The 3rd Age

Age of the Firstborn

Age of the Firstborn

A mod that adds two new factions, new CaH-Class, new maps and more

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Creating an asset.dat using EA's AssetCacheBuilder

Tutorial for Battle for Middle-earth BFME, Battle for Middle-earth II BFME 2, Battle for Middle-earth II: Rise of the Witch-king ROTWK

Avatar of Kwen

Kwen

Category: Graphics
Level: Beginner
Created: Friday May 15, 2015 - 17:04
Updated: Saturday May 16, 2015 - 15:10
Views: 4807
Summary: A method to create your asset.dat using the asset builder that is provided in EA's BFME mod SDK

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And here we go!

This tutorial will go very much step by step to try and make as easy to understand as possible.

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First off I start with my model completed as planned. All necessary textures applied, and the model is rigged accordingly to the skeleton/animation set I desire.

You see here my default settings for my model. The sub-hidden 2 sided effect is because certain parts require it, but it is not necessary to use this feature.

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Note: I have blurred out other files due to confidentiality.

Now, you simply File/Export and select W3D Asset as your export option. initially navigate to your mod directory, specify the art/w3d folder. This is where you will place your new model. See here how I navigated to the art/w3d folder of my mod directory. I have selected the new file name for my exported model rugaladhrim_skn

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Once you select save, you will be brought to a new export page. Here you will select the export options. On this screen you must select the skeleton to which your model is rigged to. As seen here, I selected the ruelfwar_skl.w3d skeleton, since my model is rigged to that skeleton.

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Now you see the new model displayed in my w3d folder.

Note: I have blurred out other files due to confidentiality.

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Now once the model is exported into the correct w3d folder and format, we must make sure the code references the exact model name. The extension .w3d is not necessary only the name preceding. So here is an example of my object code with all default and sub model changes made accordingly to reflect my newly exported model

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At this time, you must make sure to have downloaded the BFME2 Mod SDK kit as linked below. Included is the AssetCacheBuilder.exe which EA used to make the game (supposedly). Regardless, it's the most reliable method I personally have yet found to create an asset.dat.

You place the AssetCacheBuilder.exe in your main mod directory and execute it simply with a double click.

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After executing you will see a command prompt window open up and rapidly display all the assets contained in your mod. Both w3d and textures will be included.

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Note: these steps are not necessary for BFME2/RotWK modding. BFME2/RotWK modding does not normally use .big files, they use folders.

Now, as is standard with BFME1 -mod command method you will open FinalBIG and open your mod. Now you will go to Edit/Add File and select your newly created asset.dat, which is always going to be created within the same directory that the AssetCacheBuilder.exe is placed in.

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You must save the asset.dat file into your mod .big directory as simply asset.dat. No other name! If you see any additional text before "asset.dat" remove it!

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Now save your mod as your desired .big file into your My Battle For Middle-earth Files folder.

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Note: Alternate BFME2/RotWK shortcut style shown on page 3.

Now you must copy/paste a new BFME shortcut and edit the "Target" line, so when you click this new shortcut, it will automatically run your new mod.

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Here we go! Launch the game using this new/edited shortcut and so long as no errors arise you can play your faction and test the new unit! See here my rugaladhrim_skn in game!

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Links / Downloads

 HitsAdded
BFME 1/2/RotWK Mod SDK966May 16, 2015 - 15:10
Beginner Modelling Tutorial787May 15, 2015 - 20:32
Setting up your mod, with the -mod command638May 15, 2015 - 20:31

Credits

LauriMind behind the "makeasset.bat" method.

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