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Want to make your own mod? These links will help you get started! (Forums : Coding & Scripting : Want to make your own mod? These links will help you get started!) Locked
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Jul 13 2004, 11:11am Anchor

Introduction
Whether you are coding, making models, maps, animations etc a variety of tools are available to help you out. The following provides an introduction to such tools and points you in the direction of where they may be found. If you are new to mods, we suggest you read our getting started page. If you are looking for help making mods we encourage you read on and check out our tutorial listing. If you have a mod you have made or know of one we are missing - please contact us or add it to our mod listing.

What You Need
In order to start off with your mod project, there is always one tool a modder needs to have, and that happens to be the...

    Software Development Kit
    A "Software Development Kit" (or SDK for short) contains a set of development tools to help you create that mod you've always been dreaming of. This also usually contains the mapping tools required to edit the levels that you play in. This is what you need in order to modify the source code of the game itself in order to get your weapons/models/coding/etc. working.

    At the moment, several of the more popular SDK's have been made available to download. Here's a list of some of those games:

    Half-Life
    Quake and Quake III Arena
    Unreal Tournament
    Far Cry
    Prey
    Battlefield 2
    Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Doom 3
    Command & Conquer: Generals
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

    There are plenty of games which require you to purchase the game in order to use their respective SDK. These include Half-Life 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Homeworld.

    Quake and Quake III Arena remain popular today, simply for the fact that they have recently been made open-source. This means that, unlike typical mods, you can make your creations into commercial products that can be sold at a fee for people to play. Those that aren't open-source are illegal to sell for a profit.


3D Modeling Programs
This is one of the most important tools you need when you are creating a mod. 3D Modeling programs help you create your characters, weapons, props; what have you. Here are a few of the most popular modeling programs that can be exchanged for some cold hard cash (or plastic, if you buy them online).

    3DS Max - Usa.autodesk.com
    Used by most industry professionals, 3DS MAX is a powerful tool for any of your modelling, animating, and rendering needs.

    Maya 3D - Alias.com
    Another powerful program used by industry professionals, and is rated by even most modders to be equally, if not more powerful than 3ds Max. Of course, the same can be said about either, and it just determines on which program comes more natural to you. Both programs are highly recommended.

    MilkShape 3D Editing Software - Swissquake.ch
    This software is used to edit the characters in the games Half-Life, Quake I, II, and III, and Unreal Tournament.

    There are also free modelling programs available online. That doesn't necessarily mean they're bad, but they just don't contain as much features as the paid one, or they have some crits among them, or just aren't as powerful.

    Turbo Squid GMAX - Turbosquid.com
    The free version of 3dsmax that is missing much of the fully-paid's features, but is one of the more-preferred modelling programs. This version of Gmax, Turbo Squid, is specifically tiered towards modifying game content.

    Maya PLE- Usa.autodesk.com
    Another great free software from Maya. The only crit is that it pastes "Maya PLE" over the background of your model.

    Blender 3d - Blender3d.com

    Softimage|XSI Mod Tool - Softimage.com
    Softimage|XSI Mod Tool gives modders deep options for crafting content for their games (it can even be used for standalone products).


Animation Programs
One of the critical parts of modding when it comes down to it. Animation lets you come up with new ways to die, reload, jump, crouch, etc. This is especially important in a 3rd person game, where you don't look like a log using an FPS integrated switch to third person, where it's just a straight body with a twisting head, and feels very clunky. Here are some programs that might interest you in animation:

    Autodesk Motionbuilder- Usa.autodesk.com
    A very intuitive and complex animation program that is used by many industry professionals, especially for FMV sequences, MOTIONBUILDER is the best real-time 3D character animation solution on the marke. You can also check the site for Mocap and plugins for video.

    Lightwave - Newtek.com
    An affordable and easy-to-learn program that is only held back by having less power to animate than Kaydara does. But, for those who are looking for having an easier time to animate, or who are trying to learn how to, this is a pretty good program to try out.

    Most modelling programs also contain their own built-in animator, so if you don't like either of these programs, you can kill two birds with one stone by checking out the programs listed under Modeling Programs.


2D Art & Texture
Looking to fill in those black and white pictures your concept artists have given you? Give it a more visually appealing look that is easier for the modellers to use by trying out these two programs, which happen to be the most popular of the bunch:

    Photoshop - Adobe.com
    The industry-standard used by all the pros. A very powerful program used by Web designers, photographers, and video editors.

    Paint Shop Pro - Corel.com
    A professional and easy to use program that lets you create professional digital creations. It's also a lot cheaper than Photoshop's software, by about $550, so if you don't want to break the budget, I definitely recommend getting this.


Modeling / Skinning Resources
Don't feel like you have the creativity to come up with your own modelling and skinning, or are having a really tough time find a modeller and skinner? Try out these two sites, which give you both for free!

    AddonDB - Moddb.com
    The brand new network site from the creators of ModDB, AddonDB is your one-stop shop for all of the addons you could ever think of. From character models, weapon models, and maps, to sounds, skins, and tools, this site is the only resource you're ever going to need.

    FPSBanana - Fpsbanana.com
    Perhaps the biggest customization site solely dedicated to FPS games on the Internet today, FPSBanana provides a wide assortment of tweaks and tools to help you in your endeavor to make your mod.


Mapping
Although mapping tools are generally not released to the public and can only be used after purchasing the game itself (such as Unreal Tournament 2004's "UnrealED"), here are a number of programs that can help you in your level design ambitions.

    Valve Hammer Editor 3.4 - Collective.valve-erc.com
    The map editor that Valve supplies with Half-Life 1, it's the most used and should be the only used for Half-Life.

    GTK Radiant - Qeradiant.com
    One of the most popular and most-used mapping tools is GTKRadiant, which is a descendant from the older Q3Radiant. This free-to-download program can be used to mod for several different games, which include Doom 3, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Half-Life, and of course, the Quake series.


Map Compilers
You can usually use Hammer or Radiant for your compiling needs, but if you're frustrated with it, and want an easier and better way to open a map, here are a few other recommended compilers:

    Zoner's Half-Life Tools - Collective.valve-erc.com
    A friendly and intuitive compiling software that is a lot better than Hammer's own. Definitely worth the download if you don't want to worry about crashing or face errors or anything like that.

    MapFile Backup Compiler - Collective.valve-erc.com
    A long running request by the community was that automatic map backups be supported. Although not time based, this is the next best thing as it will create a backup of your map files each time you compile. This tool is highly recommended.

    Q3Map2 - Shaderlab.com
    This is a popular command-line-utility BSP compiler for games based on the Quake III Arena engine. These include (the obvious) Quake III Arena, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory, the Star Wars: Jedi Knight franchise, and Nexuiz. This program was known to be a replacement for map compilers such as QERadiant and GtkRadiant.

    3D World Studio - Leadwerks.com
    A map/level editor that can be used with the Torque Game Engine (a popular standalone engine), DarkBasic Pro, and Blitz3D.


C++ Compilers
The SDK requires a C++ computer language compiler to convert your creation into a file that can be executed by the video game. Officially, the SDK supports Microsoft's Visual C++, but there are alternatives.

    Microsoft Visual C++ - Msdn.microsoft.com

    Borland C++ Builder - Borland.com

    MinGW C++ Compiler (free) - Mingw.org
    In order to use this, it is also recommended to download the Code::Blocks IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and Dev-C++ IDE. It will make it a lot easier for those new to compiling with MingW, and also for the simple fact that the program doesn't come bundled with an IDE like the other two.


Advertisement / Recruiting
Need help for your mod or just wanted to spread the word? Here are some pretty good sites that are frequented by a lot of gamers and modders. You can usually try the forums themselves, and get feedback or help. Of course, it's always recommended to try Moddb first for help requests and advertisement. If you aren't getting heard, here are some interesting sites I visit myself:

    Planet Sites - Gamespy.com
    You can basically find a site for any game that can be modded through this network. Join their forums and start pimping your mod, or try to get hosted by one of the most popular sites on the Internet and gain coverage from the widely-read GameSpy front page and newsletter.

    FileFront Network - Filefront.com
    Much like the GameSpy network, FileFront hosts a number of sites solely dedicated a single game, so you can browse through there and even get your files hosted on their site for fantastic exposure. On the main page, just click one of the games under "Browse Popular Games", then visit their community page.

    MODSonline.com - Modsonline.com
    A huge site dedicated solely to mods, much like ModDB itself, but on a smaller scale.


Additional Help
Still having a trivial time trying to figure out what you're supposed to do in a certain situation? Here's a batch of sites that can be really useful when the going gets tough in your modding endeavors. You can also use the sites under Advertisement / Recruiting for backup.

    ModDB Tutorial Database - Moddb.com
    Containing an extensive amount of tutorials covering almost every facet of modding development, the ModDB Tutorial Database is a highly recommended area to begin your search for additional help. And please, if you happen to benefit from these documents, give back to the community by submitting your own to help keep that section of the site growing.

    3dBuzz - 3dbuzz.com
    One of the best resources available on the Internet, this site is jam-packed with plenty of tutorials. One of the best hallmarks is that it also provides video tutorials to help you with everything from modeling and mapping to lighting and texturing. Also, for a small fee, you can participate in online-only classrooms where instructors teach you the different fundamentals of modeling programs. This is definitely one site you want to keep in your bookmarks.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Mod Programming - Planethalflife.com
    This is a good place for beginners to get started creating Half-Life specific mods. This FAQ covers all the basics.

    Wavelength: Your Editing Resource - Thewavelength.net
    Wavelength has information on coding, creating models, and even embedding your own sounds within a mod. Not only does the site have a variety of helpful tutorials, it also includes a forum where mod makers can exchange ideas and tips.

    Wikipedia - En.wikipedia.org
    Where can you find all of your information anywhere else except on Wikipedia? This great site is busting at the seams with content dedicated to helping you with any modding question you may have. It even contains pages detailing the programs I have mentioned above, in case you weren't aware of them in the first place.

    Interlopers.net - Interlopers.net
    A site containing a helpful community and plenty of tutorials to sift through, Interlopers is a great site if you're looking for some help on your mod. It's also a good place to advertise your mod to the community and gain some much-needed support.

    Valve Editing Resource Center (VERC) - Collective.valve-erc.com
    Formerly the Half-Life ERC, the Valve ERC has grown to encompass all of Valve's products. The site contains user forums, tutorials, and lots of technical details for advanced mod creators.

    Valve Developer Wiki - Developer.valvesoftware.com
    This is Valve's official developer resource for Source-based developing, It includes the old Source SDK docs and a continually growing amount of user-added developing resources.
    This is THE place to look when developing on Source.


If you guys have any other links you'd like to donate to this section, including special links to tools that aren't found on this guide, please PM me and I'll be sure to add them :)

Edited by (in order): Karuto, Karuto, Karuto

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Jul 13 2004, 11:28am Anchor

:O

this should be pinned.

Altharion
Altharion teh kewl ghuy
Jul 13 2004, 4:02pm Anchor

needs much more imo before getting pinned.

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User Posted Image

Jul 13 2004, 4:10pm Anchor

What do you want Altharion? I have a hell of a lot of resources in my favorites folders. I'd be willing to post a lot of different sources.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Altharion
Altharion teh kewl ghuy
Jul 14 2004, 6:08am Anchor

you should have more stuff that cover each department.

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User Posted Image

Jul 14 2004, 7:41am Anchor

I hope you like it now. I added map compilers, 2d art programs, modelling/skinning resources, and a couple animation programs.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Altharion
Altharion teh kewl ghuy
Jul 14 2004, 2:49pm Anchor

add things that will help you not get flamed by moddb members like recruiting, public relations etc

there are alot of other articles/threads about this which has its own unique stuff, maybe you should gather them into your own thread?

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User Posted Image

Jul 14 2004, 2:55pm Anchor

Recruiting and PR, eh? I could just post a hell lot of Half-Life related news/mod chat sites. How about that?

Be more specific and I can really get into it ;) I don't want to steal from other threads on the site, since they'd just go to those if they wanted info for it. This is all Half-Life related info, which no other thread really has.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Jul 14 2004, 7:44pm Anchor

UPDATE: Added 7, count them 7 Advertising and Help Wanted pages highly recommended by me for all your pimpage needs.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Jul 14 2004, 8:12pm Anchor

Definetly deserves a pin.

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Why wont it save me?

Jul 14 2004, 8:16pm Anchor

Yay! My first ever pin! Thank you azz0r ^^

EDIT: If you guys need anything else added, or have something you want to add to the list that has to do with Half-Life modding, please post them below and I'll update the thread.

Soon, this thread will also include Half-Life 2 modding tools for your pleasure ;)

- Edited By Karuto On Fri 23rd, Jul 2004 @ 1:55:49pm

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Cj_the_Dj
Cj_the_Dj I like eggs
Dec 10 2004, 2:03am Anchor

:wub:

now someone make a thread to stop WHICH CARD SHOULD I GET?

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Quote:A tale of two stalkers: he saw the picture in her profile; looked up the host. He haxx0rz3d into server to acquire logs and IP address of user who uploaded picture. Then he had friend at ISP look up address. He showed up at her door with her favorite flowers and discovered she was... married. Moral: start research by looking up marital status.
Dec 22 2004, 11:41am Anchor

Alright, I updated the guide to include a few Half-Life 2 tools. I am basically unclear about where to find these tools other than through Steam, so if you guys could help, that'd be great :)

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Cj_the_Dj
Cj_the_Dj I like eggs
Dec 23 2004, 2:55am Anchor

i think steam currently only supplier of tools n' stuff for HL2. after all, the game is still 'new'. :D

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Quote:A tale of two stalkers: he saw the picture in her profile; looked up the host. He haxx0rz3d into server to acquire logs and IP address of user who uploaded picture. Then he had friend at ISP look up address. He showed up at her door with her favorite flowers and discovered she was... married. Moral: start research by looking up marital status.
embers.
embers. I'm a lumberjack....
Dec 23 2004, 3:42am Anchor

karuto this was a how tomake your own half-life mod thread

most of the links you have are planethalflife or for hl2 such as hammer

what about Q3Radiant or Worldcraft?

and u forgot that Milkshape has an animation system in it and i bet the other ones do too

Edited by: embers.

Dec 23 2004, 8:59am Anchor

Ah yes, I forgot about Q3Radiant. Worldcraft, however, was changed into Hammer not too long ago, so that doesn't really apply to this game anymore :)

I'll be sure to add 3 more links to the guide.

And the reason most of those links are for Planethalflife is because that site has a lot of great resources, and because I don't have a Favorites list overflowing with different places with more links.

If you want to add more, just do it the way I do so I can just copy&paste into the list, and then we'd all be happy :) Thanks for pointing out the missed ones, however.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Dec 23 2004, 9:03am Anchor

Yeh... how the heck will this help me make a Quake mod :P

I suggest a rename in the spirit of disambiguation

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User Posted Image

Dec 23 2004, 9:09am Anchor

Who said it would help you make a Quake mod? The first sentence in the entire guide says "Half-Life" in it, not to mention I submitted it as a tutorial for Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Where are you guys getting this? :S

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Wilhelm_III
Wilhelm_III Who the hell do I think I am?
Dec 26 2004, 2:50pm Anchor

It's those French :O filling their heads with lies!!! Pretty good thread though, Karuto, for some one of your standing.

Dec 26 2004, 3:22pm Anchor

The thread's name is misguiding :P

Quote:Want to make your own mod? These links will help you get started!
embers.
embers. I'm a lumberjack....
Dec 26 2004, 3:34pm Anchor

www.polycount.com is always a good one for resources on basically anything

Dec 26 2004, 6:37pm Anchor

Someone of my standing? I don't get it :S I'm a mod leader, and I have plenty of resources at my disposal, so all I'm doing is sharing the love :)

I think the name is good enough. Not that many things are for Half-Life and Half-Life 2 specifically, so I think it's fine. Although, I admit, I should've put "Want to make your own Half-Life mod? These links will help you get started!" but I thought that'd be a little extensive. lol

By the way, Polycount is already up there, under Modelling/Skinning Resources.

--

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Jan 15 2005, 8:31pm Anchor

great HL2 mapping tutorials:

Migandi.org.uk

Tei
Tei Enginecoder
Jan 22 2005, 7:35am Anchor

Good Pin, but the title its wrong, of course.

Mauvebib
Mauvebib Swallow My Pride
Feb 12 2005, 9:54pm Anchor

Yeah, I'd include HL2 somewhere in the title. This isn't a source engine exclusive site remember!

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Defeat in Detail 2 - Standalone RTS Game
Planetquake.com
Moddb.com

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