Hey guys, happy new year!
2014 is finally there and it’s going to be an amazing year for me. So many great things will happen, like the release of Qubicle 2 and all the voxel games that are currently developed.
One of those games – and probably the most anticipated – is Stonehearth. I just downloaded the alpha that came out two days ago and was able to have a first look at it. Starting a game made with the help of my tool is just awesome, I guess I don’t need to tell you that. I can’t wait to see all the mods you gamers out there will create. Since Qubicle Constructor was used by Radiant to create all the models and Qubicle 2 Play Stonehearth will be the officially endorsed voxel editor, the first thing I did was finding out how to mod and how the game engine handles the voxel data. Naturally there’s no Wiki for modding at this early stage so here is my first contribution:
Stonehearth will be a very modder friendly game. In fact even the models and scripts provided by Radiant are mods. After installing the alpha browse to stonehearth/mods and you will find two files: “radiant.smod” and “stonehearth.smod”.
The “radiant.smod” file contains scripts that I assume are the core libraries. No need to tinker with these files – at least for now.
The more interesting file is the “stonehearth.smod”. It contains all the voxel models – and other things like ui skins etc.
Both files are renamed zip files. So in order to access the data in the file “stonehearth.smod” simply rename it to .zip and extract it:
- Browse to stonehearth/mods
- Make a backup copy of “stonehearth.smod”
- Rename “stonehearth.smod” to “stonehearth.zip”
- Unzip “stonehearth.zip”
You now have a folder called “stonehearth” in your mods folder containing more folders like “ai” and “call_handlers” etc.
In the “entities” folder you will find various QB files. QB is short for Qubicle Binary and one of my exchange formats. You can directly open/save QB with Qubicle Home/Master and the upcoming Stonehearth Editon (more info below).
Since I need to zip and rename/overwrite every time I want to change something the first thing I do to speed up this tedious task is writing a batch file doing this automatically for me. Here’s my little step by step guide using 7-Zip a free compression tool:
- Download and install 7-Zip
- Create a text file and save it as “pack.bat” in the mods folder
- Open the file with a text editor and add the following lines
"C:\Program Files (x86)\7-Zip\7z.exe" u stonehearth.zip stonehearth\ DEL stonehearth.smod RENAME stonehearth.zip stonehearth.smod
First Modding Test
Ok, everything is prepared now and I can run a simple test:
- Open mods\stonehearth\entities\trees\oak_tree\medium_oak_tree.qb
- Change the Hue/Saturation with the correspoding modifier
- Export as QB
- Double-click the pack.bat
- Start Stonehearth
Great, I have brown trees now, that was quite easy!
I guess it’s better to not change any sizes, positions or names of matrices. But that needs to be tested/confirmed.
Export Settings for QB
If you have a Home/Master license use the following settings for the QB export:
- Z-Axis: Left handed
- Color Format: RGBA
- Single Object: Depends (Yes for most files)
- Hollow: No
- Compression: No
- Encode Visibility Mask: Yes
Most of the QB files consist of a single matrix. An exception I found is the body model which uses 26 matrices. I guess it’s better to leave the body the way it is for now.
Qubicle Constructor 1.6 Stonehearth Edition
Since Qubicle 2 is still in the making I will setup a Qubicle 1 Stonehearth Edition coming out next week. It will offer most of the features of the Home Edition and cost $11. If you purchase a license you will get a free Steam redeem code to upgrade to Qubicle 2 Play Stonehearth once it is out (only if Qubicle 2 Play Stonehearth is greenlit). So you can say the grace period starts next week. Qubicle 2 is currently scheduled for release in March.
Features not included in Qubicle 1 Stonehearth Edition:
- All exporters except for the QB exporter
- Landscape generator
- Heightmap importer
The info provided in this brief blog post is just a sneak peak at what will be possible. And I will do my best to make modding Stonehearth much much easier than described with Qubicle 2.
Last but not least, I am sorry I wasn’t able to post any more news on Qubicle 2 lately. But don’t worry, everything is going according to plan, I just needed the time I wanted to spend on the blog for business talk. Stay curious and have fun modding Stonehearth!