDK contains much more power than meets the eye. For all aspiring 'modders' out there, it will provide you with some extremely useful developer tools to greatly enhance the production of your mod projects for the original The Battle for Middle-earth, The Battle for Middle-earth II, Command & Conquer Generals, and Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour.

The Mod SDK includes:

* 3DS Max 7 Autodesk plug-in (will work with 3DS Max 8)
* W3D Viewer
* Asset Cache Builder
* Extensive Support Documentation for various parts of the 3DS Max plug-in and our W3D viewer
* Tutorials on our in-house art creation processes and rules for
models and maps

Please note that only The Battle for Middle-earth II supports Shader 3.0 which is an exclusive functionality included within the Mod SDK for that game specifically. Also note that all illustrated and technical examples included in the documentation and tutorials are from The Battle for Middle-earth II, but can apply to the other supported games (BFME/C&C Generals/ZH) as well.

We've done extensive research within our modding community and have found the above tools to be the most critical tools necessary for modders of our RTS games right now. On top of World Builder, these tools will greatly enhance modeling production and open the door to new processes within your modding projects and teams.

I also want to pump up our extensive database of World Builder tutorials where you can learn beginner and advanced skills on creating the best multiplayer maps and single player missions you can put your imagination to. Click the link below.

World Builder

Here are a couple of quotes from some of your most well respected modders in our RTS community on the release of this Mod SDK:

"I have to say that out of it, the best part has to be the documentation. Not only is it extremely detailed, but it's handy to have it all in one spot (compared to previously there being only 1 or 2 decent tutorials, all on different websites). Little things, such as the art creation rules are a big help to have. I'm not much of a modeler, but I can tell that the maxscript files will be a huge hit. My mod is still early on in development, but the 3dsmax w3d exporter saves a lot of hassle. I use 3dsmax8, and it worked just fine. I tested for Generals, Zero Hour and Battle for Middle Earth 2 and had no problems.
Before the updated exporter we couldn't export directly from 3dsmax, we had to export as 3ds, load it in gmax, THEN export it as w3d. All in all, not only are the tools a great help but it also gives a big thumbs up to the C&C modding scene. This is all a major sign of support for the community, and it is very much appreciated."

- Smurf Bizkit of

"One very nice benefit so far is the documentation; been reading through all that and learning some good tips. My version of Max (6) is old but it looks like it accepts the W3D export shaders and export tools fine. I like the updated W3D viewer, esp. the lighting adjustments to match what you see in Worldbuilder. I'm still spending time going through this version but it's great to have the documentation too, now it's a lot less mysterious to me."

- spyVspy, Halogen Mod Lead Texture Artist

For me, today marks a major milestone for EALA and our development team's commitment to supporting the community and modding community at large for our RTS games. Unleashing these tools to the community will help create fantastic mod projects, maps, models, and more. Supporting our mod community is very important to us.

Please share this exciting news with your communities. I would appreciate and love to hear any feedback or comments you have on this Mod SDK, the release, the tools, and documentation it contains as well as any tools you would like to see in potential future Mods.



.--.- Kester -.--.
-.--.- deviations .--. flickr .--. gamertag -.--.-
.--.- if (Kester.says("Zen! Get online")) { zen.status("online") } -.--.
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