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Thread: Tutorial: Assembly Kit - Building a startpos mod for Attila

  1. #1
    TW Modder Since 2005 Member DaVinci's Avatar
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    Default Tutorial: Assembly Kit - Building a startpos mod for Attila

    A guide to create a startpos.esf mod for TW Attila with the Assembly Kit of Attila.

    I know, i'm coming very late with this.


    I myself recently searched for it in the TWC Attila (and Rome2) Workshop, which entirely describes one right way for an Attila startpos mod creation with the Attila AK.
    Couldn't find one, so this guide shall help you, in the best case.

    The steps as following:

    1) Preparation, after the AK installation from Steam:

    - Have read carefully Mitch's tutorial for the AK:
    ... understanding it as first overview, what the CA tool can and cannot.

    - Helpful, but not required, Magnar's according YT video:

    - Pretty helpful is also to be familiar with the Attila PFM tool (for later customizations).

    - Further, it won't hurt to have read the one and other Attila modding tutorial which has references to startpos editing, but well, not necessary.

    After this first learning curve below no. 1, how it works for me:

    2) Going Steam online, mark Attila (you can minimize that for now).

    3) Disable all mods (ie. within the Attila launcher).

    4a) Make sure, your Attila game is a bugfree vanilla installation.
    Ie. a verifying process via Steam might make sense, successfully ended (message).
    This just only, if you are not 100 % sure about the game's standing.
    Hint: A complete new game installation is in most cases never necessary, i personally didn't ever for a Steam game.

    4b) Going to the AK directory, making backups of the three output folders (raw, working, retail).
    Save them somewhere outside the directory (fe. a separate AK backup folder), never make changes there.
    You'll need them to put them back in place, if you created crashbugs whatsoever of that sort.

    5) Start the Tweak.AssemblyKit.exe

    6) Tools - DAVE

    7) View - Form Launcher - starting positions (double-click the latter). Wait.

    8) You'll get a comfortable GUI application.

    9) Make your changes, but carefully, there is no undo function!

    10) If ready with changes: Export - Export changes to binary.

    11) Wait. BOB appears to work.

    12) When BOB is ready, a message appears "export successfully" (in this sense).

    13) You can exit the Tweak aka the DAVE application (or also let it open, if you wish).

    14) Start BOB.AssemblyKit.exe. Wait, until it is ready. This needs quite a time.

    15) If BOB is up, watching the first of the three explorer boxes.

    16) Find "EmpireBuilder" (spell? ... have it not open now, but you'll get it what is meant) - there, find and mark the campaign for which you changed the startpos in DAVE.
    16a) Now two small application boxes pop up. Mark "All" in both.

    17) Watch what happens: Diverse files are highlighted now aka are marked active (and inactive). Don't touch it.

    18) Activate in the third explorer box "retail" the mod.pack for the according campaign. Don't touch anything else.

    19) Now it makes sense to bring Steam up with Attila (what you minimized).

    20) Start the BOB processing button. Watch that it works. A new application box appears ... there should be two lines "campaign" and "mod.pack", iirc. (but could be something else for the second item).

    The very important step, and better be quick with this:

    21) In Steam-Attila, a message appears like "... Attila is starting ... do you want ..." something like this.
    Quit this (no start)!

    22) In the very next moment, start Attila with the according Steam Attila button "Play".

    23) Attila launches now (and in background is building the startpos.esf mod which you just created). Wait.

    Wow, take a breath ... now, if all is done right, after a while ...

    24) Steam Attila is ready with its work and the game screen disappears.

    25) Watch BOB is readying its process.
    If all is green in the "retail" part, the modfile is built properly (apparently).

    26) You can quit BOB. Go into the output "retail"/data folder of the AK directory, find there the file calling mod.pack.

    27) You can now re-enable all your other mods, if you wish ... and make something else, ie. praying that you did no mistake ;)

    28) Put your mod.pack file into the data folder of Attila.
    Start the game if you wish with that mod.pack activated in launcher.
    You can formerly rename it, if wished. Whatever ... the AK work is finished.

    29) What i prefer to do now: You can now open the mod.pack with PFM.

    Doing there the hopefully already learned file organisation with PFM, ie. sort out the non-necessary files from the mod.pack,
    or recommended, adding the created startpos.esf file from this mod.pack into a new or an old mod pack file for the according campaign mod.

    Edit: Regarding step 28) and 29), i've forgotten to mention, that with the process above described, you'll get not only the startpos.esf file as output file within the mod.pack, but also other files. This mod.pack can be used as is, but you would rather have make sure, that the according files are not contained in already other used mods. Because of this, the mentioned file organisation via PFM tool is quite important.

    30) That's all of the process, at least what i can tell you.

    Last important hints:
    Start all of the factions of the according campaign.
    If the startpos.esf is bugless or let's say, what you did there in DAVE plays with Attila vanilla, then all factions start properly.
    If not, the game crashes right after the starting map of the started faction is built (faction, which has setting-issues caused by your editing).
    Pity! You'll probably have to use the backup as described above.
    Or if you only did a few changes which you remember exactly, revert them. Repeat the whole DAVE and BOB process, until you have a crashfree mod.

    Happy Attila startpos modding.


    Credits belong to all guys which wrote something senseful about startpos editing, and/or the AK tool etc.
    Mentioned shall be here of course Mitch (his basic AK guide) and Magnar (his tutorial video).
    Also important to note is, that JaM, my modding collegue for years, provided me with the YT link to Magnar's startpos tutorial video,
    which i possibly never had found without him, and this video helped me for certain necessary steps (although he has partially shown another way
    in his video), and JaM's ears and words when we exchanged different PM's about Attila startpos.esf modding in general.
    Last edited by DaVinci; 01-21-2017 at 03:33.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tutorial: Assembly Kit - Building a startpos mod for Attila

    "16) Find "EmpireBuilder" (spell? ... have it not open now, but you'll get it what is meant) - there, find and mark the campaign for which you changed the startpos in DAVE."

    I have been building startpos for Attila and other TW mods for several years on and off.
    This guide goes way off-base starting at the line above.

    I take significant issue with #18, #21 and #22 as well.
    Anyone following this guide is bound to fail.
    Magnar's guide for Rome 2 is close enough to Attila that modders can use it as a resource.
    I realize that it is tedious and difficult to write about a process that needs pictures.
    I or a member of our mod team will write a guide in written form that actually works for Attila.
    While you wait, this is how to build a startpos in Bob:
    Check Campaign, top box from Working data only. There are other methods that still work but this is the one that causes the fewest failures.
    I know, you could explain this with pictures, but this vBulletin technology behind this board cannot even handle local picture uploads so I won't be posting the guide here. Better to take this guide down.


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