So, you want to use the Dungeon Siege II editor? Using the editor itself doesn't require any special programming knowledge, but to use it effectively you'll still need to learn some things (and to do a lot with the DS2 system you will need to learn about Skrit programming...but that's something for another document).
NOTE: From now on, I'm calling the editor SE2.
NOTE: All this info comes from the Garage site, or by asking GPG questions, unless noted.
SE2 is not the same as SE, the editor used for the original Dungeon Siege. At the time of this writing, we're at SE2 v1.1.
SE2 is part of the DS2 Toolkit (DS2TK). You can find a link to the current version here.
You'll Need DS2 v2.2
First thing: You need to have Dungeon Siege II installed on your machine. You can't even install the editor until you do. If you don't have it – or if you install it then move the folder, you'll get this message when you try to install DS2TK:
Why do you get this, and why does the game have to be installed first? When you install DS2TK, you tell it where to install itself but you don't tell it where DS2 is installed. Instead, it reads a Windows registry entry that is created when DS2 is installed, that indicates where DS2 is. Game patches also use this registry info, btw. So, the editor needs that info during installation to set up certain configuration pathways. If you install DS2, then move the folder, the game will still run but the toolkit tools and any GPG game patches for DS2 won't be able to find DS2. See 095: Upgrading DS2 for more info on the registry entry.
The installed game, right off the disks, is v2.0. You can install the toolkit now, but I suggest you first patch the game. The game must be patched to run (but not to install), and the patch takes up to 5 Gbytes of hard drive space while it's patching (after patching is done, it only uses less than 100Megs of additional space. See 095: Upgrading DS2 for more info on patching DS2.
Installing Siege Editor 2 (DS2TK)
Downloaded from the link above, you'll have DS2TK_Installer_v1.1.exe, about 13.1MB (13,744,317 bytes). Double-click on the EXE,
then click RUN to install the files. If the installer detects an earlier installed version, the v1.1 installer will automatically select the current DS2TK directory as the install target (NOTE: if you have made specific changes to the tools (for example, modifications to the maxscripts used by Siege Max) and are concerned about losing your customizations, you can elect to install this DS2TK release to a different folder and then migrate your personalized files by hand from the old folder to the new one).
After going through the screens, and picking the install directory, you'll have a new Dungeon Siege II Toolkit folder on the All Programs menu in the Start button on your toolbar.
In that folder you'll find shortcuts for:
- DS2 Anim Viewer
- DS2Mod (windowed)
- Siege Editor 2 (aka SE2)
- TankViewer 2
- Uninstall DS2TK
The DS2TK files take up 45Mbytes of hard drive space.
In addition to the toolkit files installed to whatever directory you specified, the DS2TK installer also creates:
\My Documents\My Games\Dungeon Siege 2 Mod
This folder starts out with just a single folder – the Dev folder. By default this is where SE2 will be putting most of its files, so there will be additional folders placed here.
Once the installer finishes, all the toolkit files are installed –you can now delete DS2TK_Installer_v1.1.exe.
You must have DS2 v2.2 (or higher) to run Siege Editor 2
If you don't patch up to at least v2.2, you can't use the editor. If you try anyways, it will start up normally but then you get this:
It can't find these functions because they don't exist in the same place in DS2 v2.0 or v2.1. You must patch the game. See 095: Upgrading DS2 for more info on patching DS2. If this error comes up, hit the ABORT PROGRAM button then the OK button to get rid of the messages.
Starting Up The Editor
Let's get into the editor. With the toolkit now installed, go click on the Start button on the Windows taskbar, then select All Programs, then the Dungeon Siege II Toolkit folder and finally on the Siege Editor 2 link.
A "Siege Editor" banner will pop up in a few seconds (don't worry, it really is SE2 and not SE1) and then ...
...after about 60 seconds or so!....the editor window border will come up with "No Region Loaded – SiegeEditor" on the title bar. Another 20 seconds later, the window border will fill in with the actual editor buttons and icons, like so:
NOTE: Although there's a Help menu item on the top of the editor, if you select the Help Topics in that menu, it'll just tell you there's no Help file. The toolkit didn't ship with one. Well, that's ok: "That which does not break us only makes us stronger!". :)
At this point, you're basically ready to go!
Let's Rip Things Apart!
I'm going to assume you want to start by examining the DS2 game files – right? Ok, let's get to that.
What we're going to to is extract files. The files in the DS2 game's RESOURCES folder (and MAPS) are highly compressed files – kind of like .zip files – that are stuffed full of large numbers of other files. Sound files, map files, models, textures, Skrit code, etc. Just like with .zip or .rar files, the extracted files take up more hard drive space. In the case of DS2, a lot more space.
The simplest thing to start with is the game's map file. This is stored in...the game's MAP folder. Let's uncompress it, so we can examine the files in it.
Go to FILE, then select Convert .ds2map to Files. A text box will pop-up:
Notice that it already knows where the World.ds2map file is located – it reads that from the Registry entry mentioned earlier. It will also list a default destination folder:
\My Documents\My Games\Dungeon Siege 2 Mod\Bits.
If you want, you can change the destination folder by first un-checking the Use default destination folder box and then browsing to the new location. By no means should you use the game's RESOURCES or MAPS folders as the destination folder.
That's just sloppy.
Again, just like on the main Help menu item, if you click on the HELP button there you'll just get an error message about not being able to find a help file. The DS2TK didn't ship with one, so this is normal.
When you click OK to start the extraction, a Processing Resource File window pops up to give you a file-by-file progress report:
It should find 8025 files, when done. Yep, 8,025 files are stuffed inside the World.ds2map. You'll also note that extracting the World.dsmap file fills up 1,155,083,252 bytes of free hard drive space (in the USA version) for all those files – that's in addition to the existing space the game and toolkit already take up.
Click Close. Congratulations! You've just "untanked" your first DS2 file. :)
Defining "Tank" and "Bits" Files
Those 8,025 files you just created are called the "bits" aka the editable files. Put all the "bits" together and you get a tank. The World.ds2map file is the "tanked" version; which is made up of all the various "bits" files that you extracted.
But the DS2 game won't directly read bits, only tanked files. But only the bits files are easily edited. So, as we'll later find out, after editing "bits" files you need to re-tank them if you want to run them in the game.
All those bits files are now at My Documents\My Games\Dungeon Siege 2 Mod\Bits (or wherever you told the editor to put them, in three different folders: Art, Config, and World.
Rhe files inside the game's RESOURCES or MAPS folder are made up of many files, but compressed together. These are called "tank" files. The game can read tank files, but they are not directly editable. To edit or add files, you need to un-tank them into the bits (individual files). These can be edited. But to get the changes back into the retail game-ready form, you have to re-tank them (if you use DS2Mod.exe, part of the DS2TK, you don't need to re-tank as it's for testing your work).
To un-tank a file, you:
- Start up Siege Editor 2
- Select Convert .ds2map to Files from the Files menu in the editor
- Select the Source directory and filename, if not the default World.ds2map)
- Select the location to store the bits files
- Cross your fingers and wait for the Operation Completed message.
Opening the DS2 Bits Files
Right, then, you've installed the editor and untanked the World.ds2map file to make the bits files. So, what do you do now?
Let's take a look at some files.
Go to File and select Open...
A Load Region window will come up with a DS2_world folder. Expand/open this folder, to see what's in it:
Inside the folder are all the individual maps that make up the DS2 game, from the initial tutorial starting location of a0_01_01_tutbeach to the very end of the game.
Don't worry about the checkboxes at the bottom for now. Click on a1_01_01_tutbeach (5th map down) and press OK.
Now, go get some coffee or something while this map loads up. :) You'll get a progress screen during the wait, but – depending on your machine – it could take 10, 15 minutes.
Once it finally finishes, you'll get this screen:
What you're seeing is the beach, from the game's tutorial. Except this time all the level-designer dabs and pieces are made visible by SE2. Confusing, isn't it?
SE2 Camera Controls
SE2, like SE1, is designed around a 3-button mouse with a scroll wheel.
- Hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse to move around the map.
- To change camera height, hold the Shift key down as well as the right mouse button. Or hold down left and right mouse buttons.
- You zoom in/out with the mouse wheel
- To rotate the map around the camera, hold down the middle mouse button (sometimes, this is also the wheel) and move the mouse.
Now, just mess around with the editor for awhile and, as long as you don't SAVE anything, nothing you do should be permanent.
In the next part, 101 Nodework, I'll do a similar walkthrough with SE2 as was done in Siege University (for DS1).