Starpoint Gemini Warlords

Starpoint Gemini Warlords

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Creating a mod in Warlords
By danijel
A rundown of how to create a mod for Starpoint Gemini Warlords. This tutorial covers the bare basics of where to start, what the best first steps are and how to package the mod for sharing. For more detailed info on specific topics, please check the other published guides or browse through the tutorials available on our dev-blog[www.lgmgames.net].
 
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Baby steps
So you want to create a never before seen modification for Warlords? Good for you! And you have everything ready, but the final procedure is a bit blurry? Let's take it one step at a time.

  1. What do I need?
  2. Create the mod folder
  3. Make the modifications
  4. Package the mod
  5. Time for sharing
  6. Some final thoughts
What do I need?
A whole lot of things can be changed and / or added to Warlords, so answering what other software you might need is very difficult. It depends on what you're planning on doing, but let's go over the common stuff:

  • Quests - Notepad++
  • Ships - Blender or whatever modelling software you generally use (like 3DSMax) and Notepad++
  • Portraits, faction banners, customization brushes - Gimp or whatever graphics editing software you generally use (like Photoshop) and Notepad++
  • SFX or voices - Whatever audio editing software you generally use and Notepad++
  • ...

You might have noticed a commonality in the above list: Notepad++. You can use the ordinary Notepad, provided with MS Windows, but we really advise using the free Notepad++[notepad-plus-plus.org]. It will make things a lot easier. The notepad is a necessity, because most of the things you modify requires you to edit some form of text file.
Create the mod folder
Changing or adding files directly to the GameRoot\Data folder is really not advised. The game expects mods to be in the GameRoot\Mods folder and you should do it like that. Separating a mod from the default game early on will be beneficial later on.

So, when you've decided on the name of your modding masterpiece, navigate to the GameRoot\Mods folder and create the folder for your mod. Let's call it NewMod for this tutorial's sake. Now that we have the Mods\NewMod folder, imagine this folder as the GameRoot folder. This is what a comparison would look like: GameRoot\Data is virtually identical to GameRoot\Mods\NewMod\Data. The game will treat it like that, so it's best if you do it too.

You might ask OK. Interesting. But why is that important?. This is the thing: the mod's folder structure should mimic that of the default game. This is by far the best possible practice, just in case some things are expected by the game to be in certain sub-folders.

Let's take the game world as an example. The game knows it can find the World.ics and the individual sector files (Sectors\#.ics) in the Data\World folder. If you want the game to use a different game world, you have to mimic that by creating World.ics (and sector files) in the Mods\NewMod\Data\World folder. For changes done to the game world, this is required. While other changes might not have this hard-coded, it is best to act like they do to prevent strange errors. As further examples, add new ships to Mods\NewMod\Models\Ships folder and so on. Trust me, it will make things a whole lot easier to debug in case of an error.
Make the modifications
This section will be tiny, because this can encompass a massive amount of widely different topics. Search for more specific tutorials or contact us directly if you have questions regarding modding something specific.

For the sake of this tutorial, let's imagine we've added a new ship called NewShip (how creative...). This would require a new folder containing the ship in Mods\NewMod\Data\Models\Ships and a new entry in the Mods\NewMod\Data\Base\Ships.wdt database.

A good practice is to automatically create the Data folder inside your mod folder (Mods\NewMod\Data). You'll need it anyway, so you might as well do it right away.

Editing databases and the principles of dynamic databases are explained in another tutorial and please do take the time to read and understand it. It's crucial for making mods work properly with one-another and with the game.
Package the mod
OK. So we've got the modded files and everything. Now what? Now is the time to package it all up into a nice little single archive that can be easily shared.

The packaging is done through the Mod Manager located in the game root folder (you can also start the Mod Manager through the Mods window of the game launcher), but there is one more file you need to create for the packer to know what to do. The mod definition file, .sgwm. For now, you'll need to create this file manually (Notepad++)... and note the extension!

Here's an overview of a few things to be mindful of when creating the definition file:
  • Make sure the name of your mod in the definition file matches the name of the mod folder
  • Make sure you have no empty spaces in the parameters. Don't name your mod Final Stand. Name it either FinalStand or Final_Stand (no empty spaces!)
  • Use tab to separate parameter names (the game looks for these when parsing the definition file) from their corresponding values

Here's an example of what a mod definition file would look like:
txt Version: 1000 Mod: { Name: NewMod Author: LGM Games Description: Mod description can have empty spaces, but it HAS TO BE IN A SINGLE LINE! Picture: Mods\NewMod\NewMod.jpg }

The purpose of Name, Author and Description should be self-evident (just be careful with the empty spaces and the tabs separating the parameter name from its value!), but what about the Picture? That is used in-game. Once again, it is advisable to simply duplicate the template image and use that to determine the correct size. This image is also used on Steam Workshop, if you decide to publish the mod there. The recommended ration is 16:9 and we use 1280x720.

A template definition file and mod folder is supplied with the game by default. Duplicating that as the starting point for a new mod is advised.

Great. That is set, so let's move onto the packaging itself.

  1. Start the Mod Manager
  2. Click the Select mod button
  3. Select either the .sgwm (mod definition file) or the .sgwma (mod archive) to prepare it. If there is no archive yet, you can only select the definition file. In that case, the manager will automatically create the archive, right beside the definition file. (Mods\))

That .sgwma file is the complete mod. We can now move on to the sharing bit.
Time for sharing
Now that you've got your mod all packed as .sgwma and ready to go, the method of sharing is basically on you. We place no restrictions on this. The Mod Manager can share the mod directly onto Steam Workshop, but you can just as easily take the NewMod.sgwma to your friend on a USB stick, or upload it to some other repository.

To use the mod, copy the NewMod.sgwma into the Mods folder. If you've subscribed to a mod through Steam, then the mod will get copied into the Mods folder automatically the next time the Game launcher is started.

Use the GameLauncher -> Mods window to set the desired mods as active (the checkbox on the left of the mod name in the list).

When a mod is set to active, the launcher unpacks it so it's ready for use in-game (if it wasn't unpacked already). To deactivate a mod, simply toggle the active flag off. Deactivating a mod does NOT delete the unpacked mod folder!

Sharing on Steam Workshop
As was noted before, to share the mod on Steam Workshop, simply log into Steam Client and run the Mod Manager. Select the mod you want to upload, set the desired parameters (tags, visibility...) and click on the Publish button. When players subscribe to a mod via Workshop, the Steam Client downloads the mod into a temporary cache. This is triggered when the Game Launcher starts up, so if you're not seeing any Workshop downloads (Warlords related), make sure you're running the game launcher. Once the download is finished, the launcher will copy the mod to the game's local folder. It is then ready for activation through the Game Launcher -> Mods window.

Sharing on third-party sites
This method depends on the site itself. Usually it's done by a simple upload form. Our recommendation is to take the .sgwma archive and zip it up to reduce its size and then simply upload it to wherever. You could simply zip-up the unpacked mod folder, but don't forget about the .sgwm file that's outside of the mod folder! Again, further steps necessary in this case depends on the site itself.

Sharing by physical media
You know... brute force, old-school, flash memory stick. You could use floppy disks, but that's really not advisable ;). The point is, once you have the .sgwma package, you can do with it what you want.

Once you've obtained the mod in whatever fashion, the mod .sgwma has to be placed into the InstallationFolder\Mods folder (subscribing through Steam Workshop is explained above).

Unpack and activate the mod through Game Launcher -> Mods window.
Some final thoughts
Creating mods can be daunting at times, but we encourage you to give it a try. You never know can come from that.

For more info, please check the Guides section here on Steam, but we also invite you to browse through the articles on our dev-blog[www.lgmgames.net] where we regularly publish tutorials on a number of topics.

If you have a question about something that wasn't covered in any article, or you simply couldn't find the answer, please don't hesitate and give us a shout directly on modding@starpointgemini.com . We'll answer as soon as possible.

We wish you the best of luck with modding Warlords!
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10 Comments
xSquishx Oct 16, 2018 @ 7:17am 
So, I have a question for any active modder for SPGW.

I wanted to get started into modding with this game with something light so I was trying to make a modified version of the prosperity, a MK II if you will, that would have improved shields and turret mounts and such.

Basically I wanted to make it a viable if somewhat less combat worthy option for those who want to gather resources faster but not have to switch ships for decent combat if needed. I also wanted it to automatically generate and launch borehole torpedoes much as it does with scavenger swarms, and the same with gas resource and its proper collector, making it a proper resource gatherer.

Last I wanted to make it a research option that required the mk I researched first. However, the structure of the scripting is somewhat confusing to me and I cant even find the scripting for the auto scavenging.

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some pointers and advice.
Yestra Apr 2, 2018 @ 2:32pm 
Does anyone know a more accurate guide?
Bucketsmith Mar 1, 2018 @ 6:12am 
This guide is no longer accurate, in case anyone is wondering.
Flamemeld Jan 29, 2018 @ 8:22pm 
how do i get the mod to show up on my mod list?
Sgt.Horror Oct 19, 2017 @ 5:23pm 
very bad , the folder names dont exicst in german
Decimus1932%!.<,)) May 27, 2017 @ 6:48am 
ty!
Flippy Dec 26, 2016 @ 5:56pm 
Thanks
Autism Nov 25, 2016 @ 4:11am 
厉害了我的哥
danijel  [author] Nov 17, 2016 @ 1:05pm 
@Alliance_Rebel
My pleasure. I hope it's helpful enough.
Alliance_Rebel Nov 17, 2016 @ 11:34am 
Very nice guide, thank you Danijel!