Game Modding

Lord Cirone's Guide to Modding Nations


Here is it... LordCirone's Guide to Modding Nations. Are you not excited? So, let us break down modding nations into three parts:
  • Setting up the nation with new powers and help text
  • Setting up unique units for the nation
  • Integrating the nation into the Conquor the World Campaign.
You'll need a word processor to open and edit the files. I use NotePad.

Rise of a Nation

First, get an idea of what nation you want to make. You cannot create nation powers in the game, but you can make slight changes to existing ones, usually changes in numbers of things. Then, go back up these files:
  • Rise of Nations\data\rules.xml
  • Rise of Nations\data\help.xml
  • Rise of Nations\tribes\(nation you will replace).xml
The tribes folder contains xml files for each nation, you'll need a copy of the nation you want to mod. Now, you can either mod the files that are in the Rise of Nations directory, or you can mod the files that you copied. I like to set up a folder on my desktop with the copied files and them mod them from there. Now, first step, that tribes file. Let's take the Minoan Mod I made a while back as an example. The Minoans replace the British, so I took the british.xml out of the tribes folder. Here it is:

<TRIBE name="British">
<LEADER>Richard the Lionheart</LEADER>
<LEADER>William the Conqueror</LEADER>
<LEADER>Queen Elizabeth I</LEADER>

It is simple really. Change the name to what you want, change the leader names, and change the city names. You do not have to have as many leaders and cities as the orginal file does, or you can have less, just make sure to delete the extra <LEADERS></LEADERS> and <CITY></CITY> if you decide to have less. Important here are <UNIT_CONITNENT> and <BUILD_CONTINENT>. These decide what the art set for the units and buildings of the nation will be. There are several catagories:

0 European
1 Arab
2 American
3 Asian

0 Med
1 NEuro
2 Asian
3 Korean
4 American
5 Turk

Here is what the file looked like after I modded it:

<TRIBE name="Minoans">
<LEADER>Minos the Great</LEADER>
<LEADER>Satur I the Great</LEADER>
<LEADER>King Sakavipi</LEADER>
<LEADER>King Satetot</LEADER>
<LEADER>King Iasiton</LEADER>
<LEADER>King Deucalion</LEADER>
<LEADER>King Tektamos</LEADER>
<CITY>Kato Zakros</CITY>
<CITY>Agia Photia</CITY>
<CITY>Fournou Korifi</CITY>

Next, we will work with the rules.xml. This is the important part, because it is where you modify nation powers. Look for a part in the rules.xml that looks like this:

<FRENCH_WOODIES value="2"/>
<FRENCH_TIMBER_COMMERCE value="10% bonus"/>
<BRITISH_COMMERCE value="25% bonus"/>
<BRITISH_SHIP_SPEED value="33% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_ARCHER_SPEED value="0% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_ARCHER_UPGRADES value="1 (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)"/>
<BRITISH_AA_COST value="25% cost reduction"/>
<BRITISH_AA_SPEED value="33% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_FREE_SHIP value="0"/>
<BRITISH_TAXATION value="100% increase"/>
<BRITISH_TOWER_RANGE value="2 range increase"/>
<GERMAN_SUBMARINE_COST value="25% cost reduction"/>
<GERMAN_SUBMARINE_SPEED value="33% faster creation"/>

This is what all the nation powers do. Any power that a nation has in-game can be changed. There are also some un-used powers. Putting values into them sometimes gets them to work, but not always. Here is what I modded the powers to be:

<FRENCH_WOODIES value="2"/>
<FRENCH_TIMBER_COMMERCE value="10% bonus"/>
<BRITISH_COMMERCE value="2000% bonus"/>
<BRITISH_SHIP_SPEED value="4000% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_ARCHER_SPEED value="4000% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_ARCHER_UPGRADES value="0 (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)"/>
<BRITISH_AA_COST value="0% cost reduction"/>
<BRITISH_AA_SPEED value="0% faster creation"/>
<BRITISH_FREE_SHIP value="0"/>
<BRITISH_TAXATION value="0% increase"/>
<BRITISH_TOWER_RANGE value="0 range increase"/>
<GERMAN_SUBMARINE_COST value="25% cost reduction"/>
<GERMAN_SUBMARINE_SPEED value="33% faster creation"/>

Really high bonuses I put in are used to simulate instantaneous creation and an unlimited comerce cap. You can experiment to get just what you want.

Now on to the last step, editing the help.xml. While this will not change anything in the gameplay, it is necessary to do so that players know what you have changed. Open up the help.xml, then find an entry that looks like this:

<ENTRY name="TRIBE11">
<STRING>{The British have the Power of Empire.}
<BULLET></BULLET>+$NUMBER0% Commerce Cap. Receive double income from Taxation.
<BULLET></BULLET>Ships created $NUMBER1% faster.
<BULLET></BULLET>Receive Foot Archer upgrades for free. Forts and Towers +$NUMBER5 range.
<BULLET></BULLET>Anti-Aircraft units and buildings created $NUMBER3% cheaper and $NUMBER4% faster.

This is the help text that discribes the nation. “<BULLET></BULLET>" places bullets that separate the different nation powers. Delete powers you are no longer using, and change the text for ones you have changed. Something like “$NUMBER1%" looks up the value in the rules.xml, so if you change a 10% discount to 30%, you don't have to change anything in the help text, it will change for you. Here is what mine looked like after I fixed it:

<ENTRY name="TRIBE11">
<STRING>{The Minoans have the Power of the Mediterranean.}
<BULLET></BULLET>Commerce Cap always at maximum.
<BULLET></BULLET>Ships and Archers created instantly.

Since I wanted it to seem like instantaneous creation, I changed the text a bit, instead of keeping the percentage entries.

So once you've done all that... you're done! Replace the original files with the modded ones to use the mod, and replace those with backed-up files to go back to the regular game.

By LordCirone