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New mod in development - first time modder

fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
edited April 2017 in General Modding
Hi all, I'm just starting to learn to mod and wanted to create an npc for bgee, sod and bg2ee.

My goals are:
1) Make a walking, talking npc, with banters, pids, friendship etc
2) Create some simple quests, which largely use underrated existing game mechanics
3) Add a little flavour of everything; kit, store, new item, upgrade item, bam art, new spell etc.
4) Have a lot of fun making it
5) Add voiceover

Hopefully I can use this thread, as a place holder for when the mod is ready for release - I'm going for a Q4 2017 release for the bgee portion. I thought it would be good to get some tips as I go and also see what things/ features people would like. As its my first mod, I'm planning to weigh in on what's already existing in the game and other mods, e.g. they seem to be a lot of mage enhancements out there, so thought Id make the npc some kind of mage to take advantage of these nice mods. I also thought I can use my npc for a tutorial. There are some fantastic modders here and out there, but maybe I can offer one thing they can't... the perspective of a total clueless heh.

I'm thinking of posting updates here, but dont want it to be too spoilerish. As I go, I'd be keen to get a few testers on board and possibly voice over.

I expect there will be more demand for Planescape mods, so hopefully I'll make it compatible with all IE platforms.

Update: 3 (I wont keep adding update number, I'll just edit the below as I work through this mod)

1) My npcs will touch on lore of Waterdeep, Halruaa and Khelben. I cant work out exactly - during bg series is Khelben alive? I have the code set up for banters, pid, friendship. Now working on story and timing of interjections.

2) Decided on using the following mechanics, unless I hear any requests:
a) Intoxication - drinking bottles, drunk effects, other dialogue, script drinking interaction
b) Reputation - quest outcomes which change if your rep is v high or low - goal is to make it meaningful and different, but one not "better or worse" than the other.
c) Money - I see a lot of people complaining they have too much coin - my npcs will address that porblem heh

3) Flavour, can people help me create a list of what they'd like as a tutorial/flavour, off the top of my head I can think of: new kit, new item, upgrade an item, create your own bam art for an item/icon, create your own animation for a creature, create new spell, create new area (that one looks especially daunting)...anything else?

Current list of tutorial/features: Please advice on any additions, this part is aimed more at people learning to mod
a) Add an npc - code set up, working on story and interjections, implementing respect system on top of friendship, still need portraits
b) Simple quest - added a v simple quest around rep and xp (achieved when rep/xp reaches certain lvl), adding more quests which dnt deviate from charname path, things like finding resources to upgrade weapon or noc personal development
c) Add a kit - wip, wild mage kit and runecaster kit - think ill make the runecaster a cleric kit, which can either stay cleric to focus on divine runes or move to bard to focu on arcane runes
d) Add an animation - black cat animation is done, might release parts already done earlier, let me know if anyone wants it
e) Add a paperdoll - no clue yet - looks to be the same as adding animation. I want to see if the two can be separated, or if paper dolls can be added for existing animations without them
f) Add a new area - no clue yet - will add a nice little den/temple/workshop for my non playable npc in bgee, then maybe something more substantial involving the sphere in bg2
g) Add new item - done - got some spells, bard songs, a few super items, artifacts to make item and 1 item talks
h) Add new spell - wip, as above, gone for bard songs, polymorphing, wild magic, lots of runes
i) Make weapon upgradeable - done - through runes or end game combining powers into single item

4) I'm proposing 2 npcs:
a) Joinable from bgee, through sod, through bg2+tobee; wild mage/ thief kit - bit OP, but serious story related drawbacks.
b) not joinable in bgee or bg2 (merchant, story involvement), joinable in tob - has the Epic Runecaster kit. If there is interest, I can make a normal Runecaster kit for the protagonist - would be a cleric kit and follow d&d edition2 - so not so much craziness - let me know if there's interest, or if something like this has been done before? I couldnt see much on google.

5) Im currently thinking a dwarf npc and young woman npc. Plus a few random quest givers.

Voiceover is too much fun - started with the old dwarf male. The young woman will require someone to help me, so Im getting all the dialogue ready first.

Learning to add voiceover - it looks like the best practice is to add a blank music file to MUS to drown out game music, then rely on normal .wav sounds for everything else. I managed to add a one minute long song to .wav sound, so not sure what the limit is, but looks a much better option, than using the music.2da - which looks full anyway. Any modders able to get that old mod i found working on ee which adds music.2da limit to 500?

Post edited by fluke13 on


  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    What underrated mechanics are you referring to?

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    edited April 2017
    Currently I'm thinking of using the reputation system and the intoxication system. Both Systems seem to be heavily implemented, yet in my opinion don't have a big impact on gameplay.

    @chimeric while you're here, I'm just looking at your more colours thread, I'm trying to create a cat that's black. Should work with your method right? Anything I put in eekeeper turns out sandy colour.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    I'd be interested to know if the intoxification system even works with regards to something like a horror spell chucked at the party. If it did, I can think of a few encounters I would get all liqueured up beforehand. I know for sure with that nasty ol wiz down at the Nashkel county fair. It should be that the spell would not have any effect, or at least give a bonus to saves (maybe it does already though).

    I could also see it being used to limit dialogue choices, or even add some new ones. This was done only once that I know of, at least in a way. Splurgin Sturgeon inn in BG. (the slime killing bet thing).

    Shoot, that just gve me the idea I need to send the ol oozemaster to pay that dude a visit.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    @Zaghoul so far with intoxication, I can see two scripts that can be used, checkstat (for how much you've drunk) and state check for when you're drunk and get the beer icon. Dialogue choices based on these seem pretty easy to implement. For spells... I can run something like if you're drunk and terrified, then the terror is removed. Any other combinations of states you can think of?

    I've written a script which makes an npc have to constantly get drunk, lest he cant cast spells and his ac becomes terrible hehe

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @fluke13 Drunk NPC, that would be good, yes, as only the leader shows the' beer' icon. Yep, chance of spell failure for casters, ac worse, THACO worse , but maybe 5pt hit point gain or so (don't feel as much pain).
    I could actually see a penalty to saves vs confusion, I mean they are already disoriented to some extent anyway.
    Not sure if walking speed could be slowed but might make sense.
    A reaction penalty might be called for if leader is drunk and interacting with NPC's of any kind.

    It would be funny but I am not sure how hard it would be to implement but the drunk character could actually fall down when walking sometimes, or pass out. Not sure how, but maybe with a short sleep spell effect or something, I am not a modder,but certainly have ideas. I can't remember at the moment if a character drinks enough they pass out at the inn or not.

    That's just off the top of my head, I am sure there could be more.

    I know rep system as has been played with a little. @elminster did some interesting changes with his Rough World mod.
    I believe atweaks added the low rep gets better prices option as well. Even so , you might have a different take on things that could be new.

    I can remember a few games in the past that used famine as a condition, with penalties to go with it. The bars and inns don't have options for food though so that might be a tough one(probably one that would want to be as an option to a mod but sure would add flavor. The only thing I have seen as food at all, is the great mod I use by @Ravenslight Critter parts.
    I mean in PnP, we ALWAYS had to carry the ol iron rations and wine/waterskins about.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    @Zaghoul Oh I like that falling down idea heh, shouldn't be too hard to implement, there are spells which do that, so I could just remove the effects and keep the animation, put maybe like a script in that says if state intixicated, then 10% chance to fallover (custom spell), then add a timer, so they dnt fall over repeatedly.

    Just to clarify, i want to use these mechanics around the npc i wouldnt really modify the rep of tox system (much) - but make it more meaningful for my npcs. So they'll be a main npv quest that rides on reputation (good or evil) - so to achieve it you need to get a really high or low rep. I think that way, the npcs dnt feel like they are taking over...i.e. Im suppose to save the mines, but this chick wants me to go to some distant land right now...but it makes each time you raise or lower rep to be like... ooo nice, that npc is one step closer to finding x.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @fluke13 I gotcha now. Yeah, the BGNPC Project and Romantic Encounters added romances/quests that took a certain rep. lvl, so that makes good sense.
    If I were to see a new creature, a rust monster would be up there, particularly with the iron crisis going on(they might be MORE aggressive than normal considering the state of weaponry about (poisoned iron ore). Not too far off the potential quest ideas involving a dwarf (diggers/miners n such). Not sure about the prospects of how they would target weapons and armor, but weapons can break and Atweaks added other metal items breaking some how. I know with the armor breaking, a fireball often does it, so maybe it is related to total damage taken in relation to a set number for the metal item in question.

    I think @chimeric was working on a type of spell that targeted inventory, but not sure if he figured a way to make it work or not. Not sure if that would have been helpful for a rust monster or not.
    Good luck with whatever you plan as new mods are always nice to see. :)

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    @fluke13 You can't make something black with a glow. Glows are always lighter than the underlying color of the creature part - skin for a cat, probably. I don't know if cats can be recolored at all or not, you have to try it out for yourself. You could make a gray cat with a glow trick, but the color would be too flat and unnatural for skin. In any case, there are enough black options in the regular Set Color opcode. Try color 254. I don't use EE Keeper, I use Near Infinity like most modders. Download that, learn to use it, then go to the CRE file and pick the color there directly.

    That ought to do it for a custom creature. The Set Color etc. opcodes are for spells and effects that are applied on top of creatures' regular colors. For example, when you don a chain mail in the game, it overrides your colors for Armor/Trimming, Strap/Leather and Belt/Amulet, which is why everyone who puts on a chainmail looks the same except their Major and Minor colors. That's not actually very good, in my opinion. Given varieties of metal, leather, cloth and that none of this is factory-made, there should be some variety. I might look into that. But you don't need to change equipment properties for a basic recolor, change the creature.

    I'm not working on an Inventory-targeted spell, I was just curious whether that option works. But for other things you suggest, like intoxication, you can use that state as a filter to give creatures resistance to fear. But you'd have to edit the Horror spell itself. Because drinking in a bar isn't a spell as far as I know, it's just something the engine does, so you can't insert resistances there. But you could introduce bottled booze in the game, it's certainly about time. And then it would be easy to slip in an Immunity to Effect there.

    For Reputation, the thing that's missing the most, I think, is extra options for quests and responses at low or very high Reputation. For me low starts under 8. If you make quests that read differently, give more purchase options, like secret equipment just for bad guys, and so on, then it's sure to be very welcomed. In a little dialogue I'm writing right now the party can threaten to tear a xvart limb from limb, but this one is clever and knows about the party's reputation among humans. If it's under 8, he'll be scared and give them a special prize, otherwise he'll call their bluff and they'll have to do a quest for him to earn it. But outcome of quests shouldn't depend on Reputation or any numbers - only on player choices.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736
    For re-coloring of monster sprites, try opcodes 51 (dark) and 52 (bright). They are't perfect either, as too strong values may clash with area's light map and look hilarious as a result, but from my experience they still manage better than opcode 8 for sprites with a single color location (which I think a cat is... probably).

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    edited April 2017
    @chimeric Ah, got it now (the inventory idea). It certainly would open new options.

    Hmm, the bottle booze thing might fit the modders idea of a drunk/alcoholic NPC perfectly. Maybe a non removable bottle or something cause they might always keep one hidden.

    That's actually a good idea in and of itself. I know there are a few bottles of wine in the game but never used them enough to test it really.
    If I was going up against a dragon I would not mind a 'stiffner' before heading into a high risk and crazy endeavor where we KNOW dragon fear can end a run.
    That's a nice take on a new use for the rep system and dialogues.

    I do like that charisma can modify a reputation score, if we see it as at LEAST one way to change the direction/influence on a discussion. All attributes should come into play really, IMO. For ex. MOST would not tell the hulking high strength character to 'get stuffed', at least not to their face, not unless they were apt at the 'Way of the Weasel', as one my instructors liked to call strategy using sneakiness and cunning.

    Just ideas.

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  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    @subtledoctor yes please, if you could write something up, I'd love to take a look and see what I can implement.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,570
    edited April 2017
    changing the color codes for creatures is a tricky thing

    first: some creatures like humanoids for example have in their .bam files many different colors in their color cells, that's why you can make humans all sorts of colors

    but other creatures ( like cats for example) don't have a big color palette in their .bam files, so no matter what color you attempt to change your cat it will never change

    so if you want to change colors to a sprite that doesn't have a multi colors .bam file, you are going to have to go into a sprite's .bam file and adjust EVERY SINGLE cell and change it to the one that matches the sprites that can have any color, AND THEN you need to do that for EVERY SINGLE .bam file

    at least for NI that is what you would have to do if you wanted to give different colors to those "hard coded" sprites

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    @sarevok57 thanks, yes, I figured that out eventually after some trial and error. I decided to add a new black cat animation. It was pretty painful, about 200 frames to edit in bam editor. I got it working, but its not amazing, will redo when I have more time. I wanted to learn how to do it anyway and set it up as a bit of a tutorial.

    I'm pretty useless with coding and art, especially animation, but I'd like to see more new modders use cool features. Hopefully they can look at my really basic tutorial first, then look at more advanced examples like @Ulb werebear and the super advanced @argent77 golems. Then we have a massive (so big I had to download in tiny pieces) - extended animations from @viader . I think with all that, we should hopefully see some nice new animations in mods to come. People good at art/animation can hopefully add their own to the game and people not so arty can grab one of viader's all ready to go. :)

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,246
    fluke13 said:

    @sarevok57 thanks, yes, I figured that out eventually after some trial and error. I decided to add a new black cat animation. It was pretty painful, about 200 frames to edit in bam editor. I got it working, but its not amazing, will redo when I have more time. I wanted to learn how to do it anyway and set it up as a bit of a tutorial.

    Near Infinity offers a far simpler way to edit colors of existing BAM's with its BAM converter.
    You can also use Opcode 51/52, location 'Character Color(255)' for single color hues, such as an all-black cat.

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  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 3,014
    It's controlled by INTOXCON.2DA which defines how much points are added per drink. For example, at CON 15 it will increase 10 per drink to a max of 100.

    INTOXMOD.2DA appears to control the effects based on the intoxication level. In BGEE it starts at 50 with a decrease of -2 in luck and an increase of 2 in morale. So if you have 15 CON you will need five drinks to notice the first effects.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,246
    edited April 2017
    @subtledoctor I tested it a while ago, but I think it was:
    + (INTOXICATION_RATE) per drink,
    - (RECOVERY_RATE) per half-hour(150 seconds), excluding advancing time through Ctrl+T
    Values from INTOXCON.2da.
    Resting doesn't actually remove intoxication directly, it just reduces it by 8 hours worth, which using the default RECOVERY_RATE(12) is always enough.
    Luck/Morale modifiers are directly taken from INTOXMOD.2da, starting at 50 (-2/+2), going up to 100(-12/+12)

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163

    It would have to be straight immunity, or a % chance of immunity in any given round... you can't have save bonuses against specific spells, only whole schools of magic.

    You could make it a morale boost in this case. Otherwise, for specific spells, edit them to include a filter for a custom spell state, like DRUNKEN_COURAGE or FIREBALL_PROOF. Put that effect higher on the list than the main spell effect and let it give the target a bonus to the relevant saving throw, vs. spell or whatever it is, for 1 second. The chance that another spell will hit the target in that second of battle is very small.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    edited April 2017
    Thanks everyone, I'm going to research all the above this easter weekend. Gf has gone to brazil, so should have some spare time. I'm going to look at that BAM editor in Near Infinity first... im thinking now i should have made the cat bright green - so i can change its colour on the fly. If i use those ...whats the words... "super bright" colours... does the system then recognise them as skin, hair, major, minor etc? I just need to copy those colours, no other tricky? Whose the lore master around here to bash some forgotten realms story ideas?

    Also, runecaster... thought? yes/no? but why?

    Also one more thing... where is the best place to communicate updates for iesdp? I found one or two things so far; Im putting a list together so I can get these added to iesdp for everyone else to see.

    Post edited by fluke13 on
  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    About the cat: before you do anything to BAMs, follow kjeron's advice: use the Color Tint opcode (spell effect). There are others that are similar. But even before that, do this: in Near Infinity go to the CRE file of the cat. Click on Skin Color and choose something very dark. There are many colors there. In a color the light cubes on the left are the amount of shine, as in metal or leather. If you want a glossy black, choose something with a little shine, if not, matte. A cat is naked, but just in case you can set the other colors - Major etc. - to the same shade as well. Save the file and you should now have your very dark cat.

    Hopefully, end of story.

    If, for some reason, you aren't happy with that, here is a tutorial I wrote before it occurred to me that there is a simpler way. It would be a pity to lose it.

    Let's say you want a random cat generator or something. One time a cat is going to be black, the next time red and so on. Maybe even a Summon Cats spell. Or what if the cat avatar can be colored in part - paws, back etc.? In that case you wouldn't want to make a CRE file for every variation - never mind a separate animation! Certainly you don't want multiple CRE files if you're coloring a creature with distinct colors for skin, hair, major and minor colors, metal etc. So, staying with the cat, let's use just one CRE file but make the creature randomize itself every time it appears in the game.

    In the CRE file click on the button below to add Effect. Here select "Cast instantly (ignore level)." For the type of effect choose opcode 7 - Set Color. Pick, say, red. This works just like changing colors in a CRE file directly, but the creature will apply this on top of its CRE colors and override them. Other opcodes you can play around with are opcode 51 (kjeron's Tint solid), a couple of Glows etc. For Target choose Self. In Timing Mode choose Instant/Permanent (9). Don't forget to set Probability 1 to something other than 0. Put it at, say, 30. Probability 2 stays 0. This means the cat will color itself red on a 30-0, percentile roll, i.e. 30% of the time, and permanently.

    Close this window and right-click on the finished Effect. Copy it, click away and Paste. Now go inside the second one and choose a different color, like white. Put Probability 1 here at 50 and Probability 2 at 31. Exit, save. Now when the cat appears, it's going to color itself white on a percentile roll of 50-31 and red on 30-0. The chances you haven't covered up, 100-51, will do nothing and the cat will retain its original color, black. If you want more variety, just split up the fractions some more and add extra colors.

    You aren't limited to setting colors inside a CRE. Let's say you want 1 in 10 arriving cats, whatever their color, to cast Magic Missile at themselves when they appear, for some reason. Well, you create another effect here, set Probability at 10-0 and choose Cast Spell as the effect, target still Self. Select Magic Missile from the list of SPL (use the Search function of NI to find out the file name first). Update the field, close, save, exit. And if you want some cats to turn into wyverns, well, there is an opcode for that. ;)

    Oh, I do go on so. But I had to finish the story. :D

    For your other question, the best place to talk about updating IESDP and be heard is at Gibberlings 3 where they run it.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 379
    So, I've been through all the items above. Opcode 51 works nicely, and everything else... obviously much much quicker than messing with the BAMs... but then I couldn't handle the cat having its tail down while it walks... I've never seen a cat with its tail down, so I decided to go with the animation BAM approach for the cat. Unlike other creatures and beings, the cat has only two animation BAM files, so it wasn't too timely. I got a bit carried away and made the cat jump when its walking directly right, but there we go. One black (and white) cat animation with a tail up, ready to go. I'm going to start focusing on the Runecaster kit next and do a little more animation tweaking in the back ground (dwarf with long beard).

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