Replies: 6 (Who?), Viewed: 317 times.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 27th Nov 2020 at 7:06 AM
Default How to create a dragon mod
Hi all,

I'm aware this post may come across overly ambitious, given I have no modding experience at all, but please bear with me.

After rewatching the How To Train Your Dragon series a couple of days ago, I felt the need to fill that the terrible, terrible void left by the third film. As such, I'd love to try my hand at creating a dragon mod. It would hopefully include a new animal (given what I've read I don't think it would be possible to add it as a new pet form, so I'd go with having the Sims buy an egg in Buy mode or something along those lines), new interactions with sims (including dragon riding, training, treating for illnesses, and just run of the mill interactions with the sims), a Dragon Expert aspiration that would then divide into either becoming a Dragon Rider, Healer, or Trainer... you get the picture. I'd want to include a lot of content. Only problem is; I have never modded or even coded anything in my life. As such, I don't know what programs to use (I can probably figure out the how with tutorials). After scouring the internet, I also realised that so far there are no dragon mods, which in my books means it's too difficult to do.

Nevertheless, if you have read to the end of this admittedly crazy post, then thanks! And if you have any ideas for me as to where I should start, then please tell me below.
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 28th Nov 2020 at 3:45 AM
There is dragon CC for large dogs made by The Kalino, but I assume you're already aware of that and want more than just the aesthetic. Sorry I can't help beyond that, I'm a CC creator, not a modder, but I wish you good luck.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 28th Nov 2020 at 12:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningBolt
There is dragon CC for large dogs made by The Kalino, but I assume you're already aware of that and want more than just the aesthetic. Sorry I can't help beyond that, I'm a CC creator, not a modder, but I wish you good luck.


I am indeed! And while I love that set of CC, you're right, I'm going for more than aesthetics. Thanks anyway!
Test Subject
#4 Old 29th Nov 2020 at 1:32 AM
So what you're attempting is a very, very ambitious project! Lol!

This would require you to create the animations for both your dragon and sim while simultaneously designing the dragon models via Blender, add injection scripts into the game via Python, learning how to hash (one-way encrypting) your custom content, and LOTS of fine tuning via XML.

And just to make things harder, unlike most games that offers modding support, EA has zero documentation for the script side of things, meaning you're going to have to dig through hundreds of Python files and translating the functions on your own.

On the other hand, the TDesc files, though having a proper descriptions for what the XML functions are doing, are all over the place and difficult to read.

Since you have never coded, unless you have a hidden aptitude for coding, you're going to have to study a lot on how scripts work and focusing on the Python language. You're also going to need to understand the structure of the TDesc files and how XML works.

There'll hardly be any sources for you to pull from outside of the original, vanilla files, (which can take hours) and your best hope is finding things other modders has discovered if you're trying to pull from sources. Unfortunately, this is also tedious, as this information is all over the place too, not being in one centralized location.

So for a project like this, while it's a really cool concept, I wouldn't recommend doing this for the Sims as a very first coding project. I'd start small first, looking into how to create animations for the sims, and play around with, lets say for example, a new petting animation.

Start small, get yourself some exposure to how everything works, and as your start discovering new things, work your way up until you feel confident in being able to take on a bigger project like that.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#5 Old 29th Nov 2020 at 8:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acha
So what you're attempting is a very, very ambitious project! Lol!

This would require you to create the animations for both your dragon and sim while simultaneously designing the dragon models via Blender, add injection scripts into the game via Python, learning how to hash (one-way encrypting) your custom content, and LOTS of fine tuning via XML.

And just to make things harder, unlike most games that offers modding support, EA has zero documentation for the script side of things, meaning you're going to have to dig through hundreds of Python files and translating the functions on your own.

On the other hand, the TDesc files, though having a proper descriptions for what the XML functions are doing, are all over the place and difficult to read.

Since you have never coded, unless you have a hidden aptitude for coding, you're going to have to study a lot on how scripts work and focusing on the Python language. You're also going to need to understand the structure of the TDesc files and how XML works.

There'll hardly be any sources for you to pull from outside of the original, vanilla files, (which can take hours) and your best hope is finding things other modders has discovered if you're trying to pull from sources. Unfortunately, this is also tedious, as this information is all over the place too, not being in one centralized location.

So for a project like this, while it's a really cool concept, I wouldn't recommend doing this for the Sims as a very first coding project. I'd start small first, looking into how to create animations for the sims, and play around with, lets say for example, a new petting animation.

Start small, get yourself some exposure to how everything works, and as your start discovering new things, work your way up until you feel confident in being able to take on a bigger project like that.


That is an awful lot lol! Somehow I don't think I have any hidden aptitude for coding-I'm a musician and that's about as far as my aptitudes extend. I'll try to create a new petting animation as you suggest to begin with and see where that leads me. Thank you very much for giving me the tools I would need at some point to try this. Assuming you have more experience coding than me, would it be ok if I PMed you for more information concerning starting small? If not, don't worry about it and thank you again.
Field Researcher
#6 Old 29th Nov 2020 at 8:42 AM
Is it just the sims that you want this in? Because there is an official online game where you can actually have your own dragon and such and will probably scratch that itch faster than making a mod will: http://www.schoolofdragons.com/

But if you're still determined to do this in the sims: Start much smaller and do this in parts. Creating something like this is going to take several areas of knowledge, and there's a reason why functional, let alone animated, objects are so rare. And you're right, you can't add a new pet species like a cat or dog. It would have to be a regular object, like the hamsters. You also do not need any scripts/Python for a regular object, and most of the stuff you would need (like adding interactions to sims for something like "I love my dragon") can be done with XML Injector, which you should use instead so you can lesson the amount of content you have to learn as you already have a full plate. I'll link resources down below in a spoiler, and my server linked in my signature is filled with plenty of tutorials, resources, and has help channels if you need more.

The first thing you should probably start with is learn to make objects, use Blender, and how the files work (in the Warehouse tab) so you can eventually mesh and animate the dragon.

The second thing after you are comfortable with objects and know how to rig, weight paint, and animate, is to start with modding. You should start with making basic overrides, check out existing override mods to see how they work (especially object tuning), then venture into making small custom stuff like adding a buff to an existing EA interaction, etc. This will help you understand the basics while not overwhelming yourself.

Third is to make a basic animated object and also sim animation to combine your two previous areas of knowledge. This tutorial here covers how to do basic animated objects. I do mean basic though, the stuff you are wanting is going to take a different route. I recommend taking apart existing EA animated objects to see the different possibilities. Something like the hamster is a good base if you want the dragon to seem "alive" and active, it's what a group of modders and I are doing for a farming project.

Fourth is probably where I'd say it's safe to start putting together the basics of the mod. If you haven't already, outline your dragon features here and put them into sections. Then pick a section to start with based on difficulty (you will start to have a better grasp on what is or isn't by this point if you took enough time to work through other mods) and then just knock them out one by one. My recommendation is to get the simple sim-only stuff done first, like the "Talk about dragon" interactions, etc. Then start the basics of the dragon object tuning, but also still in parts. So if the dragon has a hunger and feeding feature, start there. You would make the different states, the commodity, and then the interactions, buffs, loots, etc. that are related to the hunger/feeding feature. Then when done with that move onto...pooping or something, make it and connect it with the feeding feature, and so on. You can use a base object like hamsters or cowplants to test all these features on before you do your mesh and animations.

And finally, once your object tuning is nearing completion then do the animations and connect it to the proper files. And of course any other features you left out until the end, like the aspiration since you'd need everything else completed first.

One thing I do have to warn you about now is that you can't make a flying dragon to travel like a bike, flying around in different ways, etc. You can probably smush something basic together but it will be very wonky like every other "car" etc. mods. Unless you're okay with the wonky behavior it's probably best to avoid it.

Alright, so the tools you will need are Sims4Studio (everything else I mention is linked below), TDESCs and TDESC Browser, possibly XML Injector/any other injector depending how much stuff you want to do, Tuning Error Notifier, XML File Finder to understand file connections, and if you want to be lazy, use Mod Constructor only for the aspiration or possibly a career. Do not use it for anything else for a mod like this because the files aren't for human eyes (it also does not work with objects).


Creator Musings is a Sims 4 modder, poser/animator, and CC creator hangout server (though everyone is allowed) with a tutorial/resource directory, help channels, and mod/cc/sims 4 news channels!
My Discord | Twitter | Tumblr | Patreon
Test Subject
Original Poster
#7 Old 29th Nov 2020 at 12:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MizoreYukii
Is it just the sims that you want this in? Because there is an official online game where you can actually have your own dragon and such and will probably scratch that itch faster than making a mod will: http://www.schoolofdragons.com/

But if you're still determined to do this in the sims: Start much smaller and do this in parts. Creating something like this is going to take several areas of knowledge, and there's a reason why functional, let alone animated, objects are so rare. And you're right, you can't add a new pet species like a cat or dog. It would have to be a regular object, like the hamsters. You also do not need any scripts/Python for a regular object, and most of the stuff you would need (like adding interactions to sims for something like "I love my dragon") can be done with XML Injector, which you should use instead so you can lesson the amount of content you have to learn as you already have a full plate. I'll link resources down below in a spoiler, and my server linked in my signature is filled with plenty of tutorials, resources, and has help channels if you need more.

The first thing you should probably start with is learn to make objects, use Blender, and how the files work (in the Warehouse tab) so you can eventually mesh and animate the dragon.

The second thing after you are comfortable with objects and know how to rig, weight paint, and animate, is to start with modding. You should start with making basic overrides, check out existing override mods to see how they work (especially object tuning), then venture into making small custom stuff like adding a buff to an existing EA interaction, etc. This will help you understand the basics while not overwhelming yourself.

Third is to make a basic animated object and also sim animation to combine your two previous areas of knowledge. This tutorial here covers how to do basic animated objects. I do mean basic though, the stuff you are wanting is going to take a different route. I recommend taking apart existing EA animated objects to see the different possibilities. Something like the hamster is a good base if you want the dragon to seem "alive" and active, it's what a group of modders and I are doing for a farming project.

Fourth is probably where I'd say it's safe to start putting together the basics of the mod. If you haven't already, outline your dragon features here and put them into sections. Then pick a section to start with based on difficulty (you will start to have a better grasp on what is or isn't by this point if you took enough time to work through other mods) and then just knock them out one by one. My recommendation is to get the simple sim-only stuff done first, like the "Talk about dragon" interactions, etc. Then start the basics of the dragon object tuning, but also still in parts. So if the dragon has a hunger and feeding feature, start there. You would make the different states, the commodity, and then the interactions, buffs, loots, etc. that are related to the hunger/feeding feature. Then when done with that move onto...pooping or something, make it and connect it with the feeding feature, and so on. You can use a base object like hamsters or cowplants to test all these features on before you do your mesh and animations.

And finally, once your object tuning is nearing completion then do the animations and connect it to the proper files. And of course any other features you left out until the end, like the aspiration since you'd need everything else completed first.

One thing I do have to warn you about now is that you can't make a flying dragon to travel like a bike, flying around in different ways, etc. You can probably smush something basic together but it will be very wonky like every other "car" etc. mods. Unless you're okay with the wonky behavior it's probably best to avoid it.

Alright, so the tools you will need are Sims4Studio (everything else I mention is linked below), TDESCs and TDESC Browser, possibly XML Injector/any other injector depending how much stuff you want to do, Tuning Error Notifier, XML File Finder to understand file connections, and if you want to be lazy, use Mod Constructor only for the aspiration or possibly a career. Do not use it for anything else for a mod like this because the files aren't for human eyes (it also does not work with objects).



Thanks a million for the detail! I just checked it out and while it seems fun, I've never been one for quest-type games... or paywalled ones But this is great. I'll do my best to get started on this, but I'll take it nice and low-first because I'm a full time student, and second so I don't screw too much up.
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