Basics (101) - The Minimum to Get your Custom Race Going
So now you have a game or two under your belt and you want to start using your own theme for a new game and include some of the mods you see on the board and incorporate your own tweaked versions of those mods or other files. Welcome to the club! I would venture to say that almost all experienced players of DW do this and it just got a lot easier with the release of DW: Universe because now we don't have to overwrite the default files to achieve certain changes. I find having my own custom theme folder to be one of the more enjoyable aspects of DW as I want to be able to mix/match my own mods with pieces of others as I see fit. Its one of the reasons I don't like compilations because the more you compile mods into each other, its more difficult to parse out the files/changes you may want to incorporate into your game (as well as more difficult to keep all the separate mods properly updated for patches/game changes).
With each new expansion of DW over the past several years, I have painstakingly transferred my own personal custom race/theme over to each new game and in order to streamline the process, I made a checklist. What follows is a narrated version of that checklist derived from my own recent experiences and walks you through creating a copy of the default Humans called "Spartans" which will be a player-controlled race.
(1) [CREATE A PERSONAL THEME FOLDER] In the root game directory find the folder called \Customization and create your own personal theme folder within it - for this example we will call ours "Spartans v1" so that it should be structured "\Customization\Spartans v1". [side note - I find including a version for my personal theme folders helpful to keep track of what I am doing and experimenting with new mods as well - since its easy to copy the entire theme folder and quickly use the copy to experiment with something without potentially ruining your ability to play save games already started with your theme]
(2) [CREATE THE MINIMUM SUBFOLDERS WE NEED TO AVOID CRASHES] In order to avoid the game crashing, we need to create some subfolders and populate them with the default races. Find the following four folders in the root game directory and copy them IN THEIR ENTIRETY to your new theme folder: "\races" "\Policy" "\characters" and "\designTemplates". These should all be copied to "\Customization\Spartans v1".
(3) [CREATE YOUR NEW CUSTOM RACE] In the newly created "\Customization\Spartans v1\races" folder locate "human.txt" open it and save it in the same directory with a new file name "spartans.txt". This is the key file to making your own custom race modifying attributes, default names for ground units, etc., but for now we are only going to make some minimal changes to ensure it works. Make the following changes:
(A) Go to the "Name" data and change it from "Human" to "Spartans"
(B) Go to the "Picture index" data and change it from 4 to 22
Now save and close the file.
(4) [CREATE YOUR CUSTOM RACE'S POLICY] In the newly created "\Customization\Spartans v1\Policy" folder locate "Human.txt" open it and save it in the same directory with a new file name "spartans.txt". No other changes are required at this time.
(5) [CREATE YOUR CUSTOM RACE'S CHARACTERS] In the newly created "\Customization\Spartans v1\characters" folder locate "human.txt" open it and save it in the same directory with a new file name "spartans.txt". No other changes are required at this time. [side note - this step may be optional from a technical standpoint, but I included it here for 2 reasons, 1 - to ensure future compatibility with possible use as an AI race, and 2 - I always mod this file to create my own RPG-like characters which I will cover later in details]
(6) [MODIFY THE BIAS FILE TO DESCRIBED RELATIONS WITH YOUR CUSTOM RACE] In the root game directory find and copy "raceBiases.txt" to "\Customization\Spartans v1". Open it and make the following changes:
(A) Locate the line that begins "4, Human" now copy it to the bottom immediately after the line for "21, Mechanoid".
(B) On the line you just inserted change "4, Human" to read "22, Spartans". This will make the Spartans view other races similar to the Humans.
(C) Locate the top line that begins "#, Name..."
(D) Add ", 22" at the end that line (this now adds the Spartans to the index)
(E) Now for each line 0 through 22 - add ", 0" at the end of the line to tell all races how they should react to the Spartans. You may tweak this to model humans or any other bias at this point, but the key is to make sure our index is complete and we tell each race how it should feel about the others and encountering itself.
(7) [COPY RACE IMAGES FOR OUR CUSTOM RACE] Now that we designated our custom race as index 22 in step (3) above the game will fail to load if we don't include race images.
(A) Within the folder "Customization\Spartans v1\" create additional folders to form the following structure "\images\units\races".
(B) In the root game directory, locate the folder "\images\units\races" and within that folder the files "race_4.png" and "race_4a.png". Now copy those to your newly created folder in (A) above. Rename them to "race_22.png" and "race_22a.png". (side note - you may use any compatible images here to represent your custom race.)
(8) [COPY TROOP IMAGES FOR OUR CUSTOM RACE] Now that we designated our custom race as index 22 in step (3) above the game will fail to load if we don't also include troop images.
(A) Within the folder "Customization\Spartans v1\images\units" create a new subfolder "troops"
(B) In the root game directory, locate the folder "\images\units\troops" and within that folder copy the 5 files with the "Troop_4....png" name and copy those to your newly created folder in (A) above. Replace the "4" in each of the 5 files with "22".
That's it. You should now be able to start the game, choose your "Spartans v1" theme and start a new game with your custom race "Spartans." While I have tried to be specific with these instructions, this is but a mere first draft - so please let me know if you encounter any difficulties or I left out logical steps in the above.
I plan to expand this in the near future to describe how I incorporate other (optional) parts to my custom race/theme.
< Message edited by Tampa_Gamer -- 6/1/2014 10:33:25 PM >
For those interested, forum thread link to post with a master list of all my DW mods: Link