Making the [furryclan] uniform

Editing the .dat files

Through studying other mods we figured out that there are certain .dat files you can add into your mod to override the game's default behaviour. Obvious, really! Generally the replacement files are called ModXXX where XXX is the standard name.

The three files we want to fix are modmpmodels.dat, modstrings.dat and modskins.dat. These allow us to define the uniform names that appear in the operations screen and also indicate which textures will be used for the skins.

Let's take a look at the modmpmodels.dat file we made.


This file is split into two sections. First up we have the character names definition:

	SWT_fc_furrycat		1	$char_name_furrycat
	SWT_fc_longbow		1	$char_name_longbow
	SWT_fc_lakmethemud	1	$char_name_lakmethemud

Only three fields to worry about. The first one is an identifier for the skin. You need one for each individual skin in your mod. We use the naming convention SWT_fc_membername where membername is the [furryclan] member in question. _fc_ just means [furryclan]. It isn't necessary but it helps for consistency.

Next is the single number 1 which means that the skin is used for the "good guys." If you wanted the skin to be used for terrorists (for example in a TDM) you would use 0 here.

Finally is the name of the variable referencing the description of the skin. Yes, those are dollar signs in front of it. The member name is the obvious choice for a character name, and it is stored in the strings file.

Next is the armour class definition.

	SWT_fc_furrycat		Assaulter	1.10
	SWT_fc_longbow		Raider		.89
	SWT_fc_lakmethemud	Raider		.89

The three fields are the character identifier again, the armour class (Assaulter, Raider, Operator, Guardian and Enforcer are the standard classes from SWAT3 2.0) and the speed multiplier. To give a character with heavier armour a movement penalty you decrease the speed here. I just copied the default values from the original data files. You could play about with changing them if you liked.


With version 2.0 of SWAT3, recommended practice has changed. It is now seen as a better idea to write character names to modstrings.dat and reference the strings in modmpmodels.dat like this:

	char_name_furrycat	[furrycat]
	char_name_longbow	[Longbow]
	char_name_lakmethemud	[lakmethemud]

The way it works is simple. modmpmodels.dat looks for the variable $char_name_furrycat in modstrings.dat, and that is set to "[furrycat]", so the character name for SWT_fc_furrycat is [furrycat].

Now let's check out modskins.dat.


	SWT_fc_furrycat		swt_fc01_high	swt_fc01_low	sneaker ...
	SWT_fc_longbow		swt_fc02_high	swt_fc02_low	sneaker ...
	SWT_fc_lakmethemud	swt_fc03_high	swt_fc03_low	sneaker ...

In fact you'll notice I've missed out a fair portion of this file's contents (replaced by ...). The game's default data files have this information along with an explanation of what each part means.

We're interested in the first four fields. First up is the identifier from modmpmodels.dat. We use it to match actual models to skin names.

Second and third we have the .gsm file names. More on these later. The "high" and "low" refer to the detail level of the models. There's generally a high-polygon and a low-polygon version of each model (at least there are for Sierra's models). These two filenames indicate which .gsm file to use for these.

We change the notation here. swt_fc is the same but after that we have two digits. These two digits refer to the member number. Since I was the first member of [furryclan] I am member number 1. [Longbow], the first recruit, is 2. [lakmethemud] is 3 and so on. You'll see these numbers come into play when we move on to the .gsm hacking section.

The last field of note in this file is the sound field. It gives the sound file that will be played for the character's footsteps. We went with the default, sneaker.

On to part two: hacking the .gsm files.

Jump to a section

intro | part 1: Editing the .dat files | part 2: Hacking the .gsm files | part 3: Creating the bitmaps | part 4: The DEBRIEF_UI and DEF_UI pictures | part 5: The [furryclan] female guest skin | part 6: Download and quiz