A techtree is a collection of factions with their own resources and damage multipliers. This makes them the most versatile of any Glest mod. As a result, they are one of the most popular and have the biggest impact on the Glest Community.
- Main article: Folders
The entire mechanism behind techtrees is the usage of a folder hierarchy. We have our one base folder for the techtree, which expands into a factions and a resources folder, as well as contains our Techtree XML. Then inside that resources folder, we have folders for each resources, while inside the factions folder, we have a folder for each faction, which expands into units, upgrades, and so on.
- Main article: XMLs
Techtrees use XMLs to define parameters, give extra information, etc. For example, a unit's stats are defined by an XML, as well as the faction's starting units and the techtree's damage multipliers. Generally XMLs will have the same name as the folder they are in. For example, the techtree XML will be named the same as the folder that contains it, the techtree's main folder. So if your mod is called "my_mod", the techtree XML would be called "my_mod.xml" and be contained in a folder called "my_mod". All file names and folders must be lowercase with no spaces, and should generally only contain characters, numbers, underscores, and dashes. Names will automatically have the first letter capitalized, and underscores will be turned into spaces.
- Main article: G3D
Glest uses its own 3D format for 3D models, called G3D. The general tool used to create G3D models is Blender, which the majority of Glest modders use, and is the easiest to find support for if you encounter a problem.
- Main article: Textures
Textures are the main use of image files, which is the "skin", or outer covering of a 3D model which defines how it looks (the model itself just defines the geometric structure). Images are also used as icons for commands and units in game. Regular Glest only supports uncompressed TGA and BMP, though GAE and MegaGlest add support for JPG and PNG as well. This applies to all instances of images, with PNG being the most versatile format.
- Main article: Tools
In order to make a techtree, you'll need the following:
- A 3D modeling program, such as Blender
- A text editor such as Notepad++, gedit or Kate
- An image editor like the GIMP or Paint.Net
- Every mod starts with an idea. Plan everything out before you start modding. It's easier to rip up a plan and start anew if you're still in the planning stage than it is to try that when halfway through the mod.
- Create the folders for your techtree.
- Create the Techtree XML and Faction XML, as well as an XML for each Resource, Unit, and Upgrade. You'll also probably need to know how to make projectile particles, splash particles, and unit particles (MegaGlest and GAE only).
- Each unit will need a model, which will have to be animated and textured. Each resource will need a model as well.
- Icons will be needed for each command, unit, upgrade, and cancel/meeting point icons.
- Test your mod for balance, bugs, and other possible issues.
- Archive (preferably in the Addons format) and upload onto the Glest Board for the community.
- Add it to Mods/List and optionally create a wiki page here for it.
Tips and tricks
- GAE and MegaGlest only features highlighted in the XMLs are often optional. Even if you are making your mod for one of those engines, they can be safely skipped.
- Plan out everything beforehand, and post it on the Glest Board. The mod could already exist or some members of the community might have suggestions to improve your mod.
- Be prepared for a lot of work, time to make a full techtree usually ranges from an average of 20-80 hours, not counting time to learn how to model.
- Modeling is not easy. Expect to take a large chunk of time to learn how to model, and more importantly, how to model well. The same goes for texturing.
- Don't be too ambitious. If its your first mod, don't expect it to turn out as a masterpiece. As well, don't have too many units, upgrades, etc that could just make the mod impossible for you.
- And most importantly, finish what you start.