The 3rd Age

The Rhovanion Alliance

The Rhovanion Alliance

A most anticipated mod that adds 4 new factions as well as editing the old ones

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Custom art in Worldbuilder

Avatar of Lauri


Category: Worldbuilder
Level: Beginner
Created: Wednesday February 9, 2011 - 16:16
Updated: Tuesday April 8, 2014 - 23:02
Views: 6615
Summary: This shows you how to add and use your custom art in Worldbuilder


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4 votes

You'll need Sy's AssetBuilder for this, link at the end of the article.

Do note, the method is exactly the same for BFME, BFME2 and RotWK, with one difference;
BFME2\RotWK: You have to replace the original asset.dat in BFME1's folder with the original asset.dat from BFME2\RotWK before you do point 3.
Take backups!

The process:
0. ----> IMPORTANT: Make a copy of the original asset.dat, found in the installation folder (for some, it may only display asset, and not asset.dat)
Personally, I copy it and name it asset.original, or asset.old, or something.

1. Open Sy's AssetBuilder
2. Drag your mod's Art folder into the program
3. Make sure it's set on Append to existing asset.dat
4. Save it to the desktop, as mymod.dat

Okay, that's your asset.dat, named mymod.dat, with everything EA made and yours. Now;

5. To use in Worldbuilder, go to your BFME folder
6. Copy or move the original asset.dat to a safeplace (see point 0)
7. Move your mymod.dat to the BFME folder, rename it to asset.dat (you'll have to remove the original first)
8. Move a copy of your mod (in a .big format) to the BFME folder, rename it to _a.big
9. If you have an asset.dat inside your .big file, delete it. It is likely to cause some invisible\pink objects to (not) appear in Worldbuilder.
10. Open Worldbuilder.exe, and look at your art! If it doesn't display correct, you haven't added it correctly to the mymod.dat, or you didn't include it in your _a.big

11. Now, it's a good idea to remove the stuff after you're done. Move your files to a safe haven, and take the original asset.dat back.
12. Now that you've already made the files, it's much easier to use next time. Simply remove the original asset.dat, and add your's and your _a.big file

There, that wasn't too hard?

Why does your mod need to be named _a.big? Because then it will be read before all the other .big files. It's first in the line!

The reason for BFME2\RotWK's extra, is because Sy's AssetBuilder was made in BFME1's time, so it finds that asset.dat, and adds your content to it. Now, if you replace that asset with one from BFME2\RotWK, the problem is sovled, because it only adds your stuff to an existing asset.dat

That is also the reason why you currently need to have BFME1 installed, in addition to BFME2 and\or RotWK.
It might be possible to simply rename the BFME2\RotWK folders into "The Battle for Middle-earth (tm)", but test it at your own risk.

And you NEED to have the original game's assets for Worldbuilder to work! Simple as that!

Links / Downloads

Original asset.dat backups3928February 13, 2011 - 15:10
Sy's AssetBuilder2645February 9, 2011 - 16:32


Display order: Newest first

Rob38 (Team Chamber Member) - Sunday February 13, 2011 - 12:51

Thanks Lauri for putting this together.

modboy451 - Sunday February 13, 2011 - 11:55

i have backup asset.dats HERE:

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