[Tutorial]M&B Warband - Modding on Steroids - Essential steps for newbies!

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CrEaToXx

Recruit
I. Introduction

Greetings dear community,

I'm the new one I guess. Recently started modding on this very fine game, that I was supposed to start playing a decade ago. But you know, there's so many games to be played these days. However, know that in the depth of my heart I deeply regret I've missed out on this very fine piece of Ambrosia.

Just for the reference, I'm a long time modder over on the Nexus, primarly modding for Skyrim and Fallout 4, but got my dirty little paws on other games as well. Most of them strategical games like Civilization, Galactic Civilization, Hearts of Iron and Minecraft. I'm "fluid" in Phython(and its little sister Papyrus), C++, Java and the powerhorse Basic... :iamamoron: I'm also a capable texturer using Gimp. My primary skill is quick learning. My primary inability is lack of memorization. Which basically results in me constantly being forced to relearn things, once I temporarily left for other shores. Just this little info on my background I wanted to share.

The result of my inability is what you can witness in this tutorial thread, a series of video tutorials, documenting my efforts. You will maybe find them useful, or not. You will maybe learn something new, or not. But they will for sure save up a lot of time, if you first time started modding, respectively mapping the world map, as it took me serveral days to figure all the most up to date information concerning the matter. Basically this thread tries to unifie important information, and transport it with a visual reference for various instances in your modding efforts. F.e. the first video covers the very short part of setting up a proper moddable enviroment, while the following videos will subject world map creation. We'll see what future endeavours I'm going to forward.

II. How to set up modable enviroment

Let me just quickly guide you to the essential tools you should download and install, before starting to download specific modable content for M&B:

1. Notepad++ (essential file editor for scripters)
2. GIMP (essential tool for manipulation of all common image file types, make sure to grab normal map plugin, and .dds plugin as well)
3. Blender (essential modeler tool)
4. Phython (scripting language and necessary prerequisite for the M&B module system, make sure to grab a 2.xx version, do not use anything beyond version 2, as it will not work with M&B module system!)

Now for the resources provided by the developers:

1. Module System and additional downloads

a. If you ask why I don't link to the original games module system -> you shouldn't be modding anything before warband!
b. no, you do not need the additional downloads, only if you're into moddeling animation, or creating shaders
c. make sure you have a copy of Mount&Blade original game(1.011), and Warband installed(1.702)

Now lets move onto setting up the various tools:

1. first install all the essential tools and its plugin content etc.
2. then you're supposed to set up your module system like this:

a. find your M&B warband root folder, by right clicking on your warband desktop link, and copy/paste the target line into explorer
b. open the module folder, copy and paste then rename the copied folder to your mods name(f.e. MyMod)
c. unzip the downloaded module system into your newly created mod folder, additionally make a back up of the unzipped files anywhere on your computer
d. right click on your desktop to create new file named autoexec.bat, right click on file open with Notepad++, copy/paste this code into the file:

Code:
set PYTHONPATH=%PYTHONPATH%;C:\Phython27

note that phython must be installed in its default directory to make the autoexec.bat work!!!

e. safe the autoexec.bat, then execude by double clicking on it
f. find the file named module_info.py inside your module system folder then change the line:

Code:
export_dir = "../WOTS/Modules/Native/"

to your module's root path. You can easily obtain that path by simply clicking into the explorer browser, when entering your module folder, copy/paste this line, then make sure you are using / slashes not \ slashes!

g. execute the build_module.bat inside your module system folder, if you did everything correct, the compiled files will be two folder upside from your module folder, if not, then rinse and repeat, or poke the author on giving uncorrect instructions(that's why I'm doing videos in the first place...:smile: )

Media section

I. Setting up the enviroment


II. Create your own World map


III. Map performance, bug fixing and game import

https://youtu.be/GZgFbNnt2sk

IIII. Blender - edit vertex count

https://youtu.be/8su3JWQSIko

FAQ

1. Why modding on steroids?

Because I like to shape my body and do that the unnatural way...No, seriously, the videos are in high speed to improve workflow and quickly transport information.

2. But there are many other videos and tutorials already?

And? They're also scattered across the whole internet. I want a easy to find source that trys to cover the specific parts I learned, in combination with a visual reference. As I also said, I'm primarly doing this for personal documentation. If this happens to have any useful impact on other newbies, then the thread served its purpose. Also, specially the information regarding mapping world map isn't necessarily up to date, nor is it easy to find all the various scattered snippets of input.

3. Why do you only directly link two videos?

Forum limitation. Can't do anything about it. Even spoiler madness won't forward a cure.

4. Input wanted?

Indeed. Please. I just started modding. The more knowledge you'll share, the greater the benefit of this thread will be, as I'm going to try to preserve the information in the first thread.

5. Isn't this supposed to be in the tutorial section?

Yes, but I can't make a new thread there.

6. Why do you still recommend Thorgrims map editor! It's outdated!

This might be true. But if you've found a way to move around the bugs, and later fix them in other tools, Thorgrims is still the most convenient editor to cover a lot of ground. To finalize your map I'd recommend Blender though.

7. Why don't you link the necessary resources in this thread?

The videos will show you. Google loves us. Nuff said!
 

EmielRegis

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Didn't knew martians are modding warband. :iamamoron:
-----------------
Btw you should indicate what your tutorial covers in title. "Modding on Steroids"  tells nothing to newbie whos looking for world map editing help.
-------------------------------
Video is surprisingly well done for a tutorial. Only thing I would personally add are english subtitles for people not so good with understanding spoken english.
 

CrEaToXx

Recruit
EmielRegis said:
Didn't knew martians are modding warband. :iamamoron:
-----------------
Btw you should indicate what your tutorial covers in title. "Modding on Steroids"  tells nothing to newbie whos looking for world map editing help.
-------------------------------
Video is surprisingly well done for a tutorial. Only thing I would personally add are english subtitles for people not so good with understanding spoken english.

There isn't a single subject. Step by step I will ad more videos, probably covering more subjects. It does start with a focus on world mapping though.

Good idea with the subtitles. Updated the threads title... :smile:
 
Campaign mapping was overdue some additional guidance. It's not my workflow, but interesting.

In MeshLab you can restrict the decimation to specific areas because it varies the face sizes within your selection, going from large at the centre to small at the edges where it interfaces with the existing face size of unselected areas. That gives the advantage that you can decimate the same mesh as often as you like to fine tune it.

BTW your link in module_inf.py is missing a closing /
That's why it adds the module folder name to the file name and dumps the compiled files in the folder above your module folder.
 

CrEaToXx

Recruit
Yeah, I'm probably supposed to remove and redo video nr.4 anyways, as it was done in haste without a script. It's also a week ago, since then I refined my skills in Blender.

I understand the capacity of MeshLab, but waiting for hours to forward overall decimation is a no brainer. I might start using it once I found a capable way of creating highly resoluted and vertexed maps, and decimate them in Blender more decently. The variant I was trying a week ago is pretty much obsolete, stupid to begin with. Actually the solution came to me when watching video 4 again yesterday. Why start adding high detail and lot of vertexes, and then use decimation for individual reduction, if working the other way around, by adding low detail and low vertex count, and then specificaly increase detail/vertex with subdivide? You'd need to shape out coastlines, AI-travel routes, mountain range etc. anyways. So as I said, nr.4 is supposed to be remade. And just as the other videos it needs a underlying, well thought out script with hours of additionally testing various workflow variants.

Possible variants I'd need to test:

1. high detail/vertex, split import into Blender, using vertex grouped material selection to decimate all various material layers then rejoin all layers with CTRL-J before exporting the map as a whole
2. low detail/vertex, fixed import into Blender, add detail/routes etc. with subdivide function
3. testing general workflow in Wings3D and Meshlab...possible other modeler software?

It also appears I should add a additional standardized section with links and what not, for people not wanting to watch videos, as well as just reading thorugh the other threads I based most of experience on...which I could basically forward now...:smile:

BTW your link in module_inf.py is missing a closing /
That's why it adds the module folder name to the file name and dumps the compiled files in the folder above your module folder.

That's done in purpose as I want it to go there. No convenience in cluttering up my module folder... :lol:
 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
I usually leave new tutorials, code and resource topics in the main section for a bit to give them additional exposure. If you would like me to move it right away, I dont mind either though. Just let me know.
 

CrEaToXx

Recruit
Duh said:
I usually leave new tutorials, code and resource topics in the main section for a bit to give them additional exposure. If you would like me to move it right away, I dont mind either though. Just let me know.

Uh, my bad. I thought you already pushed it over. Could have sworn I saw it in the tutorial section for a second.

However, updated with a additional section, steroid text based instruction for setting up enviroment. More things will fly in, give me some time.
 

EmielRegis

Sergeant Knight at Arms
CrEaToXx said:
Duh said:
I usually leave new tutorials, code and resource topics in the main section for a bit to give them additional exposure. If you would like me to move it right away, I dont mind either though. Just let me know.

Uh, my bad. I thought you already pushed it over. Could have sworn I saw it in the tutorial section for a second.

However, updated with a additional section, steroid text based instruction for setting up enviroment. More things will fly in, give me some time.

You may wanna modify "enviroment setup" to be idiot proof. Much of its steps makes sense only for person rather skilled in basic pc handling. This is often NOT the case. Otherwise you gonna have spam of questions like "lol how do i copy" in thread. This happens everywhere on this board.
 

CrEaToXx

Recruit
As said I replaced video nr.4 with a better version, plus I finally found a decent way to "brush" vertex count by using the sculpt tool with the simplifie/dyntopo function in Blender. Next video maybe tomorrow or sunday. Unfortunately there's some real life stuff I have to forward, keeping me busy this whole week already, but progress will be made, I promise.

Wish me luck, I compete my first Triathlon tomorrow... :razz:
 
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