Honours Blog #19 – Modding Tools Overview

So i’ve talked a fair bit about modding, but what do I actually use to make it happen?

For Paradox games all you need is a text editor and an image editor to make it as easy and as accessible as possible, but what exactly do I use?

 

Core Tools

Photoshop

Note the many layers used to the right, allowing me to cover and refer to multiple things at once

While Paint works Photoshop has some nifty tools and tricks which makes it easier to work on the map files. It allows layers which allows me to have every single map file on the same photoshop.psd as well as transparency which helps a lot when overlaying different info ontop of each other (like place names and rivers ontop of the terrain).

 

Notepad++

Flavour Events for England with colour’d syntax

 

Instead of using Notepad, Notepad++ is a very lean and light text editor that turns it into a more programming-oriented one, making the large text files much more readable! With this you can also get Paradox Script syntax which colours said syntax in as you would if you were programming in an IDE and using a more mainstream language like C#.

I tried to use other text editors like Atom but they didnt have a compatible Paradox Script syntax so, while prettier, Notepad++ does the job just as good.

 

GitKraken

The mod’s git repo as of posting

My source control solution. I used this last year for my 3rd year group project so i’m fairly comfortable with it – GitKraken is also fully user-interface so I don’t need to use the .git command line interface which I have no clue on how to use!

As for half of the week I’m away from my flat I can use this to stay up to date and work on my laptop instead. Also, given the dependency-led crashes that EU4 modding has I can always revert back to a previous version if it ends up that bad.

 

Community-Made Tools

EU4 Provinces Colorpicker

EU4 Provinces Colorpicker website

A nifty website that has every single province in the game as well as their respective ID’s and unique RGB colour schema.

I mainly use this to refer to when i’m working within photoshop if I don’t know what ID a province has but I know its RGB colour – it also has the ability to generate a new colour that isn’t used by the game already.

 

The Validator

Audax Validator being used on the mod

A really useful tool that essentially finds bugs and errors and highlights them to you. Will be increasingly useful as the mod gets bigger and bigger and if any compatability issues arises from new game versions.

 

Clausewitz Scenario Editor

Provinces map with selected Wesdam province and its history file

A new tool that I haven’t had a chance to use yet. It allows you to look the the in-game map and its different mapmodes (eg province map, trade goods, religions, etc) without actually opening up the game.

This will allow me to fill out the custom provinces history without having to open up the game itself (which is pretty slow if I use my laptop) and edit it right then and there. This will also help negate the cross-referencing needed mentioned in the EU4 Provinces Colorpicker above as you can get all that info in the editor instead.

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