Creating mods for Farming Simulator – First mod

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Modding for Farming Simulator
Creating mods for Farming Simulator
Welcome to a series about Farming Simulator 19 modding. In these blog posts, tutorials and wiki pages, we will take a close look at how modding is done from the ground up. This is intended for those who are new to modding and also for those who want to learn something new.


Introduction

In this blog post, we will finally look at how to make our first mod for Farming Simulator. You should already be set up with all the apps and changes we did in previous blog posts. If not, please check those out here.

You can also jump ahead to:



GIANTS editor

I'm sure you already have it open in anticipation, but if not, please open it. We need to check some settings before we get to the good stuff, so that the editor knows where the game is. Go to the File menu and select Preferences... When the window opens, make sure you have logging enabled, and that under Game installation you select the path to your game. If you are not sure where your game is located you can check that inside Steam, or search for it in Windows start menu. After, you can click Apply and OK.
GIANTS editor preferences menu

Now let's create our first mod. Go to the File menu again, but this time select New mod from game...

This is basically a way that GIANTS offer us, to start not from scratch but with a vehicle or map already in-game. I selected the "Store Item : 500 Favorit" which is the Fendt 500 Favorit you can get in the base game.

Image
When clicking OK, the editor will ask us for the Working Directory, so here please select the folder we created in the last blog post. You can check back here. After that you can click OK again. You should now see a tractor in the center of your view.
Image
Before moving around, we need to create a camera. You can do that by going to Create menu and selecting Camera. After, select View->Camera and select the "camera". (This is the one we just created)
Important:

You need to create a new camera because if you don't, you are moving the default camera which will show in-game. Also do not forget to delete this helper camera after you are done with your mod, or you will have errors in the console.

Also, don't forget to save every now and then.
Protip:

To get more familiar with GIANTS editor you can also check the tutorial GIANTS have on their developer network page.



Adding an object

To not start off super hard, we're going to use something that someone else 3d modelled and textured, and we're just going to add it to our tractor. This way anyone can get started with modding for Farming Simulator. Don't worry, we will get into some more difficult stuff in the upcoming tutorials.
PREFAB!

McHale Fusion 3 Terminal

By: Grubby

MORE INFO

We are going to use this "McHale Fusion 3 Terminal" made by Grubby from ModHub. When you've downloaded it, extract it to a folder on your computer. (Should not be the mods folder!)

As you can see on the left it's a PREFAB, which means it cannot function as a standalone mod. We need to add it to an existing vehicle or map to be able to use it.

Inside the extracted folder you will see these files:
  • An .i3d file (This is the 3d object itself)
  • A .shapes file (This is a binary file containing 3d model information)
  • Some .dds files (These are the textures)
  • And an.xml file (This is the description file in xml format)
Now going back to the GIANTS editor with the tractor open, let's add the model we just extracted. Go to File->Import, or click the little page icon with a green plus sign. From the open dialogue select your extracted model and click import.
GIANTS editor scenegraph

This is what you should now see. A monitor item was added to the left in the "Scenegraph". Now we need to move it. First, we will move it to the right spot in the "Scenegraph" and then also on the tractor. The location in the "Scenegraph" is important because that's how the game knows where things are and what they are dependant on. For example, if you leave the model where it is, it will not move with the cab when you drive over bumps, because it is not a child of the cab model. (We will go into further detail on this in the upcoming tutorial)

Moving around

To move it inside the Scenegraph, first expand the favorit500_main_component1 component and then the cabin component by clicking the little plus icon on the left. Now select the Monitor component and press the MMB(Middle mouse button) and drag it onto the cabin component. This should paste our imported object as the last child of the cabin component.

Now that the model is positioned correctly, we can move it to the right spot in the tractor. Select our Model component in the "Scenegraph" again, and use the gimbal in the centre of the 3d view, to move the object. When you are happy with the placement save the file. (You can use my Translate properties on the picture below to position it as I did)

Farming Simulator editor

Updating textures and xml

We also need to update the texture locations. Since we just imported the model, the texture files inside it still point to the old location (The extracted folder). So there are two things we need to do. We need to copy the texture files into the right folder and then update that in the GIANTS editor.

First, let's copy the texture folder and the icon.dds into our FS19_fendt500_mrbrutal folder from the folder you extracted earlier containing the terminal model. We will use the icon.dds as a placeholder for now, until we make our own in the next tutorial.

Copying the mod files

Second, in the GIANTS editor, first expand our Monitor object in the Scenegraph window, and select the decals object. Then, go into the Material Editing settings (if you don't see it, go to Window->Material Editing to turn it on) and click on the ... dots icon for the Albedo Map. Click the ... again in the window that opens and select the decals.dds in the folder we just copied over, and hit OK.

Changing textures for terminal

Finally, let's update the modDesc.xml file to include the missing information. (Without this, the game will not recognise this as a mod) Open it with a text editor, and copy/paste the code below into your file. You can also manually update it and add the <title> and the <description> tags, like below.

      
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no" ?>
<modDesc descVersion="43">
    <author>Mrbrutal</author>
    <version>1.0.0.0</version>
    <iconFilename>icon.png</iconFilename>
    <storeItems>
        <storeItem xmlFilename="favorit500.xml"/>
    </storeItems>
    <title>
        <en>Fendt 500 Mrbrutal</en>
    </title>
    <description>
        <en>
            <![CDATA[
                This is a description.
            ]]>
        </en>
    </description>
</modDesc>
Make sure to leave the <![CDATA[ and ]]> tags alone, since they tell the game to not convert any characters inside the brackets.


Testing in Farming Simulator

Now to test what we have accomplished in-game is super easy. Just start the game, load a save you've created earlier, and select the mod we made. If it is not in the list of mods, make sure you followed the steps correctly, and that the folder containing your mod is inside the mods folder.

Then in the store, click on the small tractor's category and scroll to the end. Our tractor should be the last one, with the "Mod" written under it in orange.

Farming Simulator modding


Thank you for reading and congrats on your first mod! In the next blog post about Farming Simulator modding, we're going to look at how to create the store icons using the app that GIANTS provide. You can use the buttons below to see older posts. If there are any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments!
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