Creating mods for Farming Simulator – Getting started

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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, the first blog post, we will look at what you need to start with modding for Farming Simulator games. What programs you need, what knowledge is good to have, and some general tips to get you on the right path to becoming a modding guru.

You can also jump ahead to:



Game file locations for Farming Simulator

To get started let's look at where the important files are located. If you installed the game via Steam, you can get to the main game files by right-clicking the game in steam Library and selecting Settings. From there select "Local files" from the left and click on the big "browse" button. That should open an explorer window with the main game files. You will need this, so make sure you can get to it fast. If you installed the game manually, you should already know where you installed it.
steam Farming Simulator files
As for the game's user settings, where all the save games are, and where the mods are installed, you can find it here:
c:\Users\<yourusername>\Documents\My Games\Farming Simulator <gameversion>\

Where: <yourusername> is your windows username and <gameversion> is the number denoting the game version (17, 19, 22)

Protip:

You can change the location of the game's user settings folder if for any reason you do not like it where it is. Find a detailed explanation on the wiki.

It is best to save these two locations to quick access in the File explorer or make some sort of shortcuts, as you will be accessing the folders regularly when modding.


Modding tools

Let's talk about modding tools. If you just want to quickly edit something, a simple text editor will suffice, but if you want to also involve 3d models, you will need some more tools under your belt. Here is a list of all the tools:
  • A text editor

  • Image
    Any text editor will do, you have lots of choices here, but I prefer the Visual Studio Code.
  • 3D modeling software. You can use anything that can export .obj or .fbx formats. Then you can import it into one of the programs below. (You will need one of them)

  • Image

    Blender is a free open source software with a ton of features and support for exporting into GIANTS editor. It also has some nice plugins for modding.

    Plugins:

    • NLD material selector for Blender. Get it here.
    • Community made exporter by StjerneIdioten. Get it here.
    • GIANTS exporter plugin. Get it here. (You need to register)
  • Image

    Autodesk Maya. This is a paid product, but an industry standard and is probably what GIANTS use.

    Plugins:

    • GIANTS exporter plugin. Get it here. (You need to register)
  • Image

    Autodesk 3Ds Max. This is a paid product, but an industry standard and is probably what GIANTS use.

    Plugins:

    • GIANTS exporter plugin. Get it here. (You need to register)
  • GIANTS software. You will need this for preparing mods, and testing.

  • Image

    GIANTS editor. The main workhorse of the modding community.

    WARNING: If you have an integrated graphics card this will probably not work.

  • Image
    GIANTS debugger is what you will use for any scriptwriting. It's a tool for helping you code and debug.
  • Image
    FSIconGenerator is a tool for generating icons. It basically makes a render of your mod, which you can then use for in-game store images.
  • Image
    TestRunner is a program for the testing of mods. This is very useful when you want to upload your mods to the modhub.
To get the GIANTS tools, you need to register on the GDN {GIANTS Developer Network} to be able to access the downloads.
After registering you will have the downloads section unlocked, where you can find all the tools, plugins and tutorials they provide. Start by installing the GIANTS editor. After running it, this is what you should see.
Farming Simulator giants editor
If for some reason the program will not open, you can check the logs here:
c:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Local\GIANTS Editor <version>\

Where: <yourusername> is your windows username and <version> is the version of the software. (usually, it will say 64bit 8.2.2) Then look inside the editor_log.txt file for any possible issue when the program will not start.

If you used the GIANTS Editor before and it stopped working, you can also try and delete the shader_cache folder. It will get regenerated next time you use the program.



XML files

Another important part of modding are the .xml files. They all follow the same structure and language which is XML. Here is an example file, which is used by all mods, called modDesc.xml It describes the mod contents. We will explore this in detail in the coming blog posts.
      
<?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>

XML is used in all the configuration files, and you can set most of the information in Farming Simulator like this. From your save game information to vehicle colours, and engine data, to placeables and more.

To get a better handle on what XML is and how to use it, you can start by following some simple tutorials here.



Thank you for reading! In the next blog post about Farming Simulator modding, we're going to look at how to prepare the game, how to edit .xml files, getting everything configured and ready for making our first mod. You can use the buttons below to just to the next post. If there are any questions, let us know in the comments!
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