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I'd Like to Mod.

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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 12th, 2009, 9:31 pm

I'd Like to Mod.

Hi, new here. I'd like to learn to mod. Could I get the programs I need to do this from someone? Does anyone have some small modding exercises they can put me through to keep me progressing? Thanks for your reply(s) in advance.
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TassadarZeratul

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Post September 13th, 2009, 5:24 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Go to staredit.net and look at their tutorial "How to write a StarCraft Mod 3". It will teach you the basics, and the community here will help you with more advanced stuff like plugins.

Once you've done that, get the mod "Inordinate Celerity" by Killer_Kow (aka Debardus aka Symmetry aka Kuddly_Kitten). Look at it and try to recreate it. This should be a good introduction to modding.

As for programs, I'd recommend PyMS by poiuy_qwert. PyDAT has a few issues, so you should get DatEdit as well.

Also, welcome! It's always nice to see a new face.
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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 13th, 2009, 9:17 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

SEN comes up with a 403 forbidden error.

Edit: I have obtained the programs from CampaignCreations.com.
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Hercanic

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Post September 13th, 2009, 10:56 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Welcome to our forum! Always great to see a new face!

On our wiki: Voyager's Basic Modding Tutorial

Editing Starcraft will demand a lot of creative problem-solving to overcome its limitations. Learning to mod Starcraft can be a little intimidating, but if you hang in there and persevere, you'll find it bears its own unique rewards. Two important things to understand about Starcraft modding:

  1. A single unit is made up of a web of connecting files. To make an original unit requires editing of multiple file types. DAT files contain stats and file pointers. Iscript.bin contains animations. TBL files contain text, like unit names and button hotkeys. GRP files contain the actual graphics, be they units, wireframes, or button images. PCX files contain background images, like in briefing rooms and win/loss screens. LO* (LOF, LOG, LOB, LOS, etc) files control overlay positioning, such as for turrets, fire/blood on buildings, shields, the green squirt from a Hydralisk's attack, etc.

    Sadly, not everything in Starcraft is contained within easily-editable external files. Some things are called "hardcoded" because they are programmed within the EXE. Examples of hardcoded things are how fast shields and health regenerate, what building and units you start a match with, the splash range and duration of some spells, the list goes on and on. Buttons and requirements (like how a Factory requires a Barracks first) are also hardcoded. We are able to edit buttons and requirements thanks to memory patching. When Starcraft is loaded, data from the EXE is loaded into your RAM memory. While in memory, we can edit offsets without ever changing the EXE itself. The result is a temporary change while a mod is loaded that gives us custom buttons and unique tech trees.

    In addition, we can now edit many other previously-unchangeable hardcoded things, thanks to the "EXE Edits" of FireGraft. With EXE Edits, we can alter shield and health regeneration, what buildings and units a match starts with, and much more. Not every offset has been discovered, though, as each EXE Edit requires reverse-engineering, so there are still a number of limitations.

    The newest form of modding on the scene nowadays is what are called Plugins. These Plugins work with the memory patcher FireGraft to hook in custom code. The ability to introduce our own code basically blows away all limitations, if you're skilled enough at programming and reverse-engineering. The possibilities are endless.


  2. Starcraft modding is the art of replacement. This game was never intended to be modded, and changing it is fraught with obstacles. Adding entirely new DAT entries is tricky, and best avoided by someone new to modding. Instead, most all modders replace existing entries. If you want to add on to the existing Starcraft gameplay, it is advised that you use many of the unused units, buildings, and weapons. If you want to create an entirely new game, then all entries are open for editing.

    When deciding what units to replace, two facts should be kept in mind. Although we can make our own custom AI scripts, we can only control the macro AI. Micro AI, such as when a unit should use a spell, is hardcoded and how to edit it is unknown. Thus, an AI using a custom unit will not use its spells if the unit did not originally have those spells. Heroes do not count, though, as the AI never uses spells on hero units for some reason. So, if you want a unit that uses Optical Flare, and you need your custom AI to use the spell, then you must replace the Medic with that unit.

    The second limitation to bear in mind when deciding what to replace are upgrades and unit-specific traits. Weapon and armor upgrades are associated in Weapons.dat and Units.dat, respectively, but all other types of upgrades are unit-specific. Upgrades like sight and weapon range, movement and attack speed, and energy, these are all hardcoded to only affect the unit ID they were intended for. We hope to eventually break this limitation, but at present if you want your custom unit to have a range upgrade, you'll need to replace the Marine, Goliath, Dragoon, or Hydralisk. The other side of this limitation are unit traits like hanger space on Reavers and Carriers, the unique hanger space Vultures have for Spider Mines, the unit-transition of Siege Mode, larva production on the Hatchery/Lair/Hive, these are all hardcoded and even with Plugins are incredibly difficult to mess with. Thus, if you want a unit that can make subunit projectiles like the Reaver, you'll need to replace either the Reaver or its hero (Warbringer).

Before planning out any large-scale project, be sure to invest plenty of time making simple test mods until you get the hang of Starcraft modding. Test out the ideas you have first before relying on them in your design. You don't want to build up a whole game concept around an idea that turns out to not be feasible or within your means to do. With test mods, who knows, you might discover an idea you like so much that you expand it into its own mod. That's how my mod, STF, got started. =o)
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Debardus

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Joined: June 8th, 2009, 5:35 am

Post September 14th, 2009, 5:19 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

TassadarZeratul wrote:Once you've done that, get the mod "Inordinate Celerity" by Killer_Kow (aka Debardus aka Symmetry aka Kuddly_Kitten). Look at it and try to recreate it. This should be a good introduction to modding.


I feel that this single line totally undermines the hours of iscript experimentation I did for the first unit alone :P
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IskatuMesk

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Post September 14th, 2009, 5:24 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

It's astounding how people always fail to mention this despite all the work put into it.
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Hercanic

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Post September 14th, 2009, 7:54 am

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Sadly, you're right, I did forget. Though more of a momentary thing. You ought to add that to the wiki, Iskatu, under tutorials.
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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 14th, 2009, 2:42 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Thanks for the replies.

@HErcanic: Is "Voyager's Basic Modding Tutorial" where you want me to start?

Also I have downloaded Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5. When I get into more advanced modding abilities will I be able to create and import my models (a custom marine model) using this tool?

Edit: OK, so I've started this Voyager tutorial, and I'm at the part where I'm first opening up WinMPQ. So I select 'open' on the bar that has all of the buttons and click WinMPQ just like it says. The error I get is "Does not contain and MPQ Archive". Any suggestion as to what I've done wrong? I've tried a few different ways so far to see if I was doing it wrong.

I've tried the way it says on the wiki.
I'ved tried creating a new WinMPQ and then adding the unit.dat to it, but that causes a runtime error and shuts the program down.

I'm flabbergasted at my abilities to suck so quickly.
Last edited by Caleb on September 14th, 2009, 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hercanic

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Post September 14th, 2009, 4:13 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

First, at the bottom of all your posts is a button labeled "Edit". When you've just posted a minute or an hour ago and want to add more, use the Edit button instead of double/triple posting.

Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5? Where was this recommended? It is a 3D modeling program. You could use it to make 3D models for custom graphics, but it is not a Starcraft-specific modding tool.

"Open" in WinMPQ is to open an existing MPQ file. If you start up WinMPQ, select the Open button, and then try to open the WinMPQ.exe, it will give you an error because the program itself is not an MPQ. The MPQ format is basically Blizzard's custom *.zip or *.rar archive. You wouldn't try to open WinRAR with WinRAR.

The tutorial asks you to click New, not Open. When you click New, you will be prompted to name your new archive and to decide where to store it. Once saved, you click Add, which will open a dialogue window to find and select the files you wish to put inside the MPQ archive.
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TassadarZeratul

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Post September 14th, 2009, 4:16 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

@HErcanic: Is "Voyager's Basic Modding Tutorial" where you want me to start?

It's a good starting place.

Also I have downloaded Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5. When I get into more advanced modding abilities will I be able to create and import my own mods using this tool?

Never heard of this tool. What does it do?

Edit: OK, so I've started this Voyager tutorial, and I'm at the part where I'm first opening up WinMPQ. So I select 'open' on the bar that has all of the buttons and click WinMPQ just like it says. The error I get is "Does not contain and MPQ Archive". Any suggestion as to what I've done wrong? I've tried a few different ways so far to see if I was doing it wrong.

I have no clue why this happens, but you could just use PyMPQ. :P
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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 14th, 2009, 6:21 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Could anyone tell me what could cause the [list] file in the WinMPQ to be 40% instead of 54%?
I had it at -54% and step one finished, so I thought I should do it over just to have a better grasp of things, and now it's turning out as 40% instead.
My unit statistics seem to be the exact same as the pictures, and under the advanced tab I have the same things check marked.
I have enabled shields also.
I am still loading it through MPQDraft the same way I did originally.


@Hercanic: You were right, I didn't read that very well. I saved it and it worked once, and now I've got this woozy. I'll also try to edit my posts from now on.
Edit: @Tass : I have downloaded that pym thing, I just wanted to try this one by using what it recommended.
Thanks in advance to who/e helps me.

Edit: @Tass : In datedit? Where you change the statistic settings of the marine for part one of the tutorial; you save it as units.dat, weapons.dat.
I got step one done earlier, but when I got to step two to add the weapons.dat, I clicked add and it wouldn't show up on the winmpq file. Did I have to create a seperate MPQ for that arr\weapons.dat? I might have overlooked that, but I'm back to stage one so ignore what I'm saying about stage two ha. Eurg I'm babbling.
I think the missing 14% is why it's not working when I load SC. everything just loads as normal.
Last edited by Caleb on September 14th, 2009, 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TassadarZeratul

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Post September 14th, 2009, 6:28 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

My unit statistics seem to be the exact same as the pictures, and under the advanced tab I have the same things check marked.
I have enabled shields also.

I do not understand this part of your post.
Image
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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 15th, 2009, 5:50 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

I don't know if you noticed or not, so I just decided to make a separate post for this. I did an update on the post above yours; no clue if you missed that or not.
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AngelSpirit

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Post September 15th, 2009, 7:09 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Caleb wrote:I clicked add and it wouldn't show up on the winmpq file.


That happens when the MPQ file is already in use. Close DatEdit, StarCraft, and any other modding tools if they are open, then try again.
SUP.
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poiuy qwert

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Post September 15th, 2009, 7:56 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

AngelSpirit wrote:
Caleb wrote:I clicked add and it wouldn't show up on the winmpq file.


That happens when the MPQ file is already in use. Close DatEdit, StarCraft, and any other modding tools if they are open, then try again.

Note: No program in PyMS will hog the MPQ like DatEdit, StarCraft, or WinMPQ.
This was generated by a program of mine that had a bug. I thought it was pretty crazy.
Image
BroodWarAI.com (Forums) | PyMS (Forums) | LocUnlock
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Caleb

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Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 16th, 2009, 3:05 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Ty @ AngelSpirit.

@ poiuy qwert : Are you saying that PyMS has includes everything that I'm using, but all in one? And it auto updates without me having to restart everything like Angel mentioned above? Thanks for your response in advance.
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Hercanic

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Post September 16th, 2009, 7:03 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

On PyMS, yes, though it doesn't auto-update. It will simply tell you when a newer version is available.
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Caleb

Posts: 7

Joined: September 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm

Post September 16th, 2009, 7:36 pm

Re: I'd Like to Mod.

Mk, so I'll use PyMs instead of those other programs. Thanks.

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