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Thread: Begin Modding: "Where are the files?" and "Why can't I see my changes?"

  1. #1
    Withwnar's Avatar Script To The Waist
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    Default Begin Modding: "Where are the files?" and "Why can't I see my changes?"

    Where are the files?

    The files for M2TW, Kingdoms and the Kingdoms expansions are "packed" into various *.pack files. To edit the files they must first be "unpacked/extracted". Tutorial here.

    Virtual Store: if you are using Windows Vista or later then you should read this. Files generated by the game might not be where they seem to be. They are in the Virtual Store instead, under a folder something like "C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\SEGA\Medieval II Total War".


    Why can't I see my changes?

    This is a common scenario: you have modified the files in some way and those changes are not appearing in the game.

    Most of the time it is because you forgot to do the "file_first = true" step as explained in that unpacking tutorial.

    Virtual Store could be another reason. e.g. When altering keyboard shortcuts you need to delete keys.dat so that the game may rebuild it with your changes: it needs to be deleted from the Virtual Store (if you are using one).

    When changing anything under the "base" folder you must delete map.rwm. This file is also in the "base" folder:
    M2TW/Kingdoms: {M2TW installation folder}\data\world\maps\base
    Mods (incl. Kingdoms expansions): {M2TW installation folder}\mods\{mod name}\data\world\maps\base

    Description files are a special case again. These are the files in the "data\text" folder of the game/mod. Each file has an associated file with a ".strings.bin" suffix in the name - it is these that the game actually reads. For mods it is enough just to change the text file itself: its .strings.bin file will be auto-rebuilt by the game when it starts. However, for the 'base' game files - in {M2TW installation folder}\data\text - you need to build the .strings.bin file yourself. There is a converter tool here - NOTE: it needs Python 2.6 (anything higher will not work).

    ~~~

    Moderators: please feel free to modify this post as you see fit: corrections, additional info/links, etc.
    Last edited by Withwnar; September 15, 2014 at 10:00 PM. Reason: added Python site link

  2. #2

    Default Re: Begin Modding: "Where are the files?" and "Why can't I see my changes?"

    I'm a Steam user of MTW2 Kingdoms with Vista 64 bit. I've not found any files in the VirtualStore folder thus far. It would always be wise to check though. I've been using it since MTW2 came out without problems related to the VS).

    If you mod for any length of time, it's so easy to forget and ruin a file, so unpacking and keeping a pristine copy will save a lot of heartache, as does numerous revisions of working code in places like the EDCT. Otherwise, it's combing through the log file to see what error you made and hoping it gets reported.

  3. #3
    Mr_Nygren's Avatar Berserkir
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    Default Re: Begin Modding: "Where are the files?" and "Why can't I see my changes?"

    This 2.5.4-version of Python is needed, not 2.6 =).

    https://www.python.org/download/releases/2.5.4/

  4. #4
    Gigantus's Avatar I am thinking more about running away now then I did as a kid, but by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on and find my car keys I forget why I am going.
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    Default Re: Begin Modding: "Where are the files?" and "Why can't I see my changes?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Nygren View Post
    This 2.5.4-version of Python is needed, not 2.6 =).
    I usually plaster this all over when it comes to Python scripts, it's the last known version to work with the scripts offered here:

    Make sure you have a Python version less then 2.7 installed, else install from the applicable download link
    Windows x86 MSI Installer (2.6.6) - for 'regular' operating system
    Windows X86-64 MSI Installer (2.6.6) - for 64 bit operating system



    Quote Originally Posted by RubiconDecision View Post
    If you mod for any length of time, it's so easy to forget and ruin a file, so unpacking and keeping a pristine copy will save a lot of heartache, as does numerous revisions of working code in places like the EDCT. Otherwise, it's combing through the log file to see what error you made and hoping it gets reported.
    Unpacking outside the default folder (Creating a World - Unpacking the Game), the easiest way to keep a back up copy which can easily be deleted (and restored again) if space is needed.
    Last edited by Gigantus; January 26, 2016 at 06:22 AM.




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