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Greetings, all! 

I have a question I wish to pose to all of you modders out here, since I haven't seen it asked before, and that is is it possible to change a BGII original mod to be compatible with BGII:EE? (If so, how?)

As someone who has never made their own mods before, I haven't the slightest idea of where to begin so any and all help is greatly appreciated! 

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Have a look at @CamDawg's tutorial here: Converting Existing Mods to the EE Engine

By heart, the most important things are:

-all texts in EE need to be in utf-8 (without BOM) format. In original BGII, it was ANSI. WeiDU supports the transformation of texts from ANSI to utf-8 upon installation with the function HANDLE_CHARSETS if the mod provides inconv.exe.

-portrait formats are different (see tutorial). For EE, you can take the largest portrait and use it for the smaller ones, also, it will be scaled down accordingly.

-EE can use oggs directly. If you provide oggs, WeiDU supports the transformation to WAVs for the old engine upon installation with the function HANDLE_AUDIO if the mod porvides occdec.exe for Windows and Linux and SOX for OSX.

-kits need the function fl#add_kit_ee  to work in EE.

-Journal entries need to be added with ADD_JOURNAL so they will show up for EE.

-EE ressources have more color palettes (I think), and more flags, etcpp. If modding for both EE and original engine, always start with original BGII ressources. They will be compatible for EE, but EE resources might not work in original BGII.

-for areas, you need to use pvrz-tis. If using the old tis-format, the area graphics will have black lines.

-EE introduces more default NPCs with which mod NPCs should also banter etc. Some of them have romances, which would need to be considered in case of a mod romance etc. (this might be seen as optional, in case mod content is closed).

There might be more.

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Posted (edited)

I would like to add that the original poster should really decide whether he's going to be making mods for the old engine or for the Enhanced Edition. If all the OP wants is to convert one of the preexisting BG1-BG2 mods to BG:EE-BG2:EE, then jastey's advice is sufficient. But if he's going to make mods of his own, he ought to consider whether he's going to stick to the old engine, which might possibly have more players, or make use of the functions of the new engine, which is far more advanced, and not just in convenience or compatibility, but in the tools of expression that it offers. I'm used to making mods for the EEs from the beginning, so I only recently became aware just how restrictive and poor the old engine is.

It was something of a shock. Trying to fit my creativity in what it can do, I found, is less like painting with basic colors after a full palette than with having no colors at all, only a lead pencil to sketch. It's no wonder, honestly, that there is so much less activity in this place than on Beamdog's forums, and that old-time modders are pretty much done with these games. In the old days changing arrows +1 to arrows +2 was the height of ingenuity, or making a simple quest, and that has been done. People have tried to make the best of the tools, but they are too tired to appreciate the new stuff now, too angry at Beamdog. So my advice to the OP is, decide what do you want to create for and for whom. A 2D engine like this is not just our old bad habit, you know. It actually has one important advantage - it's very easy to add new visual content here. In a modern 3D game you would need a team of programmers and lots of resources to make a creature, but here you can import some old sprites or redraw them yourself, and voila. There are also a few modders who can draw areas. For this reason an engine like this is an outlet not just for nostalgia but for creative expression, limited but not ridiculous. If you want to push things, however, and see what you can do with it, you pretty much have to take up the Enhanced Edition and deal with Beamdog's content - edit it out, change it, live with it. 

Edited by temnix

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