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There are currently 59 users playing Freelancer on 42 servers.
October. 29, 2020

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Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Basically the question above. Do I need to know C++? Or something fancy like that? It's everything done with a .txt editor?
How do you make the mod so that it can be used even by other players?

In short words, a lot of questions.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 20:19
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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First of all: Welcome to TSP!

Second: Depends on what kind of mod do you want to make? A small one with new systems, ships and weapons, or a major project with new features, new server commands and so? To make basic modifications all you need is knowledge with ini files and xml scripts.

To make your mod "useable even by other players" (don't make it sound too big) all you need is to zip it, upload it to a storage domain (MegaUpload for example) and share the link!

Other questions are welcome.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 20:29
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Thansk for the reply, I appreciate it.

Well, I want to start modding, but it's really hard for me to know even from where to start.

I wanted to create a sort of new universe, partially influenced by the Mass Effect franchise. I hope you know that game, if not, you should consider the idea of playing it.

On a second note, isn't there a basic guide to get yourself started?


Also, I've heard that when modded, Freelancer crashes very often, is that true? What if I make a mod and then the game keeps crashing. Maybe it's only my doubt, I don't know.


As for other things, I've heard that people converted the engine of Freelancer to use DX9 instead of DX8. Is it possible to convert it to DX10?


This should be all for now, thanks for your time.

Centurion
- From the Discovery Gaming Community

Posted on: 2011/4/11 20:53
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Wooh, you pissed me off... A little help here? Anybody?

You should start learning inis and practice on making small mods. Until you get to New Universe's level it may take some time, since I can see you have no experience in modding at all.

About Mass Effect: Try to find one person in the world who doesn't know about it!

The crashes youre talking about are probably crashes caused by an invalid code and so. If you check youre code and sure everything is fine, youre mod won't cause a crash.
If youre talking about the crash caused by using FLMM (Freelancer Mod Manager) - when you install a mod, uninstall it and try to launch the game but it crashes - there is no solution I know of.

About the DX Freelancer uses, thats right - Freeworlds: Tides of War's dev team managed to make Freelancer's graphic engine use DX9, and if this is possible, it will be possible to upgrade it to DX11 some day.

I hope it helped, its all I can provide you.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 21:11
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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http://the-starport.net/modules/media ... dex.php/Main_Page#Modding

Some other tuts might be around in the forums archieve.

"As for other things, I've heard that people converted the engine of Freelancer to use DX9 instead of DX8. Is it possible to convert it to DX10? "

"Freeworlds: Tides of War" dev team did a convert to DX9, but it isn't public yet (only after the mod release), but I doubt a convert to DX10 will follow so soon.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 21:18
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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DX8 and DX9 are relatively close to each other, but DX10 is a major retooling, so I doubt you'll see that happen.

Plus, there are very few reasons to want DX10 over DX9. Most of the advancements are things that FL couldn't benefit from without rebuilding the graphics pipeline from the ground up.

Also, FL is very stable if well modded. It'll crash if the mod is poorly made (bad definitions, bad encounters, etc.), but that's the case for just about any game out there. Make a buggy product and you'll get a buggy release!

Posted on: 2011/4/11 21:23
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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You'll only need C/C++ if you want to make FLHook plugins (I think someone made a plugin that allowed you to code plugins in perl a while back) or want to do client hooking.

DX10 only if you apply the concept of infinite monkey theorem.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 21:51
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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If you are planning on doing the whole thing yourself (a daunting task), I'd recommend starting with System editing. Perhaps create a very small system, with 1 planet and 1 gate / jump hole. This will start you getting familiar with FL's directories, Infocards, and IDS names / numbers, etc.

There are a few ways to approach this:
1) With a Visual tool like FL Explorer. It can cause errors, but does give you a taste of what you're dealing with. Plus it'll help you learn the coordinate system FL systems use. Don't mess with Encounters for a while, they can really biff your mod if done wrong.

2) Pure INI editing -you'll need a tool to Un-BINI all the INI files, since they're encrypted and compressed - or use the Freelancer SDK from the downloads section. To start, familiarize yourself with what each type of entry contains, which files they're in, and which files reference each other.

3) GUI INI editing, with a tool like FLDev, where it guides you a bit by organizing IDS editing and such on different tabs. Also helps that it can create new IDS Name and Info entries to use in your inis.

Why start with System creation? Even if you only want to add ships, you will need to know which inis define their loadouts / market equipment, engine appearance, market price and location, and ship spec info.
Creating a system usually involves including a base which sells stuff, so you'll dig encounter the market here, specifically the Ship Dealer. This leads to looking up Ship packages, which leads to ship info defining what equipment should be mounted/able, which also leads to Engine appearance, which can later lead you into CRC for effect names when creating new engine and gun effects. So you'll be digging through FL's directories all over quite a bit, and memorizing in the process ^.^

There should be a modder's starter pack lying around here, I know there's a post on it for sure. That should have many of the tools included, just be sure to check the Downloads section for updated progs. Anyways, this will just scratch the surface, but it's a good foundation. Then you can move on to building ship models and custom textures, creating ALE effects, new Market icons, Faction editing, Formations, Patrols, Base scripting, Mission Creation (for Single Player), Tips, Bribes, News, Wrecks, Hidden systems, on and on and ooooon.
The community has unearthed quite a bit, but there are still things which remain elusive. Digital Anvil -the Devs- have passed away thanks to MS, and the code remains closed, so there is plenty left to figure out, but what is possible right now is enough to provide months or years of fun. And certainly months of learning how to mod. Don't get discouraged when something breaks; odds are it's happened to many others before, so search the forums and use google's site search if that fails. EX: in the search field type your search items, followed by site:http://the-starport.net/freelancer/forum/

Once you start seeing your blood sweat and tears show up in the game, it's all worthwhile!

Posted on: 2011/4/11 22:40
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Lets say that I want all the systems gone, so no more New York or New Berlin or yet again Tokyo or London. How can I do that to have a 'clean and empty' universe in which I can test stuff? What do I need to delete (or modify)?

And can someone make me a brief list of what I need (in matter of tools) ?

Posted on: 2011/4/11 22:51
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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There was a TC beginner's pak at www.freelanceruniverse.com (.org, .net?) somewhere.

Posted on: 2011/4/11 23:52
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Quote:

Centurion_ wrote:
Lets say that I want all the systems gone, so no more New York or New Berlin or yet again Tokyo or London. How can I do that to have a 'clean and empty' universe in which I can test stuff? What do I need to delete (or modify)?

And can someone make me a brief list of what I need (in matter of tools) ?


You have to learn to walk, before you run...

Simply put, yes, people could give specific instructions to get rid of all systems, but this won't achieve anything. You won't have a CLUE about Freelancer, modding, or anything else. Your mod will crash, and you'll give up fast.

Trying a full on TC from the start features the whole gamut of Freelancer modding...lets try an analogy.

It's like thinking you'd like to start Rock Climbing, so you start by attempting Everest - without any knowledge or equipment.

You should start at the equivalent of a 2m high climbing wall. Your goal is to achieve a TC, but start with learning the basics first.

Have you even opened an ini file yet? I'd advise something simple, like trying to alter the fire rate/dmg of a starfliers guns (using Open SP) and playing around to see what happens. Then the engine speed, cruise speed, cruise start time, shield regen rate, shield capacity etc - and on various ships, so buying a patriot that comes with different equipment than it should etc.

This can be expanded, change the liberty police weapons, change liberty rogue weapons and so on.

If you've not got the patience to try these steps, then being both honest and blunt, forget modding Freelancer.

Posted on: 2011/4/12 0:05
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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I did this actually.

Like changing the engine effect of an Osiris with the Nomad Battleship engine effect.

Or aswell for the ALE. effect of the main gun of a Bretonian Gunboat, using the nice red effect of a Gallic Trebuchet.


Yet again, I made myself a personal version of Discovery, using custom starspheres and effects that Firekiss made for Plasmafire.


And yes, I did tried to change the weapons refire, weapon damage/stats, and other stuff.


I'm currently stuck to comprehend on how to hitbox a ship, to avoid that I'll pass through a station.


Posted on: 2011/4/12 0:15
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Posted on: 2011/4/12 0:51
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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Quote:

Centurion_ wrote:
Lets say that I want all the systems gone, so no more New York or New Berlin or yet again Tokyo or London. How can I do that to have a 'clean and empty' universe in which I can test stuff? What do I need to delete (or modify)?

And can someone make me a brief list of what I need (in matter of tools) ?


Total Conversion Mod Starter Pack right on the front page.

http://freelancercommunity.net/

Posted on: 2011/4/12 4:36
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Re: Is it hard to mod? What basic knowledge do you need to have?
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I can give you another hint:
First start with modding systems, ships and maybe weapons.
This are the basic thing to understand how inis work and if you make any mistake in these files the game may survive it.

NPC modding is one of the hardest things because a small mistake anywhere can crash your game even if the NPC has no spawn in your system where you are!

Posted on: 2011/4/12 6:05
How to create .SUR files - Tutorial
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