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Nadine

How Do I Add Characters To Existing Games?

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I''m not interesting in MAKING my own games - yet. Nor am I interested in learning a programming langauge, unless it''s REALLY easy to learn. I want to put my own characters into existing games that I rightfully bought (not an emulator, not a burned CD), but to start off since I am a beginner, I first want to use existing characters, edit them to the game''s requirements, and add them to a game. I don''t have the right software of knowledge to create 3D models, so I''m talking about 2D games and characters. For example, I would like to take the animtions of Jazz Jackrabbit from Jazz Jackrabbit 2, edit them, and put that character into Hunter Hunted. I also want to put Sonic in Jazz 2, and Jazz Jackrabbit (from the 3D bonus stages of Jazz 1) in Duke Nukem 3D. So my first question is: Is there any way to make new characters for games that don''t have an editor that lets you do that? I''m betting that if the answer is YES, than it''s still not something a newbie like myself can possibly do. You must need to hack the code or something like that. Next question: Is there a program that allows you to get the animations from a character from a game, and allow you to view them (frame by frame and moving) and edit them? So, can I be helped? I do love to draw and I want to learn animation and game dev courses at college, but until then I would love to be creative and play my favourite 2D PC games with new characters. Thanks for reading.

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[this would be best posted in the "mod dev" forum]

Hey Nadine,

What your talking about is game modding, or game modification. Big hit games (such as starcraft, tiberian sun, freespace, etc) have large fan bases. Usually, some of these fans find ways to crack n'' patch new sounds/graphics/etc into the game. I would really recommend buying starcraft (from blizzard,) because www.camsys.org is a website totally devoted to modding blizzard games (mainly starcraft, though.) Anyway, these are the basic steps to modding a game:

1) Find game data file (most of the time, game data is compressed - zipped - into a file, though usually not just a "zip" file. blizzard uses the "mpq" file.)

2) Find a way to look inside that file

3) Extract any data you want to replace

4) Edit the data

5) Pack the data back up (or create a patch) and load the game using the new pack (or the new patch.)

6) Watch your game either load the new data, or, crash. If it crashes, repeat from step 1


Hope this helps some!

¬_¬

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You are at the wrong site. This is a game development site. Here's what you're looking for: www.HackGraphicsFromGamesAndGetGameDevelopersAngryAtYou.com

Oh, maybe there is something here...but check that site out anyways.

[edited by - breakscience on April 30, 2002 11:09:06 AM]

[edited by - breakscience on April 30, 2002 11:10:20 AM]

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Maybe someone can move this to the Mod Dev forum. It makes sense here too, I am new to this. But, maybe I''ll get more help there.

You understand, doing this may lead to making my own games, and needing programs to makes sprite animations or look at existing ones is what game makers need also. But I won''t do the hacking games part. I don''t know how to do that at all. I will just do the animating/editing characters. In other words I need someone to work on this with me, or I can hope that a game already allows me to mod it easily. I know this is the case for really popular games, but games like Hunter Hunted and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 I don''t think anyone knows how to mod it. There is a level editor for both games, and that''s about it.

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This isn''t something that you are going to be able to do "on a weekend", BTW.

If the game in question is a 2D game and it uses sprites, i would think that you should just be able to view the spirtes and figure out which frame of the sprite does what,(because to the game it knows that if the player wants to jump it should show the jumping animation), which is just a series of sprites. You could easily REPLACE an existing character in a game like this, (provided that the sprite package is easily viewed and modified), but you can not ADD one using this quick little work around.

If you wanted to ADD a character to the game and have this character actually do something native to the original game but exist in the target game, then you will need to learn to code, and obtain the source code to modify it. There really isn''t any other way. You will need for this a compiler (probably c or c++) and an image editor which can save in the native games format.

Good luck.

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heh, your going to need to know how to hack your games in order to replace the spirits. Many popular games don''t come with programs that help you hack and replace their characters. sorry. As I say, starcraft is a good place to start because there are lots of tutorials and programs made that can help you. After that, you''ll have more of an idea of how to mod games and may be able to hack those games your talking about.

Hope this helps,
Fuzztrek

¬_¬

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trying to replace sprites for a game thats not designed to be modified, is probably gonna be more work then writing your own game. unless of course you can find tools for this, search google. if you find stuff great, but i think you should look into modding games like doom or duke3d (both use only 2d sprites) which have much information on how to change sprites.

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Thanks a lot for your help guys. That''s a good idea - to start with games that help you mod the game to maybe understand how to mod games that don''t normally allow you to. I think Duke Nukem 3D is a good start because I love that game, and have ideas for new characters. However, I really hate Starcraft types of games. Okay, I never tried it, but you know when you watch someone play a game you quickly know whether you''d enjoy it or not.

Anyway, are all games equally "moddable"? Like, if I learn how to mod Duke 3D than do I automatically know how to mod another sprite-based game? Games have their own engines, so I don''t know if they are different to mod. Like I said, I''m new to this, and I am afraid that this is a harder thing to do than make my own game. But I guess at the time I have the animations ready (that will take a long time) then I can worry about learning how to put the character in a game, right?

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My suggestion:
Since duke nukem 3d and doom are based on an engine too old,you shall move on to real 3d games(i.e.quake,halflife,unreal),and there''re plenty of information(and tools) about modding them on the net(Much mre than duke3d,I think).
Hope this helps...

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My suggestion:
Since duke nukem 3d and doom are based on an engine too old,you shall move on to real 3d games(i.e.quake,halflife,unreal),and there''re plenty of information(and tools) about modding them on the net(Much mre than duke3d,I think).
Hope this helps...

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Thanks, but the problem with that is that I don''t know how to model 3D characters. I can draw 2D characters though. That''s why I want to stick with the older games to mod.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Nadine
I''m not interesting in MAKING my own games - yet. Nor am I interested in learning a programming langauge, unless it''s REALLY easy to learn.

I want to put my own characters into existing games that I rightfully bought (not an emulator, not a burned CD), but to start off since I am a beginner, I first want to use existing characters, edit them to the game''s requirements, and add them to a game. I don''t have the right software of knowledge to create 3D models, so I''m talking about 2D games and characters.

For example, I would like to take the animtions of Jazz Jackrabbit from Jazz Jackrabbit 2, edit them, and put that character into Hunter Hunted. I also want to put Sonic in Jazz 2, and Jazz Jackrabbit (from the 3D bonus stages of Jazz 1) in Duke Nukem 3D.

So my first question is: Is there any way to make new characters for games that don''t have an editor that lets you do that? I''m betting that if the answer is YES, than it''s still not something a newbie like myself can possibly do. You must need to hack the code or something like that.

Next question: Is there a program that allows you to get the animations from a character from a game, and allow you to view them (frame by frame and moving) and edit them?

So, can I be helped? I do love to draw and I want to learn animation and game dev courses at college, but until then I would love to be creative and play my favourite 2D PC games with new characters.

Thanks for reading.



Many games come with editor or have ones avaliable on the Internet so you change the game (of course some let you change more than others). For example, the PC version of the new RPG "Morrowind" (spelling?) is suposed to come with an editor to allow you to modify the characters and levels, but it is in 3D.If you want to try your hand and game design you can try RPGMaker or M.U.G.E.N maker. You''d get the chance to draw your own graphics or use premade ones. You''d have to learn a very simple scripting language. Anyway if your interested its at http://www.rpgmaker2000.narod.ru/.


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There are very few moddable 2D games. Assuming that you aren''t going to go into hell and hack the game, all I can say is this: the only games I know that are 2D and moddable are Blizzard games, mainly the C&C series, and Starcraft/Warcraft. There should be resources available on this all over the internet. You could start at the developer site, or you could just pop into the srach engine and look around.

____________________________________________________________
Direct3D vs. OpenGL

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Only a very few games are really designed to be mod-able (mostly very new 3D FPS type ones, and the aforementioned Blizzard games). If you don''t know how to code C++, it''s next to impossible to mod anything else. If you do know how to code, it''s still hard because you may not be able to get your hands on some source code. Moral of the story: it would be easier to make your own simple game than to modify Jazz Jackrabbit 2 or somesuch.

BTW, Promit: C&C is made by Westwood, not Blizzard

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Oh man, that''s actually what I thought. I personally have never heard of a 2D game that allows for you to make your own characters or give existing ones new animations.

Yes, I know Duke Nukem 3D is a sprite-based 3D game that allows you to make characters. I meant I don''t want to make new models for Unreal or new FPS, because I don''t know how to model. And as Duke Nukem 3D is a sprite based game that''s 3D, there are A LOT of animations that need to be done because any animations you need to do, you have to do from the front, back, sides and angles. Though I noticed because of this that even the developers took the easy way out to make characters. For example in Duke 3D if you look at a mirror and you turn left and right you can see his gun automatically moving to the other arm. They didn''t want to bother doing the animations from ALL angles, so they just flipped the sprite to save time.

Is there a reason behind why some games are made to be easily moddable, and other ones aren''t without the sourcecode (and the developer doesn''t let anyone have it)? Is it that if a game is popular, than more demand is there for it to be modded how you like, but if it sells poorly (Jazz Jackrabbit 2, don''t know about Hunter Hunted, but I bought it from a bargain bin), the company could care less about what the few fans want, and don''t let them edit the game (past a level editor, if they''re nice)? Is this how it works? I''m curious.

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making a game moddable requires a few things. first a large enough budget that you can make half way decent tools non programmers can use, and they need to be reletivly bug free. you also need to ensure to document things. the problem with earlier games is that the 2d engine was simplistic by nature. hardware as not too powerful, and allowing ppl to change characters and make new levels decreased the desire for someone to by the sequal (which ussually used the exact same engine tweaked slightly and maybe some new graphics). plus the internet was not too big so there would not be much of a mod community anyway. if most users cant trade levels, there is no real point in have that feature. plus modable games tend to be more generalized, and hence more complex code which would use a bit more memory and possibly be slightly slower. something that could not be afforded when those games were created. plus dos did not allow the use of dlls, so such ways of changing the game was not possible. neither were scripting engines which would be too slow.

nowadays, most ppl have an internet connection. so make a game moddable is much more useful. with faster pcs, and windows/linux you can easily create dlls that can be used to modify how the game ran. the actually graphics/input/physics/etc engine can be seperated from the game itself. plus no need to store images in wierd formats to save space. plus everyone is running an os with a gui. back then you had to create the gui engine, then the gui for a tool. it was more complex because of this. there were few dos graphics pacakges, and few ppl had windows installed.

you get the idea.

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Well said! Bravo!

Well, I don't know if I meant really old games, but Hunter Hunted came out in 1996, I guess the internet was just starting to get warmed up then. Jazz Jackrabbit 2 came out in 1998. I have no idea behind the reasoning for not making that moddable or providing the sourcecode, but it was rushed a bit, and they didn't have so much money to put into it. So there you go then. Too bad - I really wanted to make new characters for those games. All I've got left now is Duke Nukem 3D...

[edited by - Nadine on May 3, 2002 2:15:28 AM]

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I wonder if I should still make the characters then, and save them in case someone hacks the program or the sourcecode is released. I mean, I guess I could create my own game and put the characters in those, but I want the game to be somewhat professional looking. I'm afraid I won't be able to do such a good job at it. Plus, it would be nice if I could add characters to a game that already exists and is an online game (Jazz 2 for instance). Then I can show everybody, and whup them as a new character!

I really, really want this but why is it that I always seem to want things that I can't get? Like this, or Dwayne The Rock Johnson, or Fur Fighters to be online, or for Dreamcast to succeed.... Sigh, I always have to be so difficult.

[edited by - Nadine on May 3, 2002 2:20:26 AM]

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