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nox7 started following Internal Game Modification & Format Deciphering (Support/Discussion)
Hello all, Stronghold 2 is definitely an aged game, but has a flare to it I haven't been able to shake since I first played it around 2005-2006. However, after starting it back up again recently in the past month I thought it was time to dig deeper into what makes this game work and how we can get more out of it. First, my background is a back-end low-level (closer to machine language than languages like Python - I work with C++ and such) programmer. I love binary data (especially binary files) and figuring out how things work. So what's this about? To begin, I'd like to say that I've already taken some cracks at analyzing the map files. I'm sure we're all aware there was an old Java program that could "unlock" maps that were created by Firefly themselves.? Kill Barclay, Impossible Anyone? While it may not be totally impossible, it has game breaking bugs that make it unplayable. So I wanted to edit the map. Oh no, it wasn't editable (like all Firefly authored maps). This was the map that started me on a journey to look through the file structure and really see what we can start tackling.? This problem, however, was pretty simple (And for staff/management, I apologize for being new but I'd love to write tutorials on how to modify things like this for personal use - but I'm not entirely sure what constitutes 'quality article guidelines' to submit one).? The map files have a "header" at the top with an author chunk. This has a certain amount of bytes in typical header format. Once removed, the game's map editor will show it when choosing a map to edit. But that isn't all.?Stronghold 2 does not have proper access (or it refuses to, I'm not entirely sure yet) to the typical Program Files installation directory and cannot load the map even though it shows it as available to be loaded. You must first move this map file (or rather, make a copy of it) to the Maps folder in your Documents/My Games/Stronghold 2 I have since edited this Firefly custom War map to be bug-free and properly playable. However, that is just a story. I would like to know of any information anyone else has gathered on Stronghold 2's internals and see where we, as a community, can go with this. My next project is to be able to change hard-coded limits on peasants, troops, etc; and then move on to disabling features like Gong/Rats/Crime in Kingmakers.