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Cybernaught

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Friday, May 27th 2011, 1:22am

New to Modding FL. Couple of Questions...

Hi there,

I have never done any modding with FL before, and would like to begin by asking for a list of "must have" editors/tools and tutorial guides. After that, any "nice to have" stuff anyone wants to recommend would be great too. Since I am new to all this, the more user friendly the tools etc. the better.

Thanks! :grin:

Cybernaught

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Cybernaught" (May 27th 2011, 1:22am)


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Friday, May 27th 2011, 8:36am

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Friday, May 27th 2011, 9:34pm

Thanks OP, but the problem I'm having is that there are so many choices in that list! Are they all essential? I was hoping for a condensed list of the best tools/guides so I can get up to speed quickly. Since my original posting, I've found the tutorial forum and I'm looking in there to learn what I can.

It might be a good idea however to create a "sticky" thread here in the Modding Tools forum that includes the kind of list I am asking for (with hyperlinks to the files themselves and related tutorials?) so that newbs like me won't have to bother anyone to get started. Just a thought.

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Saturday, May 28th 2011, 7:46am

since I dont know what you want to do exactly I can not advice the tools for it
"modding" is a very large area

I just hoped the descriptions of the downloads would help you to pick what you are looking for
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Tuesday, June 21st 2011, 4:52pm

A good 'programmer grade' multi document tab text editor... I use NoteTab Lite, but there are plenty to choose from.

One of the 'unofficial' FL patches, many people use 1.3, or 1.4, I use the 1.4 advanced, these patches fix certain bugs in the xml ini files left unfixed when official work on the game stopped, AND, some of them convert the binary ini files to plain text ini's so you can read the existing code and see what you need and or want to alter.

FL Mod Manager, you need this to install your mod for testing , uninstall it so you can fix the bugs, package it so you can share with others. 3 main versions, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 beta, most people use the 1.3 or 1.4. Personally I'd recommend the 1.5 beta, has some new features that make your mod script a little more compact and easier to code (and debug), and rumor says there MAY be a new version someday, and that will probably be more like 1.5 than 1.3.

Modding FL sooner or later, involves setting up ships, and that means, regardless of where those ship meshes come from (recycled vanilla ships, old custom ships or brand new made em yourself meshes) that you will need to edit hardpoints, so a copy of HardCMP is essential.

It's also a good idea to have the FLModelCloner and the FLModelTool, for cloning an existing mesh as a new ship (so it wont conflict with the original, and for resizing/recentering ship meshes, or resizing an existing sur file for a new ship, assuming you havnt got custom surs.

FLID is essential for setting up things like info cards for ships and equipment, get the empty dll as well.

FLThorn for extracting thn files and converting them into editable lua scripts for things like custom intro animations, or cutscenes, or just messing around with station bars

Also useful is a UTF editor, get version 2, its better. You use this to do stuff like add animations to cmp files (cargo bay doors, recoil on gun barrels etc, and for editing mat files, extracting and replacing texture maps, setting 'glow' effects for windows etc.

Thats a basic setup

You might also want to add, later, a system editor, a faction editor, an ale editor (custom engine effects for example), or start dabbling with flhook.

Those are more advanced topics, for a first start in fl modding get the basic set, and work with vanilla models, or stock custom models. Download a few of the small to medium sized mods and take a stroll through the code to see what they are doing and how, read the forums etc, keep it simple, start with a SP mod, so you can test stuff out, see what changing stuff does, either in a story game, or open sp.
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