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Thread: New Main Menu background

  1. #1

    Post New Main Menu background

    After finaly getting a working Main menu system that looks decent (IMO) for Terra Nova Mod, I have decided to release the background to the public. I will also explain how to make your own Main menu changes.

    Only the Background (the map and its lighting) in this image will be available to download. the icons and writing and center button area/title will not be shown.

    The screenshot is kind of fuzzy because I used MSpaint to make the Jpeg. It looks way better in the game.

    Installation:
    1. Download the latest version of Terra Nova. TN Downloads
    2. Choose a mod to edit or make one because i do not reccomend changing your original files.
    3. make a copy of mod/Terra Nova/interface/temp_frontend.gfx and place it in mod/modname/interface.
    4. change this code in temp_frontend.gfx:
    Code:
    spriteType = {
    	name = "GFX_frontend_ll"
    	texturefile = "gfx\\interface\\frontend_ll.tga"
    	noOfFrames = 1
    	loadType = "FRONTEND"
    }
    
    spriteType = {
    	name = "GFX_frontend_ur"
    	texturefile = "gfx\\interface\\frontend_ur.tga"
    	noOfFrames = 1
    	loadType = "FRONTEND"
    }
    To this: (change Terra Nova to the name of your mod)
    Code:
    spriteType = {
    	name = "GFX_frontend_ll"
    	texturefile = "mod\\Terra Nova\\gfx\\interface\\frontend_ll.tga"
    	noOfFrames = 1
    	loadType = "FRONTEND"
    }
    
    spriteType = {
    	name = "GFX_frontend_ur"
    	texturefile = "mod\\Terra Nova\\gfx\\interface\\frontend_ur.tga"
    	noOfFrames = 1
    	loadType = "FRONTEND"
    }
    5. place mod/Terra Nova/gfx/interface/frontend_ll.dds and frontend_ur.dds into the mod/modname/gfx/interface directory.

    Loading Screens:
    The loading screens are optional and in order to use them you have to replace original EU3 files. I do not reccomend changing original files so do this at your own risk.

    Getting rid of the 'III':
    follow the same procedures as the frontend instructions but instead change frontend_backdrop.tga in the temp_frontend.gfx file. then edit your frontend_backdrop.dds file and place it in the mod/modname/gfx/interface folder. I chose to use this .dds file to display the religion icons and the motto for the main page. make sure to keep the same image size as the original frontend_backdrop.dds.

    Changing the center panel:
    follow the same procedures as the frontend instructions but instead change frontend_panel.tga in the temp_frontend.gfx file. then edit your frontend_panel.dds file and place it in the mod/modname/gfx/interface folder. I chose to edit this .dds file to show my mod name and put my name in small type under the buttons. make sure to keep the same image size as the original frontend_panel.dds.

    .dds file layers:
    This is how i believe the .dds files are layered for the main page: (top one in list is on top of the layers, bottom is the background or bottom of the layers)

    1.frontend_panel.dds
    2.frontend_backdrop.dds
    3.frontend_ur.dds and frontend_ll.dds (same layer)

    This means that the more alpha you have on the top layers, the more of the underneath layers will be seen through it.

    Making your own background:
    the frontend_ur.dds and frontend_ll.dds will both need to be modified. These two files 'lower left' and 'upper right' get combined by the game engine. The combining is (IMO) not done very well as it can leave a blank spot or sharp edges between the two files. This means it may be a better idea to use one as the background and set one blank. The blank one will have to be completely black in the alhpa channel i think so that it shows nothing. I tried two files, one all black with white alpha and one all white with black alpha, i do not remember which one worked so if somebody figures this out please let me know here.

    Resolution changes:
    The game engine will move the .dds files around depending on what game resolution your choose. My files are optimized for 1024x768 but will look good at higher resolutions i think because there is much of the background that is not seen with 1024x768. This means that at higher resolutions the rest of the background will be seen and look even better. This also means that if you run the game at 1024x768 and want to edit your own files, you will have to center things correctly if you place objects near the edges of the screen if you want them to be seen.

    File Names:
    I did a quick test using my mod's flagfiles.dds file instead of the frontend_ll.dds file and this worked fine. So, it seems that as long as you edit the temp_frontend.gfx file correctly, you can have any file name listed inside of it so serve any purpose. This also seems to mean that any sized .dds file can be used in the main menu. This means that if you rename frontend_ll.dds to background.dds and have it listed properly in the temp_frontend.gfx file it will replace the original vanilla file listed in the temp_frontend.gfx file that you changed when the mod loads.

    Usage / comments:
    if you use these files in a distributed mod please mention me. In particular, the Alpha channel of the background is something that was not easy to achieve and i am proud of myself, if i must say so myself. The idea to only use the 'll' frontend as the backdrop came to me after many fustrations with trying to blend both the 'ur' and the 'll' which is why the vanilla one may not look good. It is just way easier to use one backdrop instead of trying to blend two. the 'ur' file is still needed because it replaces (only in the mod) the second vanilla one and enables the full view of the 'll' file.

    A list at the bottom of the special thanks section will show the Graphics Locations that i edited for my mod.
    Last edited by Darken; 21-12-2007 at 01:45.
    Shalom
    John F. Kennedy
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    "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
    Martin Luther King
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  2. #2
    Corporal Peron803's Avatar
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    This helped me alot, for my mod

    Thanks.

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