Jwvanderbeck Toolset tutorials

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List of great toolset tutorials posted by jwvanderbeck at Beyond Ferelden site.

2DA or not 2DA – Overriding 2DA files

The subject of 2DA files has come up a lot recently. What are they? How do you change them? How do you compile them? In this tutorial we’ll take a look at how to work with 2DA files, and how to override them in a proper manner to introduce custom items and behavior to Dragon Age.

Read the full article.

A Start: Creating a Module to Give Your Player an Item

In this tutorial we’re going to look at something pretty basic, but that will give you a good overview of the toolset. It is also something a lot of people are wanting to do. You cheaters you! We are going to create a new module that extends Single Player. Bioware would call this an add-in. What this basically means is we are not going to modify the single player campaign at all. Our add-in will instead extend the original campaign by adding new content to it. This is vital, because if we tried to change the original campaign by editing it we could, and probably would, break it in some way. The toolset is like that. Think of this like a mini Shale Tower in a way. We’re simply adding new content.

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Common Problems and Mistakes Creating Your First Module

The previous tutorial worked great for most people, but in talking with some of you and helping with a few problems, I noticed that many of the same mistakes were being made. Now there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as we learn from them, so let’s take a look at some of the more common problems.

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Beware the Dangers of module_core

I had originally sat down tonight to continue on with part 2 of our custom merchant tutorial, but then I found some interesting information spreading its way around the DAMods forum.

Many people have been experiencing some odd issues caused either by mods they installed, or by mods they had made. Some of these issues included really bad performance in cutscenes and conversations, slow overall performance, and issues with leveling up such as attribute point spending being incorrect. Recently it appears that the cause of these problems has been discovered, and I thought this important enough to break from my normal plans and bring you a short article about the subject.

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Creating a Custom Merchant for The Player’s Camp – Part 1

I thought it would be fun to take a look at something a bit more complex and useful. This is going to actually be a multi-part tutorial, and will be lots of fun!

In this tutorial series we are going to add a new NPC merchant to the player’s camp, and then populate that merchant with items including custom items. As with other tutorials, this module is designed to extend the Single Player campaign, and shows you some more ways you can hook into that campaign.

This tutorial is a bit more advanced from the basics and does involve creating a 2da file. If you have done A Start: Creating a Module to Give Your Player an Item then I firmly believe you can do this tutorial, but it will be important to follow along closely. If you have not followed that first tutorial, then please start there.

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Creating a Custom Merchant for The Player’s Camp – Part 2

Creating a Custom Merchant for The Player’s Camp – Part 3

Packaging Your Module for Release

In this tutorial we’re going to take a look at how to go about packaging your mod up into a nice clean, professional, form for release to other players.

We’ll look at how to build a .DAZIP package, how to create custom String entries in our module’s Talk Table, and how to go about adding a custom Icon for our module as well.

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Preventing the Toolset from Breaking Your Game

Honestly this is one of the first tutorials I should have posted, but it totally slipped my mind. Once you start doing something as a habit, its easy to forget that you are doing it. Many people are having problems with the toolset, after making mods, causing their single player game to not work properly.

In this article we’ll take a look at why that happens, and how you can reduce the chances of this happening.

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Proper mods are important - How to make compatible mods

As more and more mods start appearing, players are starting to run into compatibility problems. To some degree this may be unavoidable. However, we’ve learned a lot about the mechanics recently and there are things mod authors can, and should, do to make their mods as compatible as possible.

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[Under The Hood] A Closer Look at Items

In this column that I call “Under the Hood”, we’re going to dig deeper into how items work in Dragon Age: Origins. We’ll take a look at items both in the toolset,but also dig deeper into 2da files, and scripts.

Items in Dragon Age are pretty much anything you can have in your inventory. They may or may not be equippable, but they can always (as far as I can tell) be put into your inventory and carried around with you.

Read the full article