Getting Started With Modding – Updated 10/05/2016

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Home Forums Modding and Map Making Getting Started With Modding – Updated 10/05/2016

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Narvek 5 years, 6 months ago.

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    Getting Started with Mods

    We have written a big guide to help you guys get started with the modding, it contains things like:

    • Instructions on how to use the various tools you need to make your mods
    • Explanations on the workings of many of the internal systems in Age Of Wonders 3
    • Step-by-step Quick Guides, which explain how to do some simple tasks
    • 3 In-Depth case studies, which provide step-by-step instructions on making example mods
    • Information on how to format texture and model data and how to import it into the game
    • A guide to making particle FX
    • Information on importing your own sound effects

    You can find the guide here:

    Age Of Wonders 3 Modding Guide, version 1!

    The XML file for localization is here:


    These Zip files contain the example mods that are explained in the Case Studies in the guide.

    Blight Surgeon
    Blue Beholder
    Obsidian Dragons In Dwellings
    The Heroes Tombles and Tombelina

    In order to use them, unpack them directly into your UserContent folders:

    My Documents\My Games\AoW3\UserContent

    Each mod will end up in its own folder automatically.

    Models and Textures!

    We have decided to allow mods to change the models and textures in the game. Detailed instructions are included in the guide, but for a brief overview:

    • To make models you will need a piece of modelling software that can work with the Collada data format, plugins are available for Maya, 3DS Max and Blender, among others.
    • In order to work with textures, you will need an image editing program that can work with DDS files. Both Photoshop and GIMP have plugins for working with this format.
    • Due to technical issues you will not be able to change animations. We are providing skeletons you can use to make new models that can work with our animations
    • We have no tools that allow you to extract models from our data files.
    • You can export textures from the game using screen grabs
    • Note that memory is limited and that adding too much new stuff may cause memory issues, especially for players on lower-end systems.

    The following Zip file contains the example files our artists used to show how you can import a model and some textures into a mod in order to make it appear in game:

    Character Material Example

    This Zip file contains Collada files that define animation skeletons for most of the different types of unit in the game:

    Collada Skeleton Files (Updated 10/1/2015 to fix the broken Giant file)

    This PSD file is a template you can use for new icons:

    Icon Template Image

    Sharing Your Mods

    You can export your mods using the package manager, and then upload those mods into the Steam Workshop for other users to enjoy. You can also export your mods from the Package Manager as TAF files to be distributed outside of the Steam framework. These TAF files are already compressed, and will be automatically decompressed by the game’s launcher if copied into:

    My Documents\My Games\AoW3\UserContent


    As I update the guide with new information, I’ll add notes about it here!


    • Uploaded a new Collada Rig zip file to fix an issue with an incorrect giant skeleton.


    • Added section explaining how to safely copy resources from one RPK to another, to try
      and avoid issues with Duplicate Resource IDs.
    • Added info to the section on linking mods together to explain priorities. This explains how to fix an issue where a mod couldn’t change things in the mod it was linked ot.
    • This topic was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Narvek.


    Hello everybody,

    I’ve created a Dark Elf Template mod for you to check out.

    This template mod adds the Dark Elves as a fully playable race. With this template you will be able add new races by just following all the changes made in this mod.

    As this is a template mod, the Dark Elf units aren’t designed or balanced in a proper way yet.

    Steam Workshop Item
    Dark Elf Template Mod

    Source Files
    Dark Elf Template Mod v1.0

    Have fun 😛



    Also check these guides/tutorials and helpful program 🙂

    Visual editing tutorial: Making a Snow Serpent

    Modding Guide and Videos: Beginners to Advanced

    AoW3 Localization manager

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  Narvek.
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