||2. Other Shapes
||3. Resource Editor
||At first, one should get the Resource
Kit with all original TGA-files and
place it upon the harddrive. Don't be surprised that might take a
lot of drive-space!
Next, the TGA-files can be opened in a photo-editing
program like Photoshop or The
Gimp, that can work with multiple layers.
Before you start, it is best to copy a complete folder of a building
and rename it.
From a folder, open 1.tga to see the first
state of the building.
The following picture shows the practical use of a grid layer. Also
notice the different layers that contain parts of a building.
The following pictures are a small example of how you can select parts
and copy them to create a new building:
A modified roof.
With a modified wall underneath.
And windows, doors, rainpipes and chimneys added.
Very important in adding finishing touches are shadows. In BK1, the
daylight is always falling in from the left.
Shadows can be made by creating a black part on a layer and make it
Unfortunately, this tutorial cannot be a guide to Photoshop.
One last advice, however, is using a mask, to cut out some specific
It should be noted that when working in a 2D graphics package,
final rendered image dimensions should be in multiples of 2 pixels:
2 x 2
2 x 4
8 x 8
64 x 64
128 x 256
384 x 768
512 x 512
Pixels per cm: 28
Pixel depth/colours: 24/16 Million ( ie. 16.7 million colours (24
Bits Per pixel) RGB colour).
Number of layers = 1
Number of Alphas = 1 (Black RGB 0,0,0 being made translucent)
File type .TGA (Truevision Targa) Uncompressed
The following pictures show one of my first buildings and it looks
a bit strange because i used a few patterns from real photographs,
but it's a good example of how you can start from multiple sources:
2. Other states of the building
||After having created a nice little building, it is
time to go through the other states of the building:
||So next to a normal, damaged
and ruined state, there is also ground
and shadow files for the building.
In the various states, the ground and shadow
files will appear to add more realism.
Make sure these are set in the correct position when they appear underneath
the house in the game.
The best way to achieve this, is by copying the shadow upon a different
layer in the 1.tga:
Next, you switch the layer order and put the shadow in place underneath
Then, delete the house layer and save the file as 1s.tga:
For the ground files, you could do the same process.
In case of winter buildings, there would also be such files needed
as 1w.tga, 1wg.tga, 1ws.tga,...
Building new houses is fun, however, the damaged and ruined states
can take up triple the time.
Work yourself through all these files, a lot of sweat and patience
will be needed:
At the following screenshot, notice how the ground and shadow files
look in the game:
||The Building Modding Tutorial from Tangram
gives another nice example how to create a building:
and Object Modding Tutorial
3. Building it all together with the
||When finally, all the TGA-files
are ready, it is time to open the ResEditor
and load the current.bld-file from the same
folder where your TGA-files are located.
This current.bld-file contains all necessary
data of the building.
Once you have a building loaded in the ResEditor,
you should see the following:
A few terms need to be understood:
In the ResEditor, on top you have the Main
Underneath the main menu, you get a Toolbar.
Next, the upper window on the left, is called the Project
The below window that shows properties and values, is named the Object
By default, when the program opens, the Object Inspector
will show the Basic Info.
First, you can give the building a Name.
This is not the same name shown in the game when moving your mousepointer
over a house.
I have the habit to give it the same name as my folder name, but this
is no obligation.
The Building Type can be changed to building/dot/main
warehouse/temporary warehouse, which i hope i don't have to explain.
Next, you can set the building's Health and
Repair Cost. For their values, you should
compare settings from bunkers and other buildings to keep these realistic.
The Number of rest slots sets the maximum
of men that can enter the building. I would advise to use decimals
here, because most of the squads exsist of ten soldiers. If you for
example, would set 15 and put two units in it, there's 5 soldiers
standing outside... you could set 5 and therefor always have 4 or
5 guards next to the house...
The Number of medical slots sets the maximum
of soldiers getting healed at the same time. Setting 0 will result
in no healing.
Finally, you can set the Sound or Cycled
sound for the building. You should only set this when having
an important building like a church. If you would add a sound to every
building, there would be an orchestra playing when moving your mousepointer
over a village.
After setting the basic info, let's go to the first part of the Toolbar:
This picture shows the entrance point and zero point:
- When selecting the arrow, the Toggle Building's Movement is
activated. In this mode you can drag the building, pressing and
holding the left mouse button.
- Selecting the red square will enable you to set the tiles occupied
by the building i.e. the tiles which cannot be walked through.
- Next, comes a list allowing to set the building's transparency
to observers the game units.
- The next red square activates the toggle mode for setting building's
entry points. Via these points the infantry would come in the
building after receiving the appropriate command.
- The black circle or oval sets the building's zero point, used
for moving the building in the MapEditor.
So first, with the arrow, place the building
as correct as possible upon the grid. Second, draw red
squares untherneath it to define its base. Third, select the
amount of tranparancy from the list (7 will give full transparancy)
and draw yellow squares underneath the building
(mostly the same as the base tiles). Then set the entrance
point and zero point.
Now let's take a look on the rest of the Toolbar:
As you might notice, there's two more parts of the Toolbar.
Depending on the choice of the first 4 icons, some of the other icons
The first 4 icons mean the following:
As an example, let's set some fire points:
- Set shoot point mode. The building's shooting points.
- Set fire point mode. Burning points when the building is on
- Set direction explosion mode. Directional shell hit effects
- Set smoke point mode. When the building is burning.
At the same time you have selected one of the specific 4 icons, you
will have the ability to add or delete certain points. In this case,
If you would click on the house, a new fire point gets added. That
is if you are not selecting an exsisting one.
As you can see, the 4 Toolbar icons are also
represented in the Project Tree. When opening
the corresponding folder, you can see the 7 fire points in this example.
Again, each point will have its settings in the Object
So when having one fire point selected, we get to use 3 more icons
from the Toolbar:
Look carefully to the following picture and notice:
- Move point mode. Allows to drag existing active mode points
and add new ones. The new points appear in appropriate section
of the tree. To delete a point, select it in the tree and press
the [Delete] key.
- Set horizontal position. Sets the point's vertical coordinates
(what a contradiction!).
- Set direction. Sets the point's direction and ranges of fire.
There's one fire point selected, the tiny blue line, vertically under
the point should be set at the base of the building and the direction
is also set so that in this case, the fire would spawn at the window
to the corresponding direction.
All these settings also have to be made for shoot
points, shell effects and smoke
For shoot points, i suggest you place them
on windows and doors. Better do the back of the building as well,
so the building has also shooting ranges there.
Concerning the fire points, they will spawn
when the building turns to the damaged state. Therefor, it's not always
easy to place them correct as i quite often fail to do and show a
bit strange looking in the game...
For the direction explosion points and smoke
points, the last icon of the Toolbar
When clicking this, the editor will generate points, which is a great
tool. The direction explosion points should
only have 5 points being Front Left/Front Right/Back Left/Back right/Top
Center. The smoke points can be added or
deleted. I usualy only delete some, to not exaggerate and move some
to the corners of the building and change their direction slightly.
At this point, i should give a small warning when editing all these
points. When, in the Toolbar you would have
selected shootpoints and start selecting
fire points in the Project Tree, it can occur
that the editor starts showing all points made, which can be confusing.
Therefor, be aware when editing these setting, that the Toolbar
icon is refering to the correct folder in the Project
Tree with the points you are working on.
Now there's two more things left in the Project
In the Defence folder, you can set for each
side of the building Min Armor/Max Armor/Silhouette.
I slightly change the armor in the Object Inspector
when a building needs to be weaker or stronger. So far, i haven't
changed its silhouette.
The Graphics Info folder show the corresponding
links to the TGA-files for the Whole/Damaged/Destroyed
If you came this far, the last step to take in the ResEditor
is to export the whole building.
In this process, the program should save a new folder in the Run/Mods/Mymod/Data/Buildings/
containing mostly DDS-files, SAN-files
and one xml-file. You could however, select
There could be one more icon and one name
file still added, which will be explained in the next, final step.
4. Adding the building to the MapEditor
and the game.
||So once the building is exported, it still needs to
be made useable.
There's two possibilities here:
You could zip the files to a PAK-file and
put this in the Run/Data folder.
Or you make it part of a Mod, located in
the Mods folder.
In both cases, you will need to add a reference in a ModObjects.xml-file.
In the following example, i have a hypothetical building named "MyHouse"
in the Mods folder called "MyMod":
In this MyHouse folder you can see the exported
SAN and DDS files.
Next, there's a 1.xml that contains the most
important settings. You could still pitch some settings there afterwards,
but be careful with this, one little mistake and the editor might
There's also a icon.tga and name.txt.
The icon.tga file should be 64x64 pixels
and will represent the icon of the unit in the MapEditor.
The name.txt file contains the name that
will show up when moving the mousepointer over the building in the
game, f.e. Two Story House.
Now, one last important matter, is that you have or make a modobjects.xml
in the MyMod/Data folder.
In this modobjects.xml file, the following
lines have to be included:
<name>My New House</name>
Unfortunately, i cannot go in detail here on how to make a mod
or explaining xml-files because that should
be another tutorial being written by someone else. However, learn
this from other mods, just as i had to...
Anyway, after all these steps, you should have your building available
if you select the MyMod-mod in the MapEditor.
At this point, if you would now zip the MyMod
folder into a MyMod.zip and change the extension
into MyMod.pak, you could place this in the
Run/Data folder. You could also use: