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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » The Town Square » A call to make a modding Toolkit for the CB series.
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Topic Subject:A call to make a modding Toolkit for the CB series.
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user3
Pleb
posted 10-16-17 03:45 ET (US)         
City Builder executables points to a "phrase" in the ENG file(for english installs). I'm assuming other language installs use different file types(?SPA,FRE,GER...).

The ENG file structure is fairly simple. Using a hex editor; my wife prefered UltraEdit and contributed funds, but I am a cheapskate and use HxD(stable since 2009 and simple enough for me), you can view the simple structure.

At the top of the file(it's header), is the offset value for each "phrase" delimited by the hex value of '00', on either side, as opposed to a 'space' value of 20 that 'Notepad' displays.

Since 2003(Empress mod), people have been editing this file, for Emperor, using a hex editor. I am sure others have done simular ENG editing for the earlier games.
What is needed is a programmed text editor that has some 'Notepad' fuctionality, find and replace but with restrictions so as not replace every instance without user input or nag popup dialogs. The displayed phrases should be stacked(verticle list), rather then word-wrapped. The 'save' function obviously needs to conform to the systems expectation.

Why bother, you ask. With an editor in a modding toolkit, modders can change the "phrases" length, something that cant be done with a hex editor. Modders could even shorten the exteranious phrases never displayed in normal game play. I dont much care if it messes up the 'programmers dash' as they never released it to the public and I doubt Activision maintains a copy that could be released.

Notepad++ looks like a good candidate as it is open sourced. BEOS & Linux enthusists inform me 'Emacs' could do the job with its extensive library, but none have made a custom editor, so it might be over-complicated for our task.

With this one starter tool, we could continue onto Help file corrections, correcting the message concoctions, etc. Even get enough interest that people might start editing the Monuments and Temples, again. Dream a little think how your skillset can help the HG Modding Toolkit.

So, am I beating a horse skeleton here or what?
Pardon any spelling mistakes, new windows install still in progress.
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Pelagius_II
Pleb
posted 12-19-18 05:41 ET (US)     51 / 51       
Hey there Armel-

I'm afraid I've been even slower to check the forums than you were, but if you ever check back at some point, you should be able to access my email from my github page once you sign up for an account yourself. If you're really interested, get in touch.
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