Ancestors Legacy

Ancestors Legacy

Ancestors Legacy Modding Kit
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DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 4:11am 

Prepare... for... heavy... wall of text!

Finally, we're happy to announce that we've managed to get modtools up and running. We'd like you to report things that may be broken and/or entirely missing. We do have some idea on what you might want to do, but obviously we couldn't possibly come up with all your possible ideas, so if something is unchangeable tell us, we'll see into it and give a reply.

Since there aren't many UE4 modding games out there yet, I've decided to make for you a very thorough tutorial as to how to make it all work from the eternal nothingness up to the point where you're rolling high in Asgard. ANY and I mean ANY suggestions highly appreciated and welcomed, including the process of cooking and uploading. We can't change everything, but we'll consider. We also want it to be easy to use.

Using ANY mod blocks ladders. We went this way since allowing you to affect ladders in mods would quickly result in ladders being pointless.

An important note, is that in order to comfortably use the editor your PC needs to be high-end. The fact that you can run the game doesn't mean that you will run the Editor just as fine. Game Editors are supposed to be run by powerful PC's and there isn't much we can do about it. The recommendation below is my personal opinion based on how the editor behaved while I was working on the game. 'Speaking from experience you're never wrong' ;) Below I also give you several useful links:

Mod Creation FAQ
Workshop Guides

UE4 Documentation[]
UE4 Wiki[]
UE4 Answer Hub[]
UE4 Forums[]

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Oct 13, 2019 @ 11:52pm
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 4:25am 
Hardware & software requirements

Operating System
The same as base game, which is Windows 7 with SP1 or higher systems, only 64bit.

Other software
There are several other SDK's that are needed, however Epic was kind enough to make their own redist, therefore all you need to install we've provided with the Editor. Just launch Engine\Extras\Redist\en-us\UE4PrereqSetup_x64.exe (or *.msi if you prefer). There are 32bit versions, but don't get your hopes up, it won't work. At the very least, not easily.

At the very least 8GB of RAM, but it will be a very tough ride, in most cases probably cooking mod will turn out to be impossible or take insanely long time. 16GB is the minimum prefferred. I'm working with 32GB and I do get up to 24 - 28 GB usage during several hours of work. You can mitigate that by closing and reopening the editor again once you reach your RAM limit.You may also want to reopen the editor before cooking if you're low on RAM, since that process takes up memory as well. As it proved out after testing, working with 8GB RAM is doable, although I still advise having more.

At the first time you launch the editor, it will have to recompile all the existing shaders in game. There are thousands of them. The ShaderCompiler.exe will be launched as many times as your system allows it to, one for each free core that the Editor receives from the system. On my i7-4790K it takes about 5 minutes while having no other application launched. This task is very CPU intense and it may last much longer. To make sure that the editor did not freeze, simply open task manager and watch the shader compiler tasks. If they're there and doing something, it means it's ok. They may lower to 0% CPU usage from time to time when the Editor prepares the data for compilation. After that the CPU requirements are still high, but any decent 4-core processor will do. Dual cores and below highly undesirable.

This is where you will feel the difference during most of the time spent on making map (unless you have no RAM and your system goes to HDD for everything, that is). I'm working on GTX 970 and it's 'good'. It's not 60fps 24/7. Editor renders tons of stuff on top of everything else that is on the map. Things are heavy. I often get 20-25 fps during in-editor session when testing stuff, but I always play on Ultra. I've decided to share with you some of things we've come up with to help mitigate that issue. It's at the bottom of this guide in the 'Tips' section.

The faster the better, requires at the very least 65GB of space for the editor. Then each cooked mod you decide to store on your HDD obviously takes up space as well. Size of the mods depends on how much you change, the engine does dif check on the build to not make it as big as the whole game. I'm working on an SSD, our build machine uses top-notch NVMe drive, it makes a huge difference. Uncooked assets do not load as nicely as those in final build that you're playing.

Should you encounter any, feel free to mail them to us at

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Oct 13, 2019 @ 11:51pm
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 4:34am 
How to get your hands on the editor

  1. Open Steam Client.
  2. Navigate to "Library" -> "Tools".
  3. Type the game name in the search bar.
  4. Download our Editor content.

Please keep the entire directory chain (not just folder name) as short as possible (eg. D:\Editor). This will help you avoid nasty problems in the future when cooking mods.

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Nov 19, 2019 @ 4:32am
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 4:51am 
Mod window explained
Left side - list of mods (and their maps with _P at the end) that are detected and can be cooked. An important note - only Persistent levels should be cooked, make sure that the main one has _P at the end of it, similarly to how our campaign maps are done. Other streaming levels will be cooked as long as they're added in the Persistent level (see "Levels" window in the editor for the list). So name your level MyMap_P and then go for MyMap_Barracks, MyMap_Church and so on if your map is so big that it needs streaming to work well on people's PC's. Not gonna explain streaming here, check documentation, this is big enough already.

Create a New Mod - button you press to make a mod. If you're making Total Conversion then it does not matter when you press that button (can be at the end, when everything works as you want), but if you're making a Map Pack then you need to press this button before you do anything. This creates the required directory that you place your stuff into (see this post for details). The directory is also created when you do Total Conversion but do not use it in that case, the content from there will not be cooked.

Refresh - refreshes the list of maps that were found and cook-able, meaning with _P at the end of name. Useful when adding new maps / renaming old ones. Forced before cooking.

Save - saves the current settings like title, visibility and map friendly name as well as the list of maps for the given Map Pack.

Mod URL - link to steam workshop page of this mod, if already uploaded.

Cook Map Pack - to cook a Map Pack you must have a Map Pack with a map file. There is no point in making a Map Pack without any map to use the content you've created on. More info about cooking here.

Cook Total Conversion - no requirements. Cooks everything. More info about cooking here.

Preview Image - JPG, PNG or GIF. 1MB tops. It's the image that will be displayed next to Mod name on the workshop. You have to choose an image, because there is no other way to upload it.

Title - this is the actual title that the mod will get and display. The previous one was needed to create the plugin directory which in turn defines mod files names. If you choose those 2 different, nothing bad happens, simply the files on your HDD will not be named the same as the mod name on Steam Workshop. The first name is simply for you to determine what are you working on. Keeping them the same for simplicity is however advised.

Visibility - who has access (is allowed to subscribe) to this mod. Keep in mind that regardless of what you set here, moderators can see the Map Pack and should it violate EULA, it will be removed even if private.

Upload - press this after cooking was successful if you wish to upload your mod to the Steam Workshop.

Copy Mod to Ancestors Legacy mods directory - allows you to quickly and easily copy the cooked mod to any folder you wish. We added it because if you show a folder where your steam mods for the game should go then you can copy cooked stuff to the game locally with 1 click and test it right away. The path you choose for the first time is saved in
If you want to choose another path, simply delete the file and the popup will ask you again to choose a different directory.

Mod ID - allows you to choose under what Mod ID upload the currently chosen mod. Helps when deleting mods or when something goes wrong. The editor automatically detects what mod you're cooking and will properly reupload it to steam if you uploaded it before. You can tell if it's ok by clicking the link next to 'Mod URL:'. If it's missing then it will be uploaded as a new mod, if it's broken and links to wrong mod, just use this override and tell us what you did to break it.

That little checkbox in the bottom right corner - turns auto scrolling of the status log on or off. If you have a warning there, turn the scrolling off so you can easily navigate to it and not have to fight the scrolling.

If something is not yet obvious, read this one before asking questions please.

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Aug 26, 2019 @ 10:56pm
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 5:24am 
How to cook (package) and upload your mod

There are 2 ways to make a mod. One is called Total Conversion, the second one is a Map Pack. From now on I'll call Total Conversion TC for simplicity. TC is a simple recook of the game with your changes. You can change whatever, wherever and it will be detected without any special requirements. It will override everything that you changed once downloaded by someone else. Please note that although enabling several TCs is allowed, those mods may not necessarily work. If both mods modify the same element they conflict and may not work properly (depending on what that object is).

Map Packs basically add more maps to the game, with some possibilities to alter the mechanics, although less than a TC. They are a bit trickier to do properly though. TC will allow you to do mess everywhere without worrying about anything, Map Pack requires that you put everything you want to have in the mod in a special place.To be able to see it you have to enable visibility of Plugin Content (we've made it visible by default for you, but should you have problems, I'm posting it anyway):

Which one to choose? If you want others to have modified campaign, you must use TC. If you're fine with having your modified campaign map as a separate map launched from a different menu - then Map Pack is fine. And since you can make your own gametypes, weapons and so on, you can have it used on that separate mod map. But not on the actual campaign map. That's their drawback.

Since apparently this part was not clear enough after initial testing, and there were many other questions I've decided to create a FAQ. Here is the relevant stuff. If you got more questions - ask, I'll add those that are not answered yet.

Also, since TC takes everything and cooks everything, if you want to make 2 separate TC mods, you have to be able to revert your modifications back to their original state before cooking the second one. Either keep a copy of the editor somewhere and paste the stuff back once done, make yourself a local repository (Tortoise svn / Git) or just delete local files and re-download the editor. Otherwise you will cook the 2nd TC as the first mod you made + the second one, instead of just the second one.

Step by step:

  1. Launch the editor and open the modkit window - Explanation of this window is here
  2. Accept the EULA.
  3. Press 'Create a New Mod' button at the bottom left corner of the window
  4. Type in your mod name
  5. You will need to restart the editor (it will happen automatically once you close the popup)
  6. Make your mod (again, make sure Map Pack has it's stuff inside it's own folder)
  7. Make sure you save all the changes you want to make - the editor during PIE session will pick up unsaved changes and apply them, the cooker won't
  8. Press 'Cook Total Conversion' (or 'Cook Map Pack' if you want to make a Map Pack)
  9. Wait, possibly a LONG time. That's where studios use build machines.
  10. If everything went fine and you have it cooked find that window and press OK. Sometimes it likes to hide on other monitors, make a little search if need be ;P

  11. Upload. Simply press the "Upload" button on the Mod Window. It is finished once you see something like this line in the log:

    Uploading BasicModSP_E2F4E098429B03464B49028ECE4B75FF Finished Results: '1' k_EResultOK (success)

    if it results in any other state, it means the mod upload failed. Usually connection or steam maintenance issue, try another time.

  12. If you want to make your mod public, you have to agree to Steam Workshop Agreement. If you don't, you can still share your mod with friends or keep it private.
  13. Once you subscribe to a mod through steam workshop, the game will download the required files. If you want to use them, make sure you download them before you launch the game.
Should you encounter any errors during cooking it means that you've broken something so bad that the game won't run without it being fixed. You get a line in red that tells you stuff. You can either search for it on Epic's AnswerHub[], Epic's Unreal Engine Forums[], or ask people on these forums.

We'll try our best to reply, but there are other things we have to do during our work time, and we'd also like to do other things than work. I'll personally help much more during the first weeks, less later, hoping for you guys to help each other. Please do not mail us with these issues. Our inbox is already heavily spammed and we hate ignoring people, but if we don't do that, we won't be able to work, reading e-mails whole day long. Hope you understand.

Also, there are warnings by default, ignore them. These are false positives or things that the cooker can deal with himself. A good tip: test your mod A LOT before making it public and pay attention to comments on it once you do, since it may break here or there. Things rarely work as expected the first time you make them.

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Oct 15, 2019 @ 10:48am
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 5:35am 
How to run a mod after downloading

Quite simple, really. First and foremost, make sure that the download has finished before launching the game. Obviously, you need to subscribe to the mod for the download to begin through Steam Workshop, but there's nothing special about that step, it works the same as any other game with workshop.

For TCs and single player map packs:

Navigate to "Single-Player" -> "Mods", then depending on what kind of mod you have downloaded, choose the appropriate menu. Then, choose which mod you want to activate. If it's a TC, you will only be able to see mod name. If it's a Map Pack, you will also see all the maps it contains. After choosing a TC the game will have to be restarted in order to apply the change.

The currently running TC mods have the tag [Active] in front of the mod name.

For multi player map packs:

The map is simply added to the dropdown list where you choose which map to play in skirmish, or which map to host when creating a match.

Enjoy the game.

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Oct 14, 2019 @ 12:44am
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 5:54am 

  1. It's much easier to work with at least 2 monitors. There's a lot of information that you often need to look for and it's really impossible to fit it all on 1 monitor and have a viewport there, to see how your map looks. Unless your monitor is a TV.
  2. If your performance is low you can swap into Unlit Mode (you will see everything how it looks without any lights and shadows calculations, but it's gonna be much faster). By default you achieve this by pressing Alt+3 while having focus on the viewport window.
  3. If your performance is still low, you can disable Realtime - the Editor will update stuff only when you move the camera, giving a performance boost when navigating through UI or content. Default it's CTRL+R, but check whether it's already on or off.
  4. If you want to have higher performance and less hitches while playing in-editor session, it is a good idea to minimize all the other Editor windows (Levels / Layers / World outliner) to reduce the overhead. World outliner on big levels is particularly nasty and can give you even 20FPS boost once minimized.
  5. There's tons of options in the editor preferences, including being able to rebind just about anything. It's very nice of Epic to do that, feel free to bind actions that you use the most for ease of use. You don't need to fight it. Except when it crashes, that is ;)
  6. Should you encounter any problems, feel free to ask on these boards. I'll gladly help, but keep in mind that theres a lot of you, and only so many of us.
  7. For offline, ease of use and testing purposes - after cooking the mod check the "..\Plugins\YOUR_MOD_NAME_WITH_SEEMINGLY_RANDOM_CHARS\ReadyToUpload\" directory. There are 2 files you actually need to run the mod. You can copy them and paste them over to "Steam\steamapps\common\Ancestors Legacy\Ancestors Legacy\Content\Paks\Mods" directory. No need to wait for upload while creating your mod and testing it. Each mod consists of 2 files. You can also use 'Copy mod to mods directory' button, choose proper directory and it will do it with 1 click each next time for you. You may have a mod both downloaded through Steam Workshop and locally copied. Local mods are marked with 'L: ' before their name when displayed in menu, so you know which one you're launching.
  8. Cooker creates 2 directories - one for latest TC, one for latest Map Pack. Thanks to that, cooking the same TC (map pack) again is considerably faster, because it's only a dif build. However if you cook another TC (map pack) mod, the folder will get cleared and the build time goes back to the longer version. Therefore it's faster to reiterate the same mod over and over again and then start new one, instead of jumping between mods. You will save time on packaging. Jumping between TC and Map Pack is ok, as they have separate caches.
  9. When working on a TC you will often need to test the cooked version - it simply runs faster and is more depictive of what the players who subscribe will actually play. In order to speed up the cooking process you can tell the cooker to not cook maps you do not need for this test. Navigate to "Anc\Programs\cook_TC_maplist.txt". MAKE A BACKUP COPY. Remove all the maps you do not need for your test (believe me, you really need menu_map_01_P). When you're done with testing, restore from the backup so that final TC cook will have all the maps.
  10. If you want to have a small TC mod and you're not changing all the base maps, there is a possible optimization that will reduce the final mod size. Navigate to "Anc\Programs\cook_TC_maplist.txt". MAKE A BACKUP COPY. Remove all the maps you have not changed and can be used from the base game. Keep in the list menu_map_01_P, you seriously need it (even if it works without, don't upload like that, this map is small and does not take much space or cook time). This way you skip cooking maps that you know have not changed.

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Aug 27, 2019 @ 1:36am
DC_vipeout  [developer] Aug 26, 2019 @ 11:18pm 
End Notes

  1. Everything I have written in this and other threads is based on my personal opinion and knowledge. Whether any part of it is an official statement I do not know, am not certain, nor care at this time.
  2. Which translated to non-law-bs language - I am a human being and may be wrong.
  3. Therefore, please do not jump right at me if something does not work exactly as I have said. I'll gladly correct any mistakes I have made in this thread. Feel free to point them.
  4. I do realize that my English skill is far from ideal, but I honestly hope that this is at least readable. If some parts are hard to understand, confusing, incredibly nasty or badly spelled, inform me please.
  5. Please don't mind the cursing in comments, errors, log messages and fatal crash dialog popups. You're using our tools we're developing for ourselves and that's our internal "work culture" ;). We've went through the content and removed the really serious and worst ones, but I'm more than certain many were omitted.
  6. Now's your turn to get to work! ^^

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Last edited by DC_vipeout; Aug 26, 2019 @ 11:19pm
DC_vipeout  [developer] Sep 1, 2019 @ 10:35pm 
1. Yes
2. As far as I'm aware, the editor itself does not have a DRM. Will need to verify, though.
3. Nope. It's how the engine works, nothing we can really do about it. Dev tools expect high end PC. Engine creators do not optimize engines, they work to make the games made on those engines optimized (and feature rich).

I will not answer questions not related to mods on this board. Please ask it in the general discussions. If I do this once, this will get messy and nobody will be able to find anything, anywhere. This board is strictly about mods, editor build and workshop support.
VEF215 3 Sep 4, 2019 @ 5:07am 
Originally posted by DC_vipeout:
How to run a mod after downloading

For TCs and single player map packs:

Navigate to "Single-Player" -> "Mods", then depending on what kind of mod you have downloaded, choose the appropriate menu. Then, choose which mod you want to activate. If it's a TC, you will only be able to see mod name. If it's a Map Pack, you will also see all the maps it contains. After choosing a TC the game will have to be restarted in order to apply the change.

The currently running mod (or mods) has a green tick next to it on the list. Should there be a red cross, it means that the mod is not compatible with the current game version. That may happen when something goes terribly wrong, or when we patch the game changing something that may break older mods. We'll try to avoid that, but we're prepared for the possibility.

For multi player map packs:

The map is simply added to the dropdown list where you choose which map to play in skirmish, or which map to host when creating a match.

Enjoy the game.

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Will we be able to use TCs for multiplayer? Can we make a custom map with custom skins etc and still play it in multiplayer with other people, or is that restricted to singleplayer skirmish only with ai
DC_vipeout  [developer] Sep 4, 2019 @ 9:58pm 
Both types of mods are supported for multiplayer. Please keep in mind though, that you MUST have exactly the same mods enabled for you to properly connect (you'll get an error message if you don't). That's a good question so I'll add it to the FAQ.
VEF215 3 Sep 8, 2019 @ 7:23am 
That is good news. Are we able to convert campaign maps into multiplayer maps? Adding in player spawns and tweaking a couple things?
DC_vipeout  [developer] Sep 8, 2019 @ 11:30pm 
After you completely remove the map logic (quests, autosaves etc) - sure. You just have to rename the map. Multiplayer maps MUST have "mp_" in front of them and single player maps "sp_".
i cant find the edftor under tools
Stealth4Health Oct 15, 2019 @ 4:30pm 
I can't either.
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