Section 2 : Modifying Stock Gameplay
I was going to do something that required a few more steps but the whole idea of this tutorial is just to take you through the process in the easiest way I know how.
So I'm going to help walk you through a basic weapons mod. Modifying the reaction and other attributes of weapons is probably the easiest mod to do simply because it usually requires the least amount of editing/effort.
We've decided that we are going to mod the default values of a few stock weapons. Once you get used to browsing all the files you extracted in the first section, you should get a feel for where things are located. Same thing goes for the scripting structure you will see as you open many of the files. Its just a matter of constantly looking at everything. Eventually it will make more and more sense. It took me a while to not see things as a big jumbled file of letters and numbers. Now I look at this stuff and I can easily navigate most of it.
So first, lets find out where the weapon settings are stored. When you open your "CoD2 Extracted
" folder, you should notice a folder called "weapons
". That is a pretty good clue that we should look in that folder. However, as you gain experience, you will find that not everything will be as easy or you may forget to include files that might also need editing to achieve your desired effect.
Inside the weapons folder, you should see two other folders, "mp
" and "sp
". This is easy enough as one stands for multiplayer and the other stands for singleplayer. If you open up the "mp
" folder, you will see a file for each of the multiplayer weapons.
Of course, I already knew were the weapon settings were stored so the above section was pretty simple. When you start building your own mods, you will have to use your text editor to open some of these files and browse them to see if there are references to other files. You will be able to figure out many things if you use common sense aswell. For instance, if you wanted to introduce your own custom weapon, you would have to think about what the other weapons require. Assume you will need to have a skin in the image folder, a sound in the sound folder, your custom weapon setting file in the weapons/mp folder, modify the weapon selection menu to display your new weapon and a few other things depending on what you are making.
A very good thing to use as a tutorial is to go download a mod, use the extraction procedure in section 1 and see what folders and files were used. Never steal anyone's work and if you need to use a bunch of it, try contacting the author if possible or at least give them credit.
We now know where the files are that we need to edit so we can put our mod template together. This next step was one that messed me up and is important for preserving the directory structure.
when the game looks for a file, it uses it's built in path. So if your playing multiplayer and pick the thompson for your weapon, the game will look for the settings of that weapon in the default location: /weapons/mp/thompson_mp
If you just made your edits to those files, used your archive software to pack them up while preserving the structure, it will save as something like this: /CoD2 Extracted/weapons/mp/thompson_mp
The game won't detect that and your mod will go unnoticed by the game. The way I got around this was to put all the folders and files I needed, directly on my C: drive. I suggest making the folders your mod requires and then copy the files you need to edit over to those folders.
So make a folder called "weapons
". Inside that folder, make one called "mp
". Open up the "mp" folder and copy the thompson_mp
Now we have a template on our C: drive with the files required for editing. In this mod, were just going to modify the thompson so we only have to edit one file. Open up the thompson_mp file in your mod template folder with your text editor and take a look at the chaos.
I know it looks like a big mess, but just slow down and browse through some of it. You will notice things in there that you will recognize. Every aspect of how the thompson looks and performs is controlled through this file. If you wanted to get crazy, you could open up a different weapon and copy/paste different settings from other weapons and have the thompson firing like a bolt or shotgun. You could have the shotgun firing like the thompson. For this mod, I'm just going to browse through and change a few things at random like the clip size, max ammo, and reload times. There are a ton of options and I suggest to slowly make changes and see what the effect is instead of just wildly changing things that you don't know about. Changing clip size and max ammo is just a small change that can easily be tested by yourself in game. Some of your creations will require a buddy to help test things.
Alright, after browsing, I found the entry for clipsize, maxammo and reload. I just changed the default values and I am ready to see if it works as intended.
Since I only had to create one folder on our C: Drive, I can right click on that folder and choose "add to zip
" from my context menu.
In winzip, I am then presented with a new window for naming the file and set any attributes. I suggest starting the name of your mod with a "Z
" as the game tends to recognize and load files that start with a "Z
" better for some reason. You want to type the extension for it aswell which is ".iwd
" . You also want to make sure that you preserve the file structure. I can't stress preserving the structure enough as it seems to be the number one problem as to why people can't get their mods to work. In winzip, there is a checkbox for it. Refer to the image below for an example:
Once you save it, you should be left with a single file like this:
Now your mod is ready for testing. You can make yourself a "My Mods
" folder some where on your hardrive for storing your mod templates. I'd leave your current template on your C: Drive until you are done testing incase you need to go back and change something. Once you have your mod complete, delete the folder from your C: Drive so you don't forget about it and it ends up blending in the next time you make a mod. I have done this several times myself.
To test your mod, simply copy the "iwd
" you just made to your "main
" folder. Fire up your game and run a server. For this mod, you need to select a map which allows the selection of the thompson. If all went well, you should see whats in the image below:
I could have modified another file and made the border around the ammo count fit better but you get the idea.
Remember that this is a very simple mod. As I stated earlier in this section, go download a mod or two and see how they did things and what files they used. I find that the best way to learn is by example. Hopefully some of what I have written has helped you understand how to extract files, edit them and pack them back up.