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Total War Heaven » Forums » Game Modification & Editor Discussion » A List of Helpful Tools and Tutorials for Modding M2TW
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Topic Subject:A List of Helpful Tools and Tutorials for Modding M2TW
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 14 October 2008 11:21 EDT (US)         
This topic contains a list of links to many helpful tools and guides for modding Medieval II: Total War.

Getting Started

How to Install Medieval II: Total War patch 1.2 and use the unpacker This guide will help you with installing the 1.2 patch for Medieval II: Total War and using the unpacker.

Vista and the VirtualStore Windows Vista sometimes hides unpacked files and modifications in the Virtual Store. This article will tell you how to get them back.

Units

A guide to the export_descr_units.txt file This guide will help you understand the file that contains lots of information for each unit in the game.

How to Make New Units This guide will learn you how to make new units for M2TW.

HOWTO: Make unit cards for M2TW using Milkshape and Photoshop This tutorial will teach you how to make units cards for M2TW using Milkshape and Photoshop.

Buildings

A Guide to the export_descr_buildings.txt file This article will help you understand the basic file for all buildings in M2TW.

The campaign

M2TW AI Modification: An Interactive Essay This guide will tell you how to modify the M2TW campaign AI.

Tools

General

7-Zip This free utility can be used to extract files in the .zip, .rar, and other file formats. This is handy as many mods are only offered in the .rar format, which Windows does not natively support.GraphicsTexture to DDS converter Converts the textures to .dds format, which you can edit with several graphics editors.

Python Required to run the Texture to DDS converter above.

Photoshop CS3 A graphics editor which can be used to edit the .dds files the game uses for unit textures (with the plugin below), as well as every other image in the game.

Paint Shop Pro X2 Another graphics editor which can be used to edit the .dds files the game uses for unit textures (with the plugin), as well as every other image in the game. Includes a 30 day trial version.

Nvidia .dds plugin for Photoshop & Paint Shop Pro X2 This plugin was made for Photoshop, but also works on Paint Shop Pro. It allows those applications to view, edit, and save the .dds files that RTW uses for textures.

The Gimp A free graphics editor, which can be used to edit both .dds files (with the plugin below), and unit cards.

Gimp DDS plugin This plugin allows The Gimp to import and export .dds files.

Modelling

Milkshape 3D Allows you to view and edit models for M2TW.

          Hussarknight

[This message has been edited by Hussarknight (edited 10-17-2008 @ 10:02 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 14 October 2008 11:24 EDT (US)     1 / 10       
This isn't finished yet; if you know of something that could be added let me know. I'm especially keen to get links to software that allows you to edit models and textures, as I don't know which programs are suitable myself. If you know any programs that can be used for this please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

          Hussarknight
SubRosa
Legionary
posted 14 October 2008 12:25 EDT (US)     2 / 10       
This was long overdue for certain Hussarknight. Good idea to make it.

You might also put some of those little things in this topic that you have to do when modding M2TW. Like I think you have to edit your Preferences file and add in a line saying IO=First, or something like that?

I know that you need Milkshape to edit the models. The texture files can be converted to .dds format, and then opened with Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro X2, or The Gimp (if you have the .dds plugin). Primo has links in his article about making unit cards with milkshape.
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 17 October 2008 10:04 EDT (US)     3 / 10       
I've updated the page. I've also changed the layout a bit. Sorry for not updating earlier, RL got a bit busy.


You might also put some of those little things in this topic that you have to do when modding M2TW. Like I think you have to edit your Preferences file and add in a line saying IO=First, or something like that?
That is a good idea. If someone knows exactly what to change to the preferences file please let me know.

          Hussarknight

[This message has been edited by Hussarknight (edited 10-17-2008 @ 10:05 AM).]

dsmi1
Legionary
posted 19 October 2008 19:29 EDT (US)     4 / 10       
I am sure this first one is an easy one for the good modders there.

How you get the years instead of the turns showing on the main screen?

Also this is probably more likely to be a mod but is there anyway to start in a later time period? So you can start straight in the gunpowder age instead of waiting around for it?
el_bandito
Legionary
posted 18 December 2008 22:56 EDT (US)     5 / 10       
Can you include a good recommendation for an installer program for mods? Copy/pasting files can be frustrating for some.

Michael Jackson
sirBoB77
Legionary
posted 25 February 2009 01:29 EDT (US)     6 / 10       
I've been looking around for the past few days, doing some research on how to mod MTW2. I have the technical skills and know how to use programs like 3ds max and photoshop very well. The only problem/thing I have be unable to find yet is how to edit the actual models and (if possible) to redo the animations as well.

If there is a tutorial on this somewhere (i may have missed it but have not seen one) I would much appreciate a link or something (:
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 26 February 2009 04:05 EDT (US)     7 / 10       
To edit models for M2TW you need Milkshape. 3ds max can't handle the files M2TW uses. To assign skins to a unit in RTW you have to edit data\descr_models_battle.txt. I think this applies for M2TW as well, but I'm not entirely sure. Try it out and see if the file's there.

          Hussarknight
sirBoB77
Legionary
posted 26 February 2009 14:18 EDT (US)     8 / 10       
found a link that has a tutorial on how to turn the .mesh files (models) to MS3D...I'll try this and see how far i can muttle through on my own for now, thanks!

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=1283

Edit: another link for a tutorial for doing models

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=118627

Edit: found a forum post somewhere that describes how to make the .mesh convert to MS3D then to 3ds max.

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=142673

[This message has been edited by sirBoB77 (edited 02-26-2009 @ 02:30 PM).]

General Yang
Legionary
posted 15 July 2011 02:17 EDT (US)     9 / 10       
Ok, WTF!!!!
i cant get the bin files to unpack in the text directory in order to edit unit descriptions and names! what gives?
i placed the suggested bin converter files in the text directory, and i keep getting the system cannot find path error, WTF! PLZ RESPOND PPL! IM FURIOUS OVER THIS!

Turns out this isnt all, now evrytime i try to change something in the export descr units file, even if i do change the correct things in the preferences cfg, [io]
file_first true, etc i cant get the exes to work at all! HELPZ PLZ!

Having edited alot of the export_descr unit file in RTW, im wondering, how come its so easy to do in Rome what is nigh impossible to do in MTW2 without a ton of stuff, like i can edit virtually anything about a unit in rome without having to mod the exe or anything like that, anf the game plays perfectly.

Sorry for so many edits, but i finally figured it out....
v1.2 patch is a ballbuster, using 1.3 i can edit evrything proper and put the proper lines in the prefernces and the game starts up just fine evrytime, time for SUPER SCOTLAND!!

Ok, how can i get my new units not to show up in clear form in battle, like have an actual skin, the above tutorial on that doesnt help because apparently i dont have the units_models folder.

[This message has been edited by General Yang (edited 07-15-2011 @ 09:39 PM).]

SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 30 July 2011 07:11 EDT (US)     10 / 10       
As a half-way house, to get your units working and visible but not 'new', you can pick any existing unit and choose the same as that - Hussar Knight's tutorial uses that. If you've unpacked the game do you have any models in any other places? I'm not at my normal computer so I can't check what I got from unpacking.

edit: I've got the full data\unit_models\ folder; the only thing I can think of is that the unpacker (see HussarKnight's tutorial) didn't run properly or was only run for a mod or something.

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 07-30-2011 @ 09:55 AM).]

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