I intend to add my cobbled modding notes here in the hopes that others with as little gaming/modding time as I have (oh the bygone days of school before work/family...) will not have to waste precious gaming hours repeating my mistakes...
2-22-12 Use the "Change Themes" subroutine to help test your mod. When you are adding elements\testing a them, always exit the game to the main menu and change the theme back to "default" before exiting the program. This way when you restart the game the next time, it will load the defaults (although if you have replaced default files (sounds, ui images, weapon images, etc,) it will load them at this point so you could still error out if you screw up a default file like I have and in that case you will more then likely get a general exception error). Once inside the game, change them theme to the mod you want to test again, now it will load the elements and provide you much more useful information for troubleshooting than just a general exception error. It will actually tell you the line and file it had trouble loading or did not find.
2-22-12 There can only by 41 flags and they must use the same names (0-40) as in the original folder.
2-22-12 If you add a custom race, do not forget to add this file to your theme and modify it to include your custom race not only at the bottom but at the end of each line so that you expand the bias matrix properly.
2-23-12 The name of this file must match the exact name you have given the race in your race file. Seems relatively straight forwarad but watch race names with special characters such as spaces. I have a number of custom races representing various "houses" similar to Dune or Game of Thrones. They all had spaces in the exact name of their house\race and this caused the game to generate random characters instead of the predefined characters I made up. No error was generated because this is working as intended (no file found so generate random characters).
2-23-12 Also, to easily test your characters - set them all to appearance = 0 for now. This way when you load a new game they will appear at once and you can verify the data and images for each character are working as intended.
< Message edited by Tampa_Gamer -- 2/24/2012 3:34:09 AM >