Moaner To Master: Guide One by Blood Phoenix

Blood Phoenix
Of Hard Core Designs
Presents


Moaner To Master: Guide One

Introduction
Hello, and welcome to the first in a series of Modding guides to get you to improve your technique and to add some new and better talent into Mod Discussion. These guides will start of very basic, and will get more complicated as we go on through each guide. Each guide will help you to create a normal mod. This Guide, Teaches you how to make a very simple Lightsaber colour change as well as the basics of modding. Now I know this is basic, but you don’t go start a conversion project before you know this type of thing. If you have problems email me (commanderroot@aol.com).


Stage 1: The Programs You Need

First of all, you will need the following tools for your belt.

Mod Editor- This Program is the major tool you need, as it allows you to view the frames of .slps. It allows you to do many other things as well. This program was created by Ykkrosh.

DRS/SLP Viewer- This program allows you to extract slps from the .drs files. This is very important, as you cant make a mod without the .slps. This program was created by Ykkrosh.

Mod Installer/Mod Installer Advanced- This program enables you to install your new graphics for the game. If you don’t have this, there isn’t much point putting the effort in to make the unit. This program was created by Ykkrosh and moderator mace.

Slp Listings- This is a listing of what all the numbered slps are. So lets say (this isn’t true) that 2013 is obi wan, it will be stated in the listings. Created by James Martigo

Paint- Or a similar Common graphics editing program. Maybe Photoshop or paint shop pro.

Ocx File- You can find these in the utility’s section. You need these to run all the mod programs by Ykkrosh.

All of these programs can be found in the downloads section under utilities. Don’t continue this guide until you have downloaded these programs.


Stage 2: What We Are Going To Do

There’s not much point us starting if we don’t know what we are going to be doing. In this guide I will help you create a mod of: Obi Wan Kinobi, the royal Naboo version. Change his lightsaber to the colour green. As it was when he picked up Qui Gon Gins lightsaber in the fight against Darth Maul. As this is one of the more useful lightsaber colour changes.

Now, depending at your current modding level. A lightsaber colour change may be simple or may be difficult. But this is the first thing you should do in the modding ladder to get a foot hold. You cant enter modding thinking things like “I’m going to make a conversion straight away and be worshiped like invertix!”. Because, that’s not going to happen on your first post. Sadly I know from experience. Take my word for it. Start small and you will be respected.

Build yourself up to a good standard gradually. A good example is devious (previously know as MaStOr_0_RaZoR). Unlike Invertix, he’s made him self good. And is now most likely going to complete the second ever conversion for SWGB. (Invertix has always been good, that’s why he is not the example ). If you look back at devious and master o razor’s posts, he started of a newbie and is now one of the most talented modders of SWGB. Which one day you could be if you put your mind to it.


Stage 3: How To Work These Odd Programs

Sadly, the mod installer, Drs/Slp viewer and the rest are not the most lets say “user friendly” of tools. When I first loaded the mod editor I was like “what the hell am I meant to do here”. And now I am quite fluent with it. Like most things, it is good when you get used to it. So here is a mini guide on how to extract your Slp from the drs Viewer. And then how to convert it into a slx file for you to be able to edit the frames.

First Of, load up your DRS viewer. At this point the screen should look something like this.

(Your fonts will most likely be different, due to that I have customised my pc.) This is the main interface Screen which is used for many of the modding tools. Ykkrosh I believe was going to make a new, more star wars like interface. But never got round to completing it as far as I am aware. But programmers in the future may do so.

Now, on the top there is ‘file’, ‘extract’ and ‘help’. Do not bother going to ‘help’ as Ykkrosh never got round to making a help section. But really you wont need it. Of these 3 buttons, click the button labelled ‘file’. This drops down a sub menu. ‘Open’ and ‘exit’. Click open. As you can see, the browse feature is the same as on many other programs. Go into where you have installed Lucas arts. Then click on “star wars galactic Battlegrounds saga or just plain star wars galactic battlegrounds depending if you have the expansion pack or not. After this go into ‘game’ and then ‘data’.

Now you can see a few files. These are the DRS files which are the core of SWGB. The one we are needing for this mod is “Graphics.drs”. If you have Clone campaigns, you will se there are the same drs files but with a _x1 on the end. These files are specially for your clone campaigns. But for this mod, still go into the basic graphics.drs.

Now the screen closes and you are left with what you had to start with. Except now you have a bundle of numbers streamed down the side in the smaller column. This is where the Slp listings by James Martigo come in handy. When Lucas arts where making the game, they did not make it so it was simple to make mods. At first, mods were not legal but now Lucas endorse them. (One reason for this is because they would be able to spot talent, possible candidates for Lucas arts.)

So now, load up your Graphics Listings you downloaded and search through for The royal Naboo Obi Wan Kinobi slps. As you will see when you reach it, there are different slps for each action. I.e. there is one slp for walking, one slp for dying, one slp for attacking extra. For this mod we will need the attacking slp. So, you have found the slp. This is now what your screen should look like.

(Before somebody goes “omg! He’s left the slp number there.” I know I have. Well done if you read down to check ). But please, do try and learn how to use the slp listings correctly.

So, Here you are! You know have the slp open in your drs viewer and you can see Obi Wan Kinobi! Well done if you’ve got here with no problems. You’re doing well. But now as you can see, you’re still unable to edit the lightsaber colour. This is slightly more difficult but not to much harder. Go to ‘extract’ and click ‘extract this file’. Chose a directory you want to save it to and save. I would advise to make a new folder, For many reasons. But mainly keeping it neat so you know exactly where everything is. Its also just good organization skills.


Stage 4: Converting To A SLX

So, You’ve got this far. You have tried to open the file but you cant. And you are thinking “all that was pointless, I still cant edit it”. Well, if you are thinking that. You’re wrong. This is where the mod editor comes in. Load the mod editor up. So as you can see, the interface is very similar to the drs viewer’s one. Apart from a few new buttons and drop down menus. Though they don’t look that useful (add and remove), They are maybe the most useful out of it all.

So this is what the screen should look like.

Now, before you can do major work. You have to make a new project. Go to ‘file’ Then ‘new’. Save the project in the same directory as where you saved your slp file. Now, you can see that it is now possible to click the button labelled ‘add’. So what are you waiting for? Add your slp. Now your screen should look like this.

Now Click ‘Convert to SLX’ and hey presto! All of the frames for Obi Wan Kinobi (Naboo) are there in bitmap form for you to edit. In this mod we will only be changing the colour of his lightsaber. We will be changing it from blue to green. As it was when he picked up Qui Gon Gins lightsaber in the fight against Darth Maul. So, you up for it?

Now, this slp (now a slx file) has 100 frames. As you progress in modding you will not need to edit every frame. This will become apparent to you later on when I teach you about 3d modelling, and animation. But for this mod, we will be doing most of our work frame by frame.

In a slp, there are 5 different views of a mod. Front, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, 135 degrees and a back view. The 3 views in the middle are flipped automatically by the game so this saves you doing twice the amount of work you need. For this mod, go and edit ALL frames and all angles. This will total up to be 100 frames. I bet you are thinking “woah! 100 frames! Take a step back mate.” But honestly, no pain no gain! You have to work hard to get good. Nothing comes easy (unless you are some robot clone of invertix ). And really, 100 frames isn’t to much work really. Go try a conversion! (Actually, on second thoughts, don’t). So ill go put the kettle on while you work on these frames. You take sugar?


Stage 5: After The Editing Of The Lightsaber

Well, that was not to hard was it? You have now nearly completed your mod. Before you can compile you will need to do two things.

1.) Go into “display graphics”. Then go into the sub menu named ‘Automation’ then click on generate data. This brings up a little sub menu. Leave the mask and player colour settings alone. Make sure also that the shadow is set to ‘From Graphic’ and is on 0% tolerance. Then click the button labelled ‘Apply to animation’. I’m not quite sure how the data thing works but its just something you have to accept.

2.)You will need to write a read me file for the mod. Create a new notepad and explain about the mod. This is normally a good format to use:

Individual Mod Project
----------------------------

This is a ……. As featured in ……..

Files Included
-----------------
Icons (yes/no)
Sounds (yes/no)
Language Editing (yes/no)
Graphics (yes/no)
Genie Editing (yes/no)

……. Is replace by ……..

For this mod it should look like this:

Individual Mod Project
----------------------------

This is a Light saber colour change for obi wan kinobi (his lightsaber is made green). As featured in The battle against darth maul.

Files Included
-----------------
Icons - no
Sounds - no
Language Editing - no
Graphics - yes
Genie Editing - no

Obi Wan Kinobi (blue Lightsaber) <<< Obi Wan Kinobi (Green Lightsaber)

Add this into the project file the same way as you added the slp. Now all that is left is to name your project, compile it and install it. To name your project Go back to the original Mod editor screen with the items listed down the side. Click on the drop down menu labelled ‘project’ then click Project settings. Name your project whatever you like ‘Obi Wan Kinobi (green Lightsaber)’ or whatever. Then save changes.

Now to compile it into a .mpi file. Go back into the sub menu you were in before, and click on ‘compile as mpi’ and save it where you like. Now all that’s left to do is load up the mod installer and install your mod.!


Stage 6: Well Done!

Well done! You have completed your mod! Go in game and see what it looks like. You can always make adjustments If needed. Well, you’ve done really well. That wasn’t so hard was it? Stay tuned for the second guide. I If you have had some problems, email me at commanderroot@aol.com and ill answer your question.

Contact the author, Blood Phoenix at bp@c-fusion.co.uk.