Mod Development - Getting Started

Any questions and discussions about authoring mods are welcome here. Also, feel free to let people know about mod-related resources, to request mods or post mod ideas.

Postby Witness on Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:42 am

Tools of the Trade
  • Dungeon Siege Tool Kit
    This is the official mod developer's package. The DSTK includes the following elements:
    • Siege Editor
      Used for creating custom maps and campaigns, as well as "untanking" archives and creating new "tank" archives.
    • DSMod.exe and DSLOAMod.exe
      Development version of the game client with a console of additional commands. Can be used to test and debug your mod in-game, provide feedback and location about errors, and reload content dynamically from "untanked" files without having to restart the client.
    • Siege Max (this will only be installed if you already have GMax installed)
      This is a gamepack for GMax, providing new options to the GMax interface for adding necessary widgets, previewing the in-game result, and exporting into Dungeon Siege model (ASP) and animation (PRS) formats.
    • DS Anim Viewer
      Used by Siege Max for previewing models (ASP) and animations (PRS), but can be launched separately.
  • GMax
    If you want to create custom models (new characters, items, terrain) and/or animations, you'll need to download and install this (free) program before installing the DSTK.
  • Tank Viewer
    This is a lightweight third-party tool for viewing the contents of "tank" archives in an Explorer-like interface and extracting files selectively. A very good supplement to the DSTK, which does not include archive viewing functionality.
  • Rapid Tank Creator
    This is a lightweight third-party tool for creating "tank" archives, and is a good supplement to the DSTK because it allows you to specify custom mod loading priorities, whereas the Siege Editor only allows you to select between 4 predetermined priorities.
  • RAW to PSD Converter
    This is a lightweight third-party tool for converting from the native Dungeon Siege image format (RAW) to Photoshop bitmap (PSD), which can then be opened by most leading graphic editors. If you don't have a graphic editor that can open PSD files, you might try the RAW to BMP converter.
  • DS RAW Converter
    This is a lightweight third-party tool for (batch) converting from either PSD or TGA image formats to the native Dungeon Siege image format.
  • A Text Editor
    Always good to have one. Any will do, even Notepad.
  • A Graphic Editor
    If you plan on editing images, pick a graphic editor that supports opening PSD files. If it cannot save in PSD format, at least it should be able to save in TGA format. Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and The Gimp are some the most commonly used.
Additional Tools
Some other tools that aren't as essential, but can be very helpful nonetheless in the development process:Dungeon Siege Files
First of all, you should probably familiarize yourself with the location of Dungeon Siege's files on your computer.
  • Install Directory - This is where you installed Dungeon Siege on your computer. Typically, by default, the location should be something like C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Dungeon Siege\. Look at the contents of the Resources folder, you should see the following core resource files:
    • Logic.dsres
    • Objects.dsres
    • Sound.dsres
    • Terrain.dsres
    • Voices.dsres
    You can find the Legends of Aranna expansion resource files in the DSLOA folder:
    • Expansion.dsres
    • ExpVoices.dsres
    Map files, which have the file extension *.dsmap, are usually located in the Maps folder:
    • World.dsmap - the Kingdom of Ehb campaign
    • MpWorld.dsmap - the Utraean Peninsula campaign
  • Document Directories - Dungeon Siege stores save game information, user preferences, and screenshots in My Documents\Dungeon Siege\. For Legends of Aranna, they will be in the My Documents\Dungeon Siege LOA\ directory instead.
The *.ds* files are called TANK files or tank archives. Tank archives are very similar to *.zip archives: they contain a collection of files and folders in a compressed format. If you were wondering, the term "tank" is supposed to be a reference to the developer company's name, Gas Powered Games.

Use Tank Viewer to take a look at the contents of Logic.dsres. To create mods, you will need to place your files in a specific directory structure before you compact them into tank archives, like what you see in Logic.dsres. But before getting into that, navigate the through the various folders and subfolders; You should notice the existence files with the following file extensions:
  • *.gas (config, templates)
  • *.skrit (scripts)
Both of these types of files contain plaintext data which you can open and edit in any text editor. Double-click any of these files to preview their contents in Tank Viewer.

Starting Point
At this point, you're armed with all the tools you need, and a basic introduction to Dungeon Siege files...so you can get started on some tutorials that introduce you to things that you can do with them (in no particular order):Reference Material
Some things you might want to keep handy for future reference.For Further ReferenceThere's more, but I'm bored with compiling it all at this point :P
Last edited by Witness on Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dark and Light Elfgirl Mod
- Download v3.0.1.2 beta (i.e. v3.0 beta 1 patch 2)
- Project Site
- Project Thread
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Postby sjr on Sun Jan 09, 2005 5:39 pm

This is very nice. Now when someone asks "how do I mod" or "where can I get modding tools", we can just refer them to this thread. :thumbup:
Last edited by sjr on Sun Jan 09, 2005 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Witness on Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:39 am

Added a couple of tutorial links (Zhaph's misc collection under the Further Reference section, and Wootai's Character Reskinning tutorials collection under Starting Point).
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- Download v3.0.1.2 beta (i.e. v3.0 beta 1 patch 2)
- Project Site
- Project Thread
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Postby haloless0320 on Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:09 pm

I'm still having a little bit of trouble but in a different area
I downloaded the Elf skins...how do i get to use them in Dungeon Siege?
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Postby myncknm&22 on Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:59 am

Put them in your resources folder. This is the wrong place to ask this question.
<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Courier'>Oooooooh! Fancy, fancy, look at me! The queen of Ebidale, think I be!
Ooooooooh! The fancy folk have come anew, for another taste of my cauldron brew!
</span></span>
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Postby preist on Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:38 pm

gd very gd :thumbup: but im still confused :huh:

We don't encourage a lot of senseless smilies in posts, thanks.
Last edited by preist on Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby preist on Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:15 am

well now i got dstk i can finally use these tutorials to build the ultim ate combat arena ^_^

:ninjafight:
:thumbup:
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Postby Darknight on Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:45 pm

it is gd :thumbup: but i still need :helpme: how to put the weapon on some thing like krug, how do i make it drop from them
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Postby sjr on Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:47 am

You would put it in their inventory.
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Postby braywolf on Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:34 pm

i've tried to make mods before,it just made my brain hurt :lol:
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Postby Guest on Sun May 29, 2005 7:18 pm

i'm bizy with farmsboys head.... :helpme:

i can't find farmboy :helpme:

i have all things (gmax, tank viewer, tank creator and the toolkit) :helpme:



where can i find farmboy? :helpme:
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Postby Guest on Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:59 pm

i'm having truble i hit create on my tank creator and nada sip nothing happens help me out here pls i stayed up 3 days straight tryingpls help pls
:helpme: :( :(
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Postby superdemon22 on Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:24 am

i have the same problem with my tank creator when i hit create a black screen is suppose to come up and u hit space but it never did...it did a few days ago but not now... :( ...this is a problem since im going to make a inventory mod.
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Postby myncknm&22 on Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:01 am

Is Dungeon Siege running?
<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Courier'>Oooooooh! Fancy, fancy, look at me! The queen of Ebidale, think I be!
Ooooooooh! The fancy folk have come anew, for another taste of my cauldron brew!
</span></span>
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Postby Sharangir on Sat Jul 09, 2005 5:03 am

i did it many times while DS was still runnong :wacko:

are you sure the directories are right?
1st box: the map with the 2 .gas files and the picture
2nd box: the My documents/Dungeon siege(loa)/save directory
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