Tekken Stage Modding Part 2
Posted February 15th, 2021·
4 mins read
STAGE MODDING IN TEKKEN 7 (LEVEL 2)
All pre-reqs from STAGE MODDING IN TEKKEN 7 (LEVEL 1) Knowledge of what a file path is A hex editing program (e.g. HxD is a free program https://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/) CompareIt! Tool (Optional) https://www.grigsoft.com/wincmp3.htm Texture editing. Dennis Stanistan's Texture Editing Tool https://dennisstanistan.com/blog/207/tekken-7-toolkit-v0-2-0-0-new-feature-texture-editor/
Now that you’ve moved stuff around you’ve likely noticed that things that don’t always seem to fit right or you may want to have more control of what is or isn’t being included in you stage mods. For example, who wants a boulder blocking your view or maybe you want to remove a part of the wall to see you stacked geom better. To tweak the mods even more you will need to understand more about the contents of a map and what they do.
How to View Map Contents
Up until now you only moved and shifted stuff around but now you will need to see below the surface of the map file. You can use a Hex editing program or one that allows you to open up a file like the CompareIt! Tool. The compare it tool allows you to see inside the file as well as compare it to another file; good for seeing changes from old to new. The CompareIt! Tool makes reading the map contents simple but it is not good for editing. For now, we’re just looking so let’s see what these map contents are.
Maps act like directions for the game and tell it what, when, where, and how to load things onto a stage. The primary contents that are available for edit are:
Meshes: these are typically objects, structures, and floors Material Instances: this is the info that is used to properly apply textures onto a mesh Effects/Particles: types of elements in the game like rain, snowflakes, sparks, etc. Mobs: these are typically animal or human and can be animated or still. Content Paths
Stages have folders that contain stage specific map contents. These can be found in “quickbms/out/TekkenGame/Content/Stages/” or “quickbms/out/Stages/”. Within the map file you will see paths to certain items that look like “Game/Stages/Stg09/Mesh/T7_ENV_s09BigChunkyRock”. There will also be lines of coding and unrecognizable random looking characters throughout the file and filling up the top and bottom of the files. We’ll get to that later. For now let’s start some more editing.
Breaking a path.
Breaking a path can’t be done in the CompareIt! Tool; you will need to open the file in a Hex Editor. The concept is quite simple and pretty straight forward. To break a path you need to alter it so the game will follow the path but get lost. For example: you can break “Game/Stages/Stg09/Mesh/T7_ENV_s09BigChunkyRock” by selecting the text within the hex editor and replacing it with “Game/Stages/Stg09/Mesh/T7_ENV_s09ZigZhunkyZock”. NOTE: do not add to the text you must replace it. You only have to replace one letter to break the file path so try to do it in a way that you can recognize that a change was made. It also doesn’t matter where you break the path. Changing Game to Zame, Mesh to Xesh, T7_ to T9_, etc. all successfully break the path and the game won’t load the content into the stage. Some items are connected to other items so it may take some trial and error to get the hang of it. As advised in Level 1 its a good idea to keep a log of all actions. If you want it back in the game rename the file path back to its original.
Make sure you are editing the assets within your mod folder your preparing. Once changes are made save and see what happened.
You can always keep versions of your edits and name them something u can recall later...like stg03_light_noDirectionalLights. You just need to rename them back to their default before using them again.
Up until now only the stage info has been modified but you can go even deeper. You can do this by modding the stage textures. You will find most textures in "quickbms/out/TekkenGame/Stages/". Stage specific items are located in their respective stgXX folders. Shared and common items are in their own folders at the bottom. Within the stages you can find the texture assets in ".../Stages/stgXX/shader/textures". Finding out which textures to edit can be straight forward or tedious.
Using your map viewer (CompareIt or Hex) find the name of a mesh and look at its file path. In your viewer follow that path and view it. If a texture is in their follow the path to it. If not then look for the MaterialInstance and look at its path. In your viewer follow the path and view it. Follow the path in your windows explorer once u locate your texture and proceed to edit.
Some of the textures are easy to identify by just looking in the stg texture folder but others may not be as obvious. It also common for the game to use textures from other stages. Its important to note that these changes will affect any stg or item that uses these same textures.
OK so that’s it for Level 2. Level 3 is in development. As i learn more advanced techniques I'll be happy to share what I've found.
Have fun and change the world...in Tekken.