Articles

The Newbie FAQ to HW2 Modding

This FAQ can also be found here, and the original FAQ here.


1. Where is the best place to go for somebody that has never modded before?
2. I just changed some things but nothing happens when I start my game. Where are the changes I made?
3. How do I add/edit hardpoints using HManager?
4. Where can I find scripting information or tutorials?

5. How do I add new models to the game?

6. How do I make new thumbnails for maps?

7. When I try to run Pipakin's HardPoint Editor with GUI (or his OBJ->HOD Importer), I get the following error message: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application." What's wrong?

8. How do you make it so that a ship has a buildable subsystem?

9. Where do I find all these tools I keep hearing about?

10. What denotes a comment in the LUA script files?

11. Can I use text strings in place of Localization IDs?

12. Why isn't my ship being displayed in the build manager?

13. How do I make the text in the DisplayedName or Description fields bold?

14. How do I add/remove engine trails?

15. How do I change the displayed icon for my new custom ship?

16. What is the NIS folder for?

17. I added "-overidebigfile" (without quotes) to the shortcut, but mods still don't work. What am I doing wrong?

18. I made a new ship but Homeworld 2 keeps crashing on me. What might be wrong?

19. How do I get the "Archive.exe" tool to work from the RDN tools kit?

20. I use the ".xls" sheets and get errors [having to do with directories] when I click the create/update/etc button. How do i fix this?

21. I need an Excel file viewer, and I do not have any versions of MS Office. What alternatives are there?

22. Can somebody please tell me how to make a shortcut to Homeworld 2 with that "-overrideBigFile" command-line switch everybody keeps talking about?

23. How do I unpack the .big files?

24. I just downloaded a persons mod. How do I install it?

25. Why does the game crash during bootup after mapping or modding?

26. How do you decompile files extracted from Homeworld2.big?

27. How do I host websites/mods/images?

28. How do you add the "HW2_ROOT" environmental parameter, required by the RDN Tools and other modding tools, to your OS?

29. Are there any modeling tools available for free?

30. Where can I get Maya 3?

31. Has anyone imported any HW1 ships into HW2?

32. What are the RDN Tools, and where can I find them?

33. I cannot download programs (e.g. the RDN Tools) from the RDN. What gives?

34. How do you register "comdl32.ocx" (needed in order for some VB6 apps to run properly)?

35. Which directory should I extract "English.big" into?

36. Where can I find new maps and mods to download and play?

37. How do you convert Homeworld 2 music to mp3?

38. Where can I find a few tutorials on how to use Maya to import ships into HW2?

39. How can I make localizations for my game type mod, relatively quickly and easily, so that people who don't speak my language can still play my mod?

40. How do I create badges?

41. I upacked the .big file, but the unpacked files just contain a bunch of gibberish. What's wrong?

42. What is LUA, and how do I edit LUA files?

43. I have a question regarding the HOD Importer/Exporter...



Question 1



Q. Where is the best place to go for somebody that has never modded before?

A. Go to the thread, titled The Newbie Guide to HW2 Modding, at the top of the page in Tanis Shipyards.



Question 2



Q. I just changed some things but nothing happens when I start my game. Where are the changes I made?

A. See the above answer.



Question 3



Q. How do I add/edit hardpoints using HManager?

A. See this thread (page 3).



Question 4



Q: Where can I find scripting information or tutorials?

A: Visit the Karos Graveyard.



Question 5



Q. How do I add new models to the game?

A. Wait for Relic, Delphy, Pesimontis, Spooky, Thought, or others to release a tool to do so.



Question 6



Q. How do I make new thumbnails for maps?

A. See this thread. Also read the last section of Malignus's Mapping Tutorial.




Question 7



Q: When I try to run Pipakin's HardPoint Editor with GUI (or his OBJ->HOD Importer), I get the following error message: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application." What's wrong?

A: You need to install Microsoft .NET 1.1 Framework. This is a Windows update, which you can download at http://www.microsoft.com/.





Question 8



Q. How do you make it so that a ship has a buildable subsystem?

A. See this page and this thread.





Question 9



Q. Where do I find all these tools I keep hearing about?

A. Look at the front page of the Karos Graveyard.





Question 10



Q. What denotes a comment in LUA script files?

A. "--" (without quotes) denotes a comment.





Question 11



Q. Can I use text strings in place of Localization IDs?

A: You may. Here's an example:





NewShipType.displayedName = "$1784"



NewShipType.displayedName = "custom displayed name here"



Question 12



Q. Why isn't my ship being displayed in the build manager?

A. The possibilities include:



In "build.lua", you are using a DisplayPriority number that is already in use. Use text-search to find the duplicate entry.

In your ".ship" file, you are using an incorrect BuildFamily and/or DisplayFamily. Look at other ".ship" files of the same class ship (e.g. if the your ship is in the capital class, then look at other capital class ".ship" files to find the correct values). Search for BuildFamily or DisplayFamily.

In "build.lua", ThingToBuild = "x", where "x" should be the same as the filename of your ship. Note: values for "x" can all be in lower case.

Your ".ship" file and ".events" file, as well as the folder containing them, must all have the same name.

You haven't appended "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) to your Homeworld 2 shortcut. See one of the other answers in this FAQ for instructions on how to do this.

You can use the same DisplayPriority for ships in different families. For example, the Hiigaran scout and gunship corvette can both have a DisplayPriority of 1 because they are in different families (fighter and corvette, respectively).

It is research DisplayPriority values that cannot have the same value, except when you have 2 or more levels of research (e.g., armor 1 and armor 2) for the same ship.





Question 13



Q. How do I make the text in the DisplayedName or Description fields bold?

A. Like this:





NewShipType.Description = "Bold Text Normal text"



Question 14



Q. How do I add/remove engine trails?

A. Ok, so we are still working on adding them (it doesn't always work). But, to remove trails, go to the "*.ship" or "*.miss" file and find the line setEngineTrail(). You can either delete it or comment it out. Missiles still have trails, sometimes, when viewed from a distance, however.





Question 15



Q. How do I change the displayed icon for my new custom ship?

A. Look in "shipicons.lua" and add an entry for your new ship.





Question 16



Q. What is the NIS folder for?

A. NIS stands for Non-Interactive Sequence. These are much like the cinematics, but use the Homeworld2 engine instead of DivX (much like the first campaign level, when the Core is being connected with the Mothership).





Question 17



Q. I added "-overidebigfile" (without quotes) to the shortcut, but mods still don't work. What am I doing wrong?

A. The command line is case-sensative and should be written:





-overrideBigFile



Also remember that override is spelled with two "r"s.



Question 18



Q. I made a new ship but Homeworld 2 keeps crashing on me. What might be wrong?

A. There are a number of things that could be wrong:



Check and make sure that your new ship has the following in its directory: a ".ship" file, an ".event" file, and a ".hod" file with the exact same name as the folder (unless you are using a shared file).

Run the game with the "-luaTrace" command-line switch (without quotes) and check your "hw2.log" file. You can find it in the "...\bin\release" directory. When Homeworld 2 crashes, check and see what error messeges appear within this file. It might help you out a great deal.

Check and make sure that everything you have in your ".ship" and ".event" files really exist. Make sure that nothing is pointing to an object that does not exist. Also, double-check for spelling errors.

If all else fails, and you still cannot work out what is going on, ask in the forums.





Question 19



Q. How do I get that damned "Archive.exe" tool to work from the RDN tools kit?

A. Read Jpaugh78's Big File Creator Tutorial.

Note: use ModPackager (link) instead.





Question 20



Q. I use the ".xls" sheets and get errors [having to do with directories] when I click the create/update/etc. button. How do i fix this?

A. This is because the tools assume that you have followed their installation instructions to the letter and have done everything in the readme file. Therefore, the entire directory structure should, technically, exist. But if it doesn't, simply look at where the file is (for the "shiptunning.lua" it will be "...\Data\ship"). This gives you the exact location you need to create in your "Homeworld2" root folder. So, for the ship-tuning sheet, you will need to make a folder named "ship" in your "...\Homeworld2\Data" folder. For a subsystems folder, you have to create a folder called "subsystem"; and, for a weapons folder, you have to make a folder called "weapon", etc.).





Question 21



Q: I need an Excel file viewer, and I do not have any versions of MS Office. What alternatives are there?

A: Here's some links to where you can find an Excel file viewer:



http://www.google.com/search?&q=excel%20viewer

http://office.microsoft.com/downloa...0/xlviewer.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...&displaylang=EN



Note: you will not be able to edit/create any excel files, but you will be able to view them, print them, etc.





Question 22



Q. Can somebody please tell me how to make a shortcut to Homeworld 2 with that "-overrideBigFile" command-line switch everybody keeps talking about?

A. Go to the directory where you installed Homeworld 2; then go to the "...\bin\release\" folder. Find the file called "homeworld2.exe"



Example:






"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe "



Right-click on this file and select Create Shortcut from the drop-down menu.

After you do this there should be a new icon at the end of the list called "homeworld2.exe". Right-click on that icon and select Cut from the menu.

Now, close all the windows you opened and right-click on any open space on your desktop. Select Paste from the drop-down menu. Now, you should have an icon on your desktop that says "Homeworld2.exe".

Right-click on this icon again and click on Properties from the drop-down menu. Find the target line, which should look something like this (with quotes):





"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe "



At the end of this line add a space and then "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes). So, in the end your target line will look like this:





"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe " -overrideBigFile



Finally, click on the OK button.





Question 23



Q. How do I unpack the .big files?

A. Use one of these Big Utilities.

After you unpack the files, you will need to decompile them. See Question 26.





Question 24



Q. I just downloaded a persons mod. How do I install it?



If the mod is not packed into a single ".big" file:



A. Before copying any files, write down or remember the names of the folders. If you have a problem with the mod, you'll have to be able to remove these folders.

First, take all of the person's modded data and place it in the "Data" folder in your Homeworld 2 root directory. If you installed Homeworld 2 into the normal installation directory, it would be located here:





"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\data"



If you don't have a shortcut to Homeworld 2 on your desktop, make a new shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop somewhere and then selecting New > Shortcut from the drop-down menu. Click on the Browse button and point it to the directory where you installed Homeworld 2. Open up the "bin" folder, then open the "release" folder. Find the file called "homeworld2.exe" and select it by left-clicking once and clicking the OK button. The path should look something like this:





"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe "



Then, click the Next button and type in whatever you want this shortcut to be called. Click Finish.



Next, make a 2nd copy of your Homeworld 2 desktop shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut you just made. Go to Properties, then the target line, and put "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) at the end of it. When you are done your target line will look something like this:





"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe " -overrideBigFile



Note: you have to type in a space before you type in "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes).

Now, simply start Homeworld 2 with the new shortcut. The changes should have taken effect.





If the mod is packed into a single ".big" file:



A. Copy the ".big" file into your "...\Homeworld2\Data" folder. You should not use the "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) switch, but rather, just use the "-mod .big" (without quotes) switch. Replace with the name of the ".big" file.

For further details, see this thread.





If the mod is packed into a single ".big" or ".grm1" file and the mod is a Game Rule mod:



A. Copy the ".big" or ".grm1" file into your "...\Homeworld2\Bin\Gamerules" folder. You don't have to use the "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) switch or the "-mod .big" (without quotes) switch. The mod will make itself available when you select the Game Type in a Multiplayer or Player vs CPU match.





Question 25



Q. Why does the game crash during startup after mapping or modding?

A. During startup the game checks for files. If one or more particular files in the modification (say, for example, a ".level" file) has heavy syntactical errors, the game quits on startup.



Things you can do to bring it back:



Undo changes to the files you edited. If it still sucks, or you don't remember the lines, delete the files.

If you still could not find the error (sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees), delete the folders under "...\data" (except the "Animatics" folder) and re-extract evillejedi's Fully Decompiled 1.1 Data.zip into the folder (bad thing).

Remove the "-overrideBigfile" (without quotes) from the Shortcut (extremly bad!).

Use the "-luatrace" (without quotes) command-line switch. It enables an error log, called "hw2.log", that describes the errors in more detail.





Question 26



Q. How do you decompile files extracted from Homeworld2.big?

A. Spooky's Big Extractor (link) can do this automatically. Otherwise, use LuaDC.





Question 27



Q. How do I host websites/mods/images?

A. If you have the resources, you can host your own website straight from your computer. CJB has a dandy IP updater free of charge so whenever your IP changes, you just update your account thru their program and the address gets linked to your computer. They also offer free URL redirection with some nice features! Whatever hosting service you chosse you might look into these guys:



Geocities has it's good points, but not too good.

Tripod is also kinda good.

Then there's Angelfire. This one is used a lot. But make sure you don't just start a site to host images.

www.x-plane.org offers excellent service, but keep your bandwidth usage and filesizes low. This is a flight simulator site. Non-related accounts are subject to deletion. Always good to let the admin there know when you're hosting non-related material.

Stormx1213 has also offered to host mods. See this thread.





Question 28



Q. How do you add the "HW2_ROOT" environmental parameter, required by the RDN Tools and other modding tools, to your OS?

A. See this thread.





Question 29



Q. Are there any modeling tools available for free?

A. See this thread.





Question 30



Q. Where can I get Maya 3?

A. See this thread.





Question 31



Q. Has anyone imported any HW1 ships into HW2?

A. See this thread.





Question 32



Q. What are the RDN Tools, and where can I find them?

A. Go to this page.





Question 33



Q. I cannot download programs from the RDN. What gives?

A. Disable any download accelerators, use IE 6, and you should be fine.





Question 34



Q. How do you register "comdl32.ocx" (needed in order for some VB6 apps to run properly)?

A. From the Start menu choose run... then type "cmd".

Go the the "system32" directory you copied the OCX file to and type:





regsvr32 MSCOMCTL.OCX



If the file successfully registers a dialog box will appear telling you so... - Spooky





Question 35



Q. Which directory should I extract "English.big" into?

A. "English.big" files go in your "data\locale\english" folder.

And, yes, the "-overrideBigFile" switch will work for that, too. - ZuiljiN





Question 36



Q. Where can I find new maps and mods to download and play?

A. For starters, you can check out this page.





Question 37



Q. How do you convert Homeworld 2 music to mp3?

A. See this page.





Question 38



Q. Where can I find tutorials on how to use Maya to import ships into HW2?

A. Evillejedi and Rob's tutorials can both be found on RelicNews. Both cover a lot of information on how to mod-in ships using Maya. Rob covers Maya 3.0 exclusivly with full video. Evilljedi covers Maya 5.0 and will work generally in Maya 3.0.

Rob's tutorial

evillejedi's tutorial #1

evillejedi's tutorial #2

evillejedi's tutorial #3

Also see this page.





Question 39



Q. How can I make localizations for my game type mod, relatively quickly and easily, so that people who don't speak my language can still play my mod?

A. See the addendum in the big archive thread here.

Note: using a native speaker as translator may be better than using an online service (such as the one I used here). I'm told the grammar is occasionally weird on sites like this. - IcePirate





Question 40



Q. How do I create badges?

A. See this page.





Question 41

Q. I upacked the .big file, but the unpacked files just contain a bunch of gibberish. What's wrong?

A. After you unpack the files, you will need to decompile them. See Question 26.





Question 42

Q. What is LUA, and how do I edit LUA files?

A. See this thread.



Question 43

Q. I have a question regarding the HOD Importer/Exporter...

A. See this thread.







Homdax September 26 2005 23393 reads 0 comments 0 ratings Print

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