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Morrowind Editor Info

15 February 2011

Once the game has been released and people start to play with the editor included with the game, this page will contain those hints, tips, and other useful help topics to let you get the most out of the editor. Feel free to Contact the Webmaster to contribute any suggestions or content.

Script Functions - 15 February 2011
A complete list and description of all the script functions.
Scripting Help - 15 February 2011
Some tips and guides for successfull scripting in the Construction Set.
Editor Ideas - 15 February 2011
A few ideas for mods to create with the editor.
Editor Help - 15 February 2011
Some basic help and tutorials for using the editor.


Editor Features
April 2002

Just briefly, the editor features are:

  1. Editor is the same one as the developers at Bethesda are using to actually produce almost all of the game's content.
  2. Can edit almost all aspects of the game but not including 3D object creation. An unofficial 3DS MAX plug-in may be released after the game to allow people to make their own models.
  3. Is very well designed to allow extremely easy editting while at the same time provides extended operation for experts to create more complex objects.
  4. All changes, additions, modifications, or deletions effected by the editor are stored in files called plug-ins. Bethesda says that a typical plug-in (small dungeon, loot, quests, etc...) should be around 200kb in size. Additional models, sound, or music, may increase that size significantly though.
  5. There is effectively no limit to the number of plug-ins you can apply to the game. This means that you can download and install whichever plug-ins suit your fancy. The game has good checks in place to ensure that multiple plug-ins do not interfere with each other. I believe if they do you are notified and asked if you wish to continue.
  6. Plug-ins can be easily added or removed from the game. Thus, if you install a plug-in which messes up the game or you don't like, it can simply be removed.
  7. Typical creation time for a decent plug-in is very small. Developers at Bethesda say they were making simple quests and dungeons in under an hour when they first started to use it. The editor uses a drag-and-drop technique to accomplish this. For example, you might drag a several dungeon sections from the library to create a full dungeon. Drag in a few monsters and NPCs and some items/treasure for atmosphere.
  8. Simple scripts (no function definitions) can be implemented for most objects in the game allowing for pratically limitless possibilities.

There are lots of other more specific rumours circulating but I'll wait until we actually get our hands on the editor as things are still under developement.



General Editor Tips
30 November 2003

The editor can be immensely intimidating and complex to the first time user, even if they have some experience with modding other games. The following are some general tips I've collected for using the editor, for beginners and experts alike.

Starting Out
Some areas of the editor are much easier to learn than others. Start out learning a few of the 'easier' parts first and slowly expand to the difficult areas rather than trying to do everything at once (which will probably end up getting you discouraged). Start with general item editting and interior/exterior creation, the easier parts, and wait to get into dialogue and scripting (definitely the most difficult areas) until you are more familiar with everything.

Choosing Item IDs
When creating or renaming items you'll need to choose a unique ID for it. Most of these aren't hard-and-fast rules, but I've found them helpful in avoiding potential problems.

Textures/Icons/Sounds
When editting items, you may need/want to change the resource file (texture, model, sound, etc...) associated with the object. By default, these resources are all stored in the Morrowind.Bsa (and other BSA) files but cannot be directly accessed. In order to easily browse/select these resources you'll need to copy them all from the 2nd Construction Set CD that comes with the original game and the GOTY editions. Simply copy all the files into the game's Data Files sub-directory.

Render View Shortcut Keys
There are many shortcut keys you can use in the review view window.

Inventory Icon Images
Icon images (seen in the player's inventory window) are a simply 32x32 image of the item, usually in the TGA or DDS formats. An alpha channel is not required but if missing the icon's background will not be transparent (most noticable when moving/dragging the item). While there are many image programs which support alpha channels the following is a general walkthrough for creating a valid alpha channel for an image using Paint Shop Pro (it will be similar for most image editors).

NIF Files
NIF probably stands for NetImmerse File and is only used by the proprietrary NetImmerse 3D Game Engine (as far as I know anyways). In order to make new NIF files you'll need a copy of 3DSMax (v4.0 or higher) as well as a NIF Exporter plugin (available freely from morrowind.com). Unfortunately there is no complete/official plugin/utility for loading existing NIF files (an unofficial plugin does exist but is currently unstable).

Dialogue
Creating and editting dialogue is one of the more difficult aspects of the editor to learn, yet it is required to do any sort of quests. Dialogue consists of a large list of topics which the player can choose to discuss, with each topic having a list of infos/responses. Each time the player chooses a topic the game starts at the list resonse in the list, checking if the conditions for the response are meet. The game continues down the list of responses for that topic until it finds the first valid response. This is important to know in order to successfully create dialogue.



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