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benpark

Mod Tags- How To for You

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I'll try to do a "how to" for the Mod Tags, since people are not totally clear on how they work. I'm not an Official Voice on the matter, just a tester that has more time with them than most. I hope people get creative with them, so I thought I should do a step by step to try to get things moving.

Mod Tags are a new addition to the CM series. They allow a scenario author to change selected graphics for that scenario. Users can also do this to an existing scenario after the creation of it in the Editor.

Step by step:

-Create a graphics mod that alters the stock files in some way (trees in this hypothetical case).

-Create a text (.txt) file. Open it and write a "Tag" for the graphics you want to use to replace the stock game graphics. It can be anything that helps you remember what it is. Let's go with "benparktree" with the hypothetical mod being modification to the tree graphics. I'll then write this tag in the text file with no quotation marks.

-Only use one text file per tag! You can't have one file with multiple Mod Tags in them, as you will need to load it later in the Editor. Again- One Mod Tag per text file!! So, my Mod Tag text file has the following with NOTHING else:

benparktree

-Save this text file with any name you like in the RT "Game Files" folder. I personally have a separate folder with a few of these text files for various WIP mods called Mod Tags.

-Add this Mod Tag to the name of the .bmp graphic files in brackets. Leave a space between the stock file name and the Mod Tag. Looking through my exploded RT game files, I see an example from for cavalry forces:

smod_soviet_m43_soldier-nco_uniform [cavalry]

So the tree mod .bmp file title would look like this:

tree-1-leaves [benparktree]

Almost there! Now we need go to the Editor from within the game itself to add the tag to a scenario so we can see it.

-The first screen you see is in the Editor is the "Mission" screen. This is where you want to be. Look at the top left menu. At the bottom of this list of text selections is a selection called "Mod Tags". Click that.

-Click "Import". Load up your text file that has the Mod Tag you chose that matches up to the graphics files. You should now see that Mod Tag name in the large UI window.

-You don't need to keep the Mod Tag text file after this. The Editor cooks it into the scenario file. Other players will obviously need the tagged graphic files (which will go in their "Mods" folder) as well as the scenario if you release it, however!

-Save your scenario.

It's really easy, and very simple to get a hang of. I've just tried to break it down for beginners, so I hope it helps.

What the tags won't do is allow you to see a given mod in every scenario (unless you go through every step above for ALL scenarios!). If you decide that you like a mod and want to see it in every game you play, remove the mod tag part of the name in the title of the .bmp graphic file so that it works like a regular mod (and put it in your "Mods" folder).

What Mod Tags allow a scenario designer/modder to do is to make something that is specific to the given scenario. To make a specific building look like a historical one, rain on uniforms for "rain" weather (a WIP I may get finished at some point), and so on and so on and so on.

So git crackin' modders!!

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I'll add that my "Baranovichi" scenario uses Mod Tags for the cavalry uniforms. Open it in the Editor for an example of how this works as far as the text file is concerned.

The cavalry uniform texture files are in the stock release files, so they won't show up in your "Mod" folder. Explode the files if you want to see the .bmp titles and files.

The text file can be exported from the editor with the Mod Tag, though- helpful if people still can't understand the formatting.

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Pete alerted me to an error on my part- you CAN write multiple tags in one text file.

Quoting Pete below for explanation:

I just type the tag name without the [] on a line, move to the next line and enter the next and so on.

Save the txt. file and then add to the scenario.

When imported into a mission each tag is separated from the next by a comma automatically, but provided the bmp. files are correct the tagged graphics will then appear in 3d review.

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When tags first showed up during the Beta the learning curve usually went like this:

"What does this do? What to I put where? This is so confusing, I'll never understand... Oh, that's all that's involved? Hey, that was easier than I expected!"

:o

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Well, scenario-specific tagged mods would make life easier because you can just leave them in the mods folder. They won't be used when not asked for by the scenario and will be used when asked for. :)

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Aaah! :(

Here's another tip that took me quite a while to figure out: You can have your modded files tagged with caps in the tag, but you can not use caps in the actual tag you're importing into the scenario file.

Phew, at least I didn't have to re-name all my files, just the tag itself.

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Got a question here: I've been unsuccessfully trying to tag a .txt file. The modifications I made work as intended when it's not tagged, but stop working when I tag it. Is this normal?

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I have been using Z-bee mod manager since it came out. Can you guys give me some insight on what makes this easier or more efficient to use? Appreciated.

To expand on MikeyD´s reply:

With scenario specific tags a modder can design a scenario where every building, vehicle, uniform, terrain tile etc. has been modded to suit exactly this scenario.

Before scenario specific mod tags you would have to remove the folder with these mods from your z folder again before you could play any other scenario - otherwise these mods would also be the other scenarios.

Now you can just leave the mods there - they will only show up in the scenarios where they are meant to be - ie the ones with the right tag.

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I'm having difficulty following Juju's question. If I get the question correctly, the point of the [tag] is so the game WON'T use the mod unless the scenario specifically asks for that tag. If you the mod trash can flavor objects and don't tag it the mod will show up all the time. If you apply the tag [fluffybunny] it will only appear in scenarios that allow fluffybunny tags.

Be aware there's an extra consideration. When the game moves from Russia to eastern Europe region many objects are tagged for the region. Altered roofs, tombstones, street signs etc have an [easterneurope] tag. So if you've got your own special [fluffybunny] tag you may need to also include a [fluffybunny easterneurope] version for overwriting eastern European art.

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I'm having difficulty following Juju's question. If I get the question correctly, the point of the [tag] is so the game WON'T use the mod unless the scenario specifically asks for that tag. If you the mod trash can flavor objects and don't tag it the mod will show up all the time. If you apply the tag [fluffybunny] it will only appear in scenarios that allow fluffybunny tags.

Yes, I understand the concept. The problem is, I have modded Russian/German names.txt files where I altered some names. The changes do work, but un-tagged they'd work for every scenario. We don't want that. But as soon as I tag them to be used in this scenario only, they stop working. Basically it leads me to believe not every file type may be tag-able, and I just wanted to know for sure. Was that more clear? Clear-er? :confused:

Be aware there's an extra consideration.

Thanks, I think I covered most of that. Thanks for the roof reminder, though! Mustn't forget that.

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Is it possible to see what mod tags have been added to a scenario? I would like to open a scenario and see what tags have already been added, is that possible?

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