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New to modding
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Spyron
Powder Monkey
Posts: 2


133 Gold -

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: New to modding Reply with quote

Hey everyone, just made this account because the more I looked into the site the more I liked the idea of modding. At first I just wanted to see if there was a way to change the hair color of a certain Governor's daughter but the more I saw about what people where creating the more I was getting into it! The problem is I am a newbie, my knowledge about that stuff goes as far managing to make a topless daughter thanks to K-BOBS modmaker and thats because the program came with pattern pngs and all I had to do was basically not choose anything for her to wear on top.

So here's my 1st issue, I can't see any dds files in my custom file in ''C:\Program Files (x86)\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Pirates!''. In order for you to know what you are modding you need to know the files you are replacing right? Well in that folder I can only see some flags and some ship sails,nothing else.As for the other folders they have some cursors and sounds.Nothing about menus or characters etc etc.And i changed the windows settings in showing hidden files too.

My 2nd issue I guess comes later.Seeing the potential modding has basically I'd like to mod the entire map,models etc making it feel like a new game but with the same mechanics. But obviously I lack knowledge for that. If I don't know how to see the files for starters how can I know how to edit and implement them.

Any help would be good, thanks!
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fleetp
Rigger
Posts: 1321



9671 Gold -

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Hooked on Pirates.
Many of the data files needed for modding are in compressed files located in the Assets folder. These files are pak0.fpk, pak1.fpk, pak2.fpk and so on thru pak8.fpk. You'll need pakbuild to uncompress the fpk files. You can download the zipped pakbuild file from here. Double Click on MODS on the line that says Home Forum Guide MODS, then scroll down until you see Other. Double click on it and scroll down until you see pakbuild.zio. Click on the floppy disk icon to dwonlaod it.

There doesn't seem to be any logic as to where texture files are placed within the fpk files. For example the dds (texture file) for the beautiful Dutch daughter #1 is in pak5, while the dds (texture file) for the beautiful English daughter #1 is in pak3.

To edit the texture files you'll need a graphics editor program that can work with dds files.

The models are in NIF files (also located in the fpk files). I'd recommend holding off on modding them until after you've made a few texture mods.
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Spyron
Powder Monkey
Posts: 2


133 Gold -

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worked like a charm,a lotta stuff! So what graphics editor would you reccomend? Also is there one to work with both DDS and NIF files or do I have to get diferent for each?

Btw after you are done with modding a file,do you just drop the changed dds into the custom folder or do you have to pack it in the fpk and the replace the entire package in the assets folder? Cause dds files aside I saw in the lang0 folder txt files with names of cities and people etc and I dunno If should do something similar for them or just copy paste in a folder.
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fleetp
Rigger
Posts: 1321



9671 Gold -

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spyron wrote:
Worked like a charm,a lotta stuff! So what graphics editor would you reccomend? Also is there one to work with both DDS and NIF files or do I have to get diferent for each?

Btw after you are done with modding a file,do you just drop the changed dds into the custom folder or do you have to pack it in the fpk and the replace the entire package in the assets folder? Cause dds files aside I saw in the lang0 folder txt files with names of cities and people etc and I dunno If should do something similar for them or just copy paste in a folder.


I haven't had good luck creating my own fpk files, so I just put the modified NIF and dds files back into the custom folder.

You will need separate programs to modify nif files and dds files.
For the dds files, I use GIMP with the NVIDIA dds plug-in.
For modifying NIF files, I've used NIFSkope.
Our member Parksbanyon is our resident expert on modifying NIF files.
Regarding modifying city names, our member pirates is the expert on that.


Last edited by fleetp on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pirate
Boatswain
Posts: 2150



31140 Gold -

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made it easier for me to just dump all the pack0 -8 into one folder so it’s all together when I go digging for something. I keep that outside the game itself just for modding purposes.
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parksbanyon
Gunner
Posts: 520



12320 Gold -

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: modding Reply with quote

I agree GIMP. For nif I use 3ds max but its $$$$! Most people use blender 2.49b with the nifskope plugin. The current version is 2.79b but I'm not aware of a working nifskope plugin.
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AdamMil
Cutthroat
Posts: 278



4559 Gold -

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for modding the whole map, look into Jslangdo's East Indies mod, here on the forum. :-)
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Sir W. Raleigh
Seaman
Posts: 151



4225 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way to address the .dds is to use dxtbmp or other converter to extract the base image, which can then be edited in an image editor then re-converted to .dds format.

If this method is used, be careful to note which textures use an alpha channel and which do not.
To my knowledge, the only ones using alpha channels are those for the "internal" town scenes (e.g. Governor's Mansion, Tavern). For these you'll need to save the alpha from dxtbmp then use same one for the reconversion. It is quite simple to change either or both of those, but it can produce odd results if done improperly.

Feel free to ask, though my knowledge is basic I may be able to help with the mechanical aspects of modding SMP.
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Pirate
Boatswain
Posts: 2150



31140 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ship sails, Flags, Uniforms some of the most popular textures all use alpha channels. Some textures like the fireplace in the tavern or the ballroom have two textures rather than one. One is the actual texture itself and then the one in behind it controls things like giving it a pattern or texture that doesn't look painted on and it controls things like lighting, brightness etc. That's just my two cents worth but once again I'm a idiot so buy me a beer and I will shut up for a couple of minutes or three.
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Sir W. Raleigh
Seaman
Posts: 151



4225 Gold -

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aye, thanks for that correction Pirate.

I was referring to the character files only, and should have been more clear.

As another note, there's no reason to exclude the possibility of introducing some that do, so far as I've determined. For instance, the swords pistols etc. all use alphas in the combat scenes.

To add again to Pirate, the ballroom .nif itself contains two "planes" for the ballroom scene. One is for the room itself, while the other is used to add reflections & etc. (Something Pirate and others know far more about than I, for having made ballroom mods). The reflections plane can be used to produce some interesting effects, again if done carefully.
I had played with a "Starlight Ballroom" concept and had it completed to the point where the floor appeared to be transparent, showing a view of a moon in the distance and the horizon of a large planet to one side (at nearly 30 degrees inclination making clear it was a view from space).

Not quite right for this here port, 'zactly but 'twere a fun experiment.
(Sadly, none of that work survives but I'm likely to be trying it again before long).

My twopeence, fwiw.
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