Modding textures for The Precursors
I've posted something similar on the White Gold forum but the process is slightly different for The Precursors so I'll put this here too.
You'll need a working, unpacked copy of the game with the SDK extracted into the game directory (group files removed after unpacking).
The relevant file extensions are:
.MAT - these files are just text files which describe a few things about a material, e.g. opacity and the texture file name.
.DT1 - this is the compressed TGA file.
<game directory>\TEXTURES\ (doesn't exist by default)
Step 1 - get the original TGA image:
- I do this by finding the relevant material in RF2View or levedit2 (from the SDK); there's a function provided in both of those applications for viewing materials.
- Once you've found the material you want, right click on it to bring up a window which allows you to view the TGA. (select it in the drop down list)
- Capture it (I use Corel Capture but a simple screenshot will do too I guess).
- Paste the image into your image editor of choice, and save it as TGA. NOTE: the image size (NOT the file size) needs to be the same size as the original image, this info is shown in RF2View / levedit2 (e.g. 500x500 pixels).
NOTE: you could also use 3DRipper (http://www.deep-shadows.com/hax/3DRipperDX.htm) to rip the textures if you can't find them using the SDK, I haven't tried it but it sounds like it works OK. Thanks to T-braze for the tip.
Step 2 - once you've altered the TGA to your liking, then it needs to be converted back into the .DT1, .DT2 format used by the Vital Engine 3:
- Using the INVENTORY08_TGA.DT1 texture as an example, find the original file. In this case it's in the <game directory>\CACHE\PC\TEXTURES\INVENTORY\ directory.
- Delete it and any .DT2, DT3 files with the same name.
- Rename your new TGA file to INVENTORY08.TGA and place it into <game directory>\TEXTURES\INVENTORY\ (this folder won't exist by default, so create it)
- Re-run RF2View or levedit2, it should detect your unconverted texture and convert it, in this case it should create 2 new files in the <game directory>\CACHE\PC\TEXTURES\INVENTORY\ directory: INVENTORY08_TGA.DT1, and INVENTORY08_TGA.DT2
And that should be it, if you want to change the name of the texture for whatever reason then you can do that too, but you need to edit the relevant .MAT file to point to the new texture name.
To release these new files as a mod they need to be extracted into <game directory>\CACHE\PC\TEXTURES\INVENTORY\, and they'll then be used instead of the ones in the group files.
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