This tutorial has also been uploaded to the Downloads section as a PDF file curtesy of Roo Avery.
Modular Station Tutorial By Dragnite
::::Warning modular station creation is extremely time consuming and extremely addictive. I take no responsibility if you become a mod-a-holic because of it::::
Where to start?
Well first you need modular station parts for this we used : Aldabarans modular station kit Courtesy of aldebaran and credits to Freeworlds mod.
With modular station creation the first thing you need to know is what system you're going to place it in and where in the system you want it. This is best found using FLExplorer as its easier to see where vast amounts of space are. I say vast because as you will see from my first modular station they can get a bit on the large side if you get carried away with it.
Once a system and location is found the first part you need to add is the docking point. Everything can be built from this point rather than building a hige structure then realising at the end of it that adding the dock last means it looks out of place.
So you are going to want to look at which dock you want. So open up your freelancer directory and navigate to data/solar/dockable.
Here you will find a list of all the available dockable pieces you can use. the 3db/cmp files can all be opened and view using hardcmp. Please remember that the textures in hardcmp often dont resemble what they look like in the game on hardcmp they are often crappier.
So you've chosen a docking module. You need to take note of the nickname of this piece as you will need it shortly. So lets say you chose cargo_dock_06.cmp for this example.
Navigate to your system folder eg data/universe/systems/ro01/ro01.ini
In the system file scroll right to the bottom. For modular stations i find its best to leave a line space under the last line of coding in the system.ini and then place something similar to this
;===========my modular station===========
This just makes it easier to find your station bits and lets any other modders know what these bits are for so that they dont tamper with them. The semi colon at the start is to tell the game to parse that line.
So the coding you need to add for this piece would be something like this.
nickname = RO02_02 <----nickname for the base
pos = -33451, 0, -28235 <------- position of base piece in X,Z,Y
ids_info = 520023 <------infocard info number
behavior = NOTHING <--------behviour of base, should always be nothing
pilot = pilot_solar_hardest <-----determine how good a shot the turrets are on the base
dock_with = RO02_02_Base <------Base you are docking with
base = RO02_02_Base <-------base nickname
reputation = fc_n_grp <-------Reputation of the base
rotate = 0, 0, 0 <--------Rotation of the modular piece x,z,y
archetype = cargo_dock_06 <-------nickname of the piece you are using
ids_name = 520022 <------infocard name number
loadout = cargo_dock_06 <-------loadout of the base
difficulty_level = 19 <-------in MU this should always be 19
space_costume = li_captain_head, pl_male3_journeyman_body <------what the docking character looks like
voice = pilot_c_leg_m01b <-------voice for the docking character
So as you can see a few lines to add a dockable section but easy enough. adding the other modular parts to this dock is a lot easier as its only 6/7 lines of code as you will see shortly.
As well as adding the above you also need to go to data/systems/universe.ini and add a base entry or flserver will crash when you try to go to test your station. Do note that whatever ids name number you use in the universe.ini you should use the same number on your base as well otherwise they wont link together and the trading window wont show up.
Once the dock is added you can then start to pick and choose what pieces you want to add connecting off of it. Most of them are in the data/solar/misc file but there are also some in the data/solar/dockable file as well.
So for this example lets say you chose to add dock_yard_02. You would then add these 7 lines after leaving a space underneath your dock coding
nickname = Ro02_yard_01
pos = -33450, 200, -28235
rotate = 180, 0, 0
Archetype = dock_yard_02
reputation = fc_n_grp
loadout = dock_yard_02
parent = Ro02_02
Instead of using arrows like i did on the dock section i'll explain each one individually.
Nickname : It's always best to start your nickname with the code for the system in this case its Ro02. The nickname after that can be anything you like. In this case i decided to link it to the part i used. But you may want to name it differently.
Position: This is the position in space where you want the item to appear. Getting this right can be extremely time consuming. The best way i found was to match the postion of the dock part so your actually placing it directly on the same spot then make adjustements from there. The X value will move your module left and right. The Z value will move it up and down off the plane and the Y value will move it forward or backwards. When i first started with positioning i did it in values of 100 until id added a few pieces and gotten used to how far the module would move by doing that. Then as i got more confident i started to do it in larger increments.
After making a change exist your sstem file and save it then start up flserver and have a look to see if the module is where you want it or not and if not go back and make another change ensuring to close flserver before you do.
Rotate: These are also in X,Z,Y values but can be quite a bit of a pain as i noticed some models rotated in different ways to what others would so was difficult to get used to.
Archetype: This is the nickname of the module you want to use. You will find the nicknames of the pieces in the dockable and the misc folders are as they are named in the solarch.ini so you wont have to keep referring back to it
Reputation: This is the faction reputation of the base in my case i have used nomad npc. For faction nicknames you can find them all in the ioncross text files.
Loadout: this is the nickname of the loadout you have made or are going to make. Again this can be any name you like. Not every module needs a loadout because they may not have hardpoints added to them. You can check this with hardcmp.
Parent: This is the important part. This tells the game that this module is connected to the station you have typed here in this case it is ro02_02_base. Without this line these are just seperate pieces and wont be part of the same base.
So moving on with the above you now know hw to make a modular station and can add as many or as few bits as you would like.
One thing to remember is lets say you want to add 8 of the same type of module. for example
nickname = Ro02_pillar_01
pos = -33750, 75, -28235
rotate = 0, 0, 0
Archetype = pillar_03
reputation = fc_n_grp
parent = Ro02_02
If you look at my nickname Ro02_pillar01. For each pillar you add you must change the number at the end. If not what you do is create a duplicate entry and this can cause system crashes.
Other than that this is all you need to know.