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Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods)
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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods) » Resources/FAQ [Modding]
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Topic Subject:Resources/FAQ [Modding]
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Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-21-06 04:27 PM EDT (US)         
ModdingResources

»Mod Help
As BFME2 continues to expand, the need for a help thread becomes essential. All modification questions would be best asked in here. These questions can be anything to do with the game, not just good old graphics. As questions continue to get asked, I'll make a mini database of them as an FAQ for quick reading.

Before you ask the same question I've heard time and time again which is, "how do I mod?", try using some of the tools and see if you can get the jist of it. There is a list of useful tutorials below to try out. If you have any links to tutorials or guides related to BFME2 modding, please give me a shout in here, and I'll get them up straight away!

»Mod FAQ

How can I edit reload time on special powers?
head into the relevant summoned.ini file and press ctrl+f. type in "lifetime" and keep pressing the enter key untill you get down to some numbers. Change these numbers to what you like.

Is it possible to change the distance a camera can zoom in/out?
Yes, and very easily also. Boot up gamedata.ini which is located in ini.big. However some people belive that in some campaigns/scenarios that another value takes priority. Currently I don't know the truth on this, but I'm looking into it.

What types of files can you expect to find when you're modding?
The main file type you encounter is .BIG. These are the compression files. The other main types you will come across are W3D (model files), INI (Configuration files) and TGA (Texture files).

What does .ini stand for?
.ini files are initialization files. It is a configuration file that contains data for Microsoft Windows applications.

What can be modified in the game graphically speaking? (i.e. skins, animations, models, effects, etc.)
We can currently edit the majority of the files. It is possible to import models and edit textures (this includes terrain textures), so a great deal is possible.

What's the poly (polygon) count for the average unit in the game?
Each unit has an individual standard poly count. However for standard units (pikemen, archers, etc.) you can probably expect around the 500 poly mark. For bigger units, the poly count is obviously going to increase. Your best bet is to import the model you want to edit, and check its count. Really there's no particular limit, however the game does struggle to handle lots of very large poly counts.

Can someone with a mod installed play someone else who doesn't have it?
You can play all mods online. If the mod involves code you and the other player will both need to have it installed. If it's a graphical mod (texture or model), the other player does not need to have it installed, however he will see the unit differently than you.

What does the BIG format stand for?
BIG files are specific to EA - they use it to hold their mod files: .big file description.

How do we open the .BIG files and how does the extractor work to allow you to see the contents?
You can extract the .BIG files using a program such as FinalBIG. A guide for doing this can be found here.

Where can I find a tutorial on editing BSE files?
An excellent tutorial which teaches about editing the BSE files can be found here! This generally covers creating a new faction, however it does teach the concepts you require.

"Making a new unit" means you're replacing an existing one? If yes, is there any known way to add a new unit?
You can add new models to the game, however this does require code modifications. An easier option is to replace model files already in existence.

Can you place a unit on top of a horse?
It is possible. However, I'm not totally sure on how to do it as I've not done it myself before. However, I would suspect you would need new animation and positioning model files, which at present we cannot edit. Also you would need to edit code, which could get nasty with online play. However, if you're more of an off-liner, it's well worth it.

What file format does BFME2 use for its models?
FME2 uses W3D file formats. There are various importers/exporters located in the modding resources thread. A prime tool for new modders would be Gmax, as you can edit the models in it and it's free. You can find gmax here.

W3D formats? As in .w3d or as in .wings files?
w3d files. However, I would suspect you will be able to find an importer for wings.

What image format does BFMEII use for textures?
BFME2 uses a TGA file format for images most often. The textures can be located in the texture.BIG files.

Does it UV map properly when in use of higher-resolution textures?
UV mapping works fine for higher res textures. Also, most heroes have 512x512 pixels textures anyway, so there shouldn't be a problem.

What are regular texture sizes for standard units?
128 or 256, it varies. For war trolls etc it can be 512 or higher.

How do you add new abilities to units?
Basically you need several things make up a new ability, you need a ability timer, upgrade level trigger, new command button, the command button in the unit's command set, weapon itself, and the add modules to the object, and the FX and FX list. Some abilities cannot be easily switched as they involve special animations.

Regarding the future of modding with BFME2: Is it worth getting started in modding?
Getting started with BFME2 modding is well worth it. There's going to be such a long list of possibilities and options eventually, I would suspect it's going to become one of the top games to mod. I suspect in the near future we can expect some total conversion projects to boot up, as well as lots of new units. My advice would be to get stuck in now, and reap the rewards later on .

»Mod Central

BFME2 Specific Tutorials
Mini Guide Series: The .BIG Files
Mini Guide Series: CSF Files
Mini Guide Series: Installing Mods - The three roads
Mini Guide Series: Importing Models - 3D Studio Max
The -Mod Command

LOTR Skinning Tutorials
Texturing A Gondorian Shield
Clothe - Introduction and Leather | Part 2
Scale Mail

BFME2(/1) Tools
BIG Editor
CSF Editor
Asset Builder 2.0
Gil-Galad's Particle System Editor
Note: I have not tested all these tools yet with BFME2, however I have been informed they work.

Viewers/Plugins
Photoshop DDS Plugin
Windows TGA Viewer
RenX - Gmax Model Plugin
ChilliSkinner - Gmax Skinning Plugin
W3D Gmax/3dsMax Importer Plugin
XnView Image Viewer

Useful Free Graphical Tools
Paint.Net (2D)
GIMP (2D)
Gmax (3D)
Wings (3D)

Recommended Costly Graphical Tools
Studio Max 8 (3D)
Maya (3D)
Photoshop (2D)
Paint Shop Pro (2D)

»Finishing Off
Any contributions are welcome to thread, and will help us greatly. If you find anything useful or interesting, don't hesitate to tell us .


B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004

[This message has been edited by BP (edited 12-12-2006 @ 03:51 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
filmdirector2
Dúnadan
posted 03-21-06 04:56 PM EDT (US)     1 / 89       
Nice thread, stickied.

We're in the process of creating a design FAQ.

Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-21-06 04:59 PM EDT (US)     2 / 89       
Thankyou greatly FD2, very much appreciated! Also thats good news, I'll make sure to include some references here when it comes out . Sadly this thread is a little low on content currently, so I'd really appreciate all help to booster it .

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
filmdirector2
Dúnadan
posted 03-21-06 05:02 PM EDT (US)     3 / 89       
I'm more of a designer not a modder - but I think the first section should be geared to people who won't even know what modding is, how to start modding, the dangers of modding, and start getting more advanced towards the bottom.
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-21-06 05:06 PM EDT (US)     4 / 89       
Sounds like some neat ideas, however the idea of this topic is to give an overview. As we get more guides etc released, it should allow newer forummers to quickly bring it up, and they will be away. At least, thats the idea :P.

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Bendak
Dúnadan
posted 03-22-06 01:35 AM EDT (US)     5 / 89       
Congrats BP

This will be most helpful.


B e n d e r s . . . © 2004

ex SWGBH scn designer
ex BFME2H cherub
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-22-06 03:16 PM EDT (US)     6 / 89       
Cheers for the topic title change guys, greatly appreciated .

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Kester
Seraph Emeritus
posted 03-22-06 04:36 PM EDT (US)     7 / 89       
This is great, Blood Phoenix

.-•°•-.-• Kester •-.-•°•-.
•-.-•°•-.-• deviations .-•°•-. flickr .-•°•-. gamertag •-.-•°•-.-•
.-•°•-.-• if (Kester.says("Zen! Get online")) { zen.status("online") } •-.-•°•-.
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-24-06 06:09 PM EDT (US)     8 / 89       
Outgoing request: I'd really like to know about some projects the members of the heaven are working on. If anyones working on a project, please get in contact with me via MSN on: nick-pellant@hardcoredesigns.co.uk, and I'll put a feature about it in the main post .

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Darth Bandon
Dúnadan
posted 03-25-06 02:19 PM EDT (US)     9 / 89       
Great work Phoenix.
Congrats to your sticky!


:| Darth Bandon |:
:| Free Lance |:
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-25-06 02:31 PM EDT (US)     10 / 89       
Thanks everyone for your comments . I've updated the main thread with some LOTR specific skinning tutorials, to help you on your way with texture work .

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
lordbodin99
Dúnadan
posted 03-26-06 08:45 AM EDT (US)     11 / 89       
Cool, another sticky for BP!
Thanks for the 3DsMax plugin, and what does the CSF Editor do?

====:[ BODiN ]:====
====:[ Space Commander|Core Conquest ]:====
====:[ EAW DEMO Modding Guide for Newbies ]:====
Bendak
Dúnadan
posted 03-26-06 09:04 AM EDT (US)     12 / 89       
BP is sticky-crazied .

B e n d e r s . . . © 2004

ex SWGBH scn designer
ex BFME2H cherub
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-26-06 10:18 AM EDT (US)     13 / 89       
Cheers guys! And Lord Bodin in response to your question, I've now released my guide on the CSF files and how to edit them, make sure to check out my mini guide thread here for the info!

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Darth Persia
Banned
posted 03-26-06 12:43 PM EDT (US)     14 / 89       
Congrats BP, this is a most Excellent sticky.
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-26-06 12:50 PM EDT (US)     15 / 89       
Cheers Persia! If anyone has anything at all to add, plugins, tutorials, links, post them in here and I'll get them up right away!

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Revan
GreenFan PAO 13
(id: LOrd_REvan)
posted 03-26-06 04:35 PM EDT (US)     16 / 89       
Yep it's a superb guide !
It's nice to have one of the best swgb modders here at bfme2h ! By the way , should we expect any mod from you BP ?


-- Revan--


u called down the thunder...
...now reap the whirlwind !
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-27-06 04:22 AM EDT (US)     17 / 89       
I think you can hope for something rather soon Revan, if everything goes to plan . Are you planning on working on any World Builder scenarios? It'd be great to see some from you!

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Revan
GreenFan PAO 13
(id: LOrd_REvan)
posted 03-27-06 08:03 AM EDT (US)     18 / 89       

Quote:

Are you planning on working on any World Builder scenarios?

Actually I have already started designing something.But now I am most trying to practise with the scripts and triggers.



-- Revan--


u called down the thunder...
...now reap the whirlwind !
Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-27-06 10:48 AM EDT (US)     19 / 89       
Yeah I understand its quite difficult to get the hang of, but once you have you don't forget. I really can't wait to see something from one of our top SCN Designers at SWGBH .

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
Bendak
Dúnadan
posted 03-27-06 11:13 AM EDT (US)     20 / 89       
Seems I gotta restart RS then (or something like that) .

BP, we need to discuss this.


B e n d e r s . . . © 2004

ex SWGBH scn designer
ex BFME2H cherub
Nebb
Banned
posted 03-27-06 11:30 AM EDT (US)     21 / 89       
Bendak, This does need to be discussed.
Revan
GreenFan PAO 13
(id: LOrd_REvan)
posted 03-27-06 11:55 AM EDT (US)     22 / 89       

Quote:

Seems I gotta restart RS then (or something like that)

"Expand" Raven Studios is the right word.
And I may design for bfme2 but my main project is still the swgb TSL



-- Revan--


u called down the thunder...
...now reap the whirlwind !

[This message has been edited by Revan (edited 03-27-2006 @ 12:00 PM).]

Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-27-06 12:31 PM EDT (US)     23 / 89       
I should be online for the rest of the evening Bendak, its good to hear that we'll have our first design group for BFME2 coming soon!

B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004
lordbodin99
Dúnadan
posted 03-29-06 12:06 PM EDT (US)     24 / 89       
Hey, BP, can you add this?

P.S. you should make a new category for this one. Like "World Editor Tutorials"


====:[ BODiN ]:====
====:[ Space Commander|Core Conquest ]:====
====:[ EAW DEMO Modding Guide for Newbies ]:====
Pulkit
Dúnadan
posted 03-29-06 12:43 PM EDT (US)     25 / 89       
We should make a proper World Builder FAQ, where as people ask questions, they are answered and added to the topic post in the continually expanding FAQ.

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
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