Homeworld 2 : FAQModding
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HW2 Modding FAQ

Please direct any comments or questions regarding this FAQ here
  1. Where is the best place to go for somebody that has never modded before?
  2. I just changed some things but nothing happens when I start my game. Where are the changes I made?
  3. How do I add/edit hardpoints using HManager?
  4. Where can I find scripting information or tutorials?
  5. How do I add new models to the game?
  6. How do I make new thumbnails for maps?
  7. When I try to run Pipakin's HardPoint Editor with GUI, I get the following error: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application." What's wrong?
  8. How do you take a buildable subsystem (specifically, let's say the hyperspace module) and make it so that a ship (specifically, let's say the carrier) has one when you build it (or, for that matter, when it hypers in at the beginning of the game)?
  9. Where do I find all these tools I keep hearing about?
  10. What denotes a comment in the script (lua) files [lua, ship, wepn, events, etc.]?
  11. Can I use text (strings) in such things as: NewShipType.displayedName = "$1784"?
  12. Why isn't my ship being displayed in the build manager?
  13. How do I make the text in the DisplayedName or Description fields to be bold?
  14. How do i add/remove engine trails?
  15. How do I change the icon displayed for my new custom ship?
  16. What is the NIS folder for?
  17. I added "-overidebigfile" (without quotes) to the shortcut, but mods still dont work. What am I doing wrong?
  18. I made a new ship but Homeworld 2 keeps crashing out on me. What might be wrong?
  19. How do I get that damned Archive.exe tool to work from the RDN tools kit?
  20. I use the ".xls" sheets and i get errors when I click the create/update/etc button saying there is a error and it has something to do with directory's i think.. How do i fix it?
  21. I need an Excel file viewer, and I do not have any versions of MS Office. What alternatives are there?
  22. Can somebody please tell me how to make a shortcut to Homeworld 2 with that "-overrideBigFile" command line everybody keeps talking about?
  23. HOW THE HELL DO I UNPACK THE BIG FILES?
  24. I just downloaded a persons mod. How do I install it?
  25. Why does the game crash during bootup after mapping or modding?
  26. How do you decompile files extracted from "homeworld2.big"?
  27. How do I host websites/mods/images?
  28. How do you add the %HW2_ROOT% environmental parameter, required by the RDN Tools and other modding tools, to your OS?
  29. Is There Any Modeling Tools For Freeee!
  30. dam where can i get maya 3
  31. Has anyone put any HW1 ships into HW2??
  32. What are the RDN Tools, and where can I find them?
  33. I cannot download programs (e.g. the RDN Tools) from the RDN. What gives?
  34. How do you register "comdl32.ocx" (needed in order for some VB6 apps to run properly)?
  35. Which directory should I extract "English.big" into?
  36. Where can I find new maps and mods to download and play?
  37. How do you convert Homeworld 2 music to mp3?
  38. Where can I find a few tutorials on how to use maya to get ships into HW2?


Question 1
Q. Where is the best place to go for somebody that has never modded before?
A. Go to the thread, titled The Newbie Guide to HW2 Modding, at the top of the page in Tanis Shipyards.


Question 2
Q. I just changed some things but nothing happens when I start my game. Where are the changes I made?
A. See the above answer.


Question 3
Q. How do I add/edit hardpoints using HManager?
A. See this thread (page 3).


Question #4
Q: Where can I find scripting information or tutorials?
A: Visit the Karos Graveyard.


Question #5
Q. How do I add new models to the game?
A. Wait for Relic, Delphy, Pesimontis, Spooky, Thought, or others to release a tool to do so.


Question #6
Q. How do I make new thumbnails for maps?
A. See this thread. Also read the last section of Malignus's Mapping Tutorial.


Question #7
Q: When I try to run Pipakin's HardPoint Editor with GUI or his OBJ->HOD Importer, I get the following error: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135).Click on OK to terminate the application." What's wrong?
A: You need to install Microsoft .NET 1.1 Framework. This is a Windows update, which you may get at http://www.microsoft.com/.


Question #8
Q. How do you take a buildable subsystem (specifically, let's say the hyperspace module) and make it so that a ship (specifically, let's say the carrier) has one when you build it (or, for that matter, when it hypers in at the beginning of the game)?
A. Look for this line (in the corresponding ".ship" file):

AddShipAbility(NewShipType, "HyperSpaceCommand", 0, ...

and change the "0" to a "1". The 0 means that the ability is added by something else, while a 1 means that the ship has that ability from the beginning. This does not really answer the question. Adding the hyperspace ability to a ship does not have exactly the same effect as building said ship with a hyperspace module. To have a subsystem built by default on a ship (regardless of whether the ship is built or part of the starting fleet), set it by default on the hardpoint using StartShipHardPointConfig in the ship's .ship file. To only have the subsystem built on a ship in a starting fleet (the one that hyperspaces in when a game starts), add it in the subsystems list of the ship in the appropriate startingfleet script (within data/scripts/startingfleet/ directory) --SunTzu


Question #9
Q. Where do I find all these tools I keep hearing about?
A. Look at the front page of the Karos Graveyard.


Question #10
Q. What denotes a comment in the script (lua) files [lua, ship, wepn, events, etc.]?
A. "--" (without quotes) denotes a comment.


Question #11
Q. Can I use text (strings) in such things as:

NewShipType.displayedName = "$1784"

A: You may. Heres an example:

NewShipType.displayedName = "custom displayed name here"


Question #12
Q. Why isn't my ship being displayed in the build manager?
A. The possibilities include:



Question #13
Q. How do I make the text in the DisplayedName or Description fields to be bold?
A. Like this:

NewShipType.Description = "<b>Bold Text</b> Normal text"


Question #14
Q. How do i add/remove engine trails?
A. Ok, so we are still working on adding them (doesn't always work)but to remove trails, go to the "*.ship" or "*. miss" file and find the line setEngineTrail(). You can either delete it or comment it out. Missiles still have trails sometimes when viewed from a distance, however.


Question #15
Q. How do I change the icon displayed for my new custom ship?
A. Look in "shipicons.lua" and add an entry for your new ship.


Question #16
Q. What is the NIS folder for?
A. NIS stands for Non-Interactive Sequence, these are much like the cinematics, but using the homeworld2 engine. (Much like the first campaign level -- when the Core is flying out to be connected with the Mothership).


Question #17
Q. I added "-overidebigfile" (without quotes) to the shortcut, but mods still dont work. What am I doing wrong?
A. The command line is case sensative and should be written:

" -overrideBigFile" (without quotes)


Question #18
Q. I made a new ship but Homeworld 2 keeps crashing out on me. What might be wrong?
A. There are a number of things that could be wrong:

  1. Check and make sure that your new ship has the following in it's directory: a ".ship" file, ".event" file, and ".hod" file with the exact same name as the folder, unless you are using a shared file.
  2. Run the game with the "-luaTrace" command line switch (without quotes) and check your "hw2.log" file. You can find it in the "homeworld2\bin\release\" directory. When Homeworld 2 crashes, check and see what error messege the file lists. It might help you out a great deal.
  3. Check and make sure that everything you have in your ".ship" and ".event" file really exists. Make sure that nothing is pointing to an object that does not exist. Also, double-check for spelling errors.
  4. If all else fails, and you still cannot work out what is going on, ask over at RelicNews.


Question #19
Q. How do I get that damned "Archive.exe" tool to work from the RDN tools kit?
A. Read Jpaugh78's Big File Creator Tutorial.
Note: use ModPackager instead.


Question #20
Q. I use the ".xls" sheets and i get errors when I click the create/update/etc button saying there is a error and it has something to do with directory's i think.. How do i fix it?
A. This is because the tools presume that you have followed their installation instructions to the letter and have done everything in the readme file. Therefore, the entire directory structure should, technically, exist. But if it doesn't, simply look at where the file is (for the "shiptunning.lua" it will be "homeworld2\Data\ship\"). This gives you the exact location you need to make in your "homeworld2" root folder. So, for the ship tunning sheet, you would need to make a folder named "ship" in your "homeworld2\Data\" folder. For a subsystems folder, you have to create a folder called "subsystem"; and, for a weapons folder, you have to make a folder called "weapon", etc.).


Question #21
Q: I need an Excel file viewer, and I do not have any versions of MS Office. What alternatives are there?
A: Next time, think about using google first.--
Note: with the above, you will not be able to edit/create any excel files, but you will be able to view them, print them, etc.


Question #22
Q. Can somebody please tell me how to make a shortcut to Homeworld 2 with that "-overrideBigFile" command line everybody keeps talking about?
A. Go to the directory where you installed Homeworld 2 and go to the "homeworld2\bin\release\" folder and find the file called "homeworld2.exe"

Example:

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe"

Right-click on this file and select Create Shortcut from the drop-down menu.
After you do this there should be a new icon at the end of the list called "homeworld2.exe". Right-click on that icon and select Cut from the menu.
Now, close all the windows you opened and right-click on any open space on your desktop. Select Paste from the drop-down menu. Now, you should have an icon on your desktop that says "homeworld2.exe".
Right-click on this icon again and click on Properties from the drop down menu. Find the target line, which should look something like this (with quotes):

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe"

At the end of this line add a space and then "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes). So, in the end your target line will look like this:

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe" -overrideBigFile

Finally, click on the OK button.


Question #23
Q. HOW THE HELL DO I UNPACK THE BIG FILES?
A. Use one of these Big Utilities.


Question #24
Q. I just downloaded a persons mod. How do I install it?

If the mod is not packed into a single ".big" file:
A. Before copying any files, write down or remember the names of the folders. If you have a problem with the mod, you'll have to be able to remove these folders.
First, take all of the person's modded data and place it in the "Data" folder in your Homeworld 2 root directory. If you installed Homeworld 2 into the normal installation directory, it would be located here:

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\data"

If you don't have a shortcut to homeworld 2 on your desktop, make a new shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop somewhere and then selecting New > Shortcut from the drop-down menu. Click on the Browse button and point it to the directory where you installed Homeworld 2. Open up the "bin" folder, then open the "release" folder. Find the file called "homeworld2.exe" and select it by left-clicking once and clicking the OK button. The path should look something like this:

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe"

Then, click the Next button and type in whatever you want this shortcut to be called. Click Finish.

Next, make a 2nd copy of your Homeworld 2 desktop shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut you just made. Go to Properties, then the target line, and put "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) at the end of it. When you are done your target line will look something like this:

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe" -overrideBigFile
Note: you have to type in a space before you type in "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes).

Now, simply start Homeworld 2 with the new shortcut. The changes should have taken effect.

If the mod is packed into a single ".big" file:
A. Copy the ".big" file into your "homeworld2\Data\" folder. You should not use the "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) switch, but rather, just use the "-mod <modname>.big" (without quotes) switch. Replace <modname> with the name of the ".big" file.
For further details, see this thread.

If the mod is packed into a single ".big" or ".grm1" file and the mod is a Game Rule mod:
A. Copy the ".big" or ".grm1" file into your "homeworld2\Bin\Gamerules\" folder. You don't have to use the "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes) switch or the "-mod <modname>.big" (without quotes) switch. The mod will make itself available when you select the Game Type in a Multiplayer or Player vs CPU match.


Question #25
Q. Why does the game crash during bootup after mapping or modding?
A. During boot the game seems to check the files, or whatever. If one or more particular file in the modification (lets say, for example, a ".level" file) has a heavy syntactical error, the game quits on startup.
Things you can do to bring it back:



Question #26
Q. How do you decompile files extracted from "homeworld2.big"?
A. Spooky's Big Extractor (link) can do this automatically. Otherwise, use LuaDC.


Question #27
Q. How do I host websites/mods/images?
A. If you have the resources, you can host your own website straight from your computer. CJB Geocities Tripod Then there's Angelfire www.x-plane.org offers excellent service, but keep your bandwidth usage and filesizes low. This is a flight simulator site. Non-related accounts are subject to deletion. Always good to let the admin there know when you're hosting non-related material.


Question #28
Q. How do you add the %HW2_ROOT% environmental parameter, required by the RDN Tools and other modding tools, to your OS?
A. See this thread.


Question #29
Q. Is There Any Modeling Tools For Freeee!
A. See this thread.


Question #30
Q. dam where can i get maya 3
A. See this thread.


Question #31
Q. Has anyone put any HW1 ships into HW2??
A. See this thread.


Question #32
Q. What are the RDN Tools, and where can I find them?
A. Go here.


Question #33
Q. I cannot download programs from the RDN. What gives?
A. Disable any download accelerators, use IE 6, and you should be fine.

Question #34
Q. How do you register "comdl32.ocx" (needed in order for some VB6 apps to run properly)?
A. From the Start menu choose Run... then type "cmd".
Go the the "system32" directory you copied the OCX file to and type:
regsvr32 MSCOMCTL.OCX
If the file successfully registers a dialog box will appear telling you so... - Spooky

Question #35
Q. Which directory should I extract "English.big" into?
A. "English.big" files go in your "data\locale\english\" folder.
And, yes, the "-overrideBigFile" switch will work for that, too. - ZuiljiN

Question #36
Q. Where can I find new maps and mods to download and play?
A. For starters, you can check out this page.

Question #37
Q. How do you convert Homeworld 2 music to mp3?
A. See this page.

Question #38
Q. Where can I find a few tutorials on how to use maya to get ships into HW2?
A. Evillejedi and Rob's tutorials can both be found on RelicNews. Both cover a lot of information on how to mod in ships using maya. Rob covers Maya 3.0 exclusivly with full video. Evillejedi covers Maya 5.0 and will work generally in Maya 3.0.
Rob's tutorial evillejedi's tutorial #1 evillejedi's tutorial #2 evillejedi's tutorial #3

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