Advanced Modding Guide by Wok

Part 1

Part 2

So, you know how the mod editor works. You’ve made some simple mods for your own enjoyment. Want to go that bit further? Want to make mods like the professionals? You’ve come to the right place. This guide teaches you how to make expert style mods quickly and efficiently. It teaches you some of the shortcuts and secrets that the experts use. It will take you one step higher, on your way to becoming an expert at modding.

NOTE == Press CTRL + F to find a specific word in this article instead of listening to my incoherant babbling

Part 1: What are your goals?

Once again, before you can start improving the quality of your mods, you need to know what you want to do. There are several methods that the “mod masters” use to make their mods better. These include language.dll editing, player colours, sounds, etc. The use of all of these effects will make a clean, professional mod to rival the experts with. Here’s a short description of what each of these features does:

Language.dll Editing: In case you didn’t know, the language.dll file (located un your SWGB>Game folder) contains almost all of the language and text used in the game.

From names of units, to interface help menus, to the random player names that the computer picks when you play RM. It’s all in there. And it can all be changed. Some examples of mods that change the language.dll are the SOTE Mod (By TVS), and the B-Wing/Landed Millennium Falcon Mod (JamesMartigo).

Player Colours: Player colours are a more simple aspect of making your mods better. They use the same mask format as translucent shadows and transparent backgrounds, but have a different effect. They are an area of colour that will be the same colour as your team. For example, if you are red, the area of player colour will be red. If you are orange, the area of player colour will be orange.

Sounds: Modding sounds for a unit changes what they say when you click on them, what they say when they die, what they say when you tell them to attack, etc. Changing sounds is a pain because there is no sounds.drs list, and many of the characters in the game sound similar.

Part 2: Doing The Cool Stuff

Now that you have a good idea of what each of these features are, you’ll want to know how to do them.

Language.dll: Language editing is very easy if you have the correct tools. You can use Hex Workshop, but ,Resource Hacker is a much better option. Once you download resource hacker, open it and open “language.dll” or “language_x1.dll” (language_x1 is the clone campaigns version, for republic and confederacy units, and anything else in the expansion).

Once you have done that, you need to find the string you want to change (in case you didn’t know, a string is a word or a sentence). The obvious thing to start doing is slowly working your way through each file section until you find what you’re looking for. Fortunately, we can skip all that with “ctrl+F”. Quite simply, on the main language.dll screen inside resource hacker, hold down ctrl and F, and type in the string you are trying to find. Press enter and it will take you straight to it.

Simple. Now, you just need to edit the string, and press “compile script”. You have now made the language.dll, but it isn’t doing anything. If you want it for personal use only, then you can just paste it over your existing language.dll file (backup first). If you want to use it in an .mpi, just click “add” in the bottom left corner. Keep in mind that if you edit the language.dll in a mod, changed names from other mods will be removed. Sometimes you shouldn’t change that language.dll for that reason. If, for some reason, your language.dll is screwed, or you have a foreign version of the game, you can download an english language.dll here Courtesy of Cerrabore.

Player Colours: Player colours are a quick, simple way to make your mods professional. You do them in the same way as a normal mask. If you can’t remember what a mask is, see the “mask Overview” in the beginner’s guide. The default mask for player colour is blue (well, for me it is. I might have changed it though. I can’t remember, so check). Simply colour the area that you want to be a player colour in blue. If you load your image/slx into the mod editor, and go to the SLX Edit screen, you can see the button to turn player colours on/off. Remember to keep it on. Press “Generate Data” and the player colour areas of your image should turn green on your data bitmap. If they haven’t then you’ve either forgotten to check the player colours box, or your tolerance is screwed. Tolerance is that little slider bar next to the player colour check box. It basically selects how much player colour we are going to let through. If you put it on 0, there will be no player colour. If you put it on 100, then it will create spots of player colour all over the data bitmap. The best tolerance level is 42%. Put it on 42, and it should be fine. If it isn’t, play around a little more. If you are editing a hero unit, or something else that can only be found in the editor, then it might not be necessary to include player colours. In my opinion though, it looks nice and is still worth it.

Sounds: Sounds are very similar to graphics when modding. The only difference is that you don’t have to make hundreds of frames. To do it, you need to load your sound into the editor (with the “add” button), and select which sound it overwrites. Simple. However, modding sounds can be extremely tedious, because you have to go through the sounds.drs by hand, and find the sound to replace. This can take a very long time. There is no way around this that I know of.

Well, I hope that guide has stretched your knowledge and understanding a little bit further. If you read it, I wish you the very best of luck in your modding career, and I look forward to downloading any mods by you in the future.



Contact the author, Wok at walk_the_wok@hotmail.com.