Weird Worlds mod tutorial: The Basics

Last updated 2/28/2006

1. What is a mod?

In Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, a mod is a set of custom game files that override parts of the default game. To eliminate the dangers inherent in modifying the actual game files and to allow multiple mods to be installed, Weird Worlds mods reside in their own separate folders. The Launcher which appears when you run the game allows you to select which mod you want to play. Just click the "MODS" button and pick a mod from the list.

Whenever Weird Worlds tries to load a file while running a mod, it first attempts to load it from the mod folder. If the file doesn't exist within the mod, then it is loaded from the default game folder. This way you don't have to include any of the original game data with your mod, just the content you have changed or created.

2. How to set up for creating a mod

1. Create a new folder for your mod under the Weird Worlds installation. For example, c:\program files\shrapnel games\weird worlds\mymod\
2. Within the mod folder, create a new folder named gamedata
3. Copy the game.ini file from default\gamedata to your mod's gamedata folder.
4. Open the game.ini in a text editor and change the TITLE line to your mod's name.

You should now have a folder structure like this:

- Weird Worlds
.+ default
.- mymod
..- gamedata
.... game.ini
.+ superpirate

3. Mod Banner

You'll need to create a "banner" graphic that shows up in the Mod Selection screen, or you won't be able to select it. The banner should go in a folder named "graphics\launcher\" within your mod folder. The banner must be 468x60 pixels in size and use the same 256-color palette as the default one. If you name it something else than banner.bmp you'll have to change it in the game.ini.

The folder structure will look like this:

- Weird Worlds
.+ default
.- mymod
..+ gamedata
..- graphics
...- launcher
..... banner.bmp
.+ superpirate

The easiest way to get the palette right:
- Copy banner.bmp from default\graphics\launcher to your mod's folder.
- Open this copy in PhotoShop or similar graphics tool
- Paste your banner image on top of it. This should convert it to the right palette. Then save the file. Now it should show up in the Mod Selection screen.

Once the banner is in place, you can make sure the folders are set up correctly by running the game and checking whether your mod shows up in the Mod Selection screen in the Weird Worlds Launcher.

4. Distributing Your Mod

Before you send your mod out to the world, you should write a readme.txt for it and place it in the mod folder. This text file should include anything you want the players to know about your mod, your email address, that sort of thing.

The recommended way to distribute your mod is by compressing it into a .zip file. In Windows, if you have Winzip installed you can just right-click on the mod folder icon and select "add to mymod.zip" in the menu that pops up. This will preserve the folder structure of your mod, so it'll be easy for people to install. You shouldn't use an executable installer, as they may become infected with viruses and won't work in other operating systems such as MacOSX when Weird Worlds becomes available for them.