Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)
The blurbs for World at War always mention this "extensive
moddability". So far no reviewer has looked into this game-feature -
maybe rightly so, as only a minority of gamers are actually interested
in tinkering with a game at this level.
But I am, so last night I had a good look at this moddability feature.
First thing you notice : this game comes without scen or map editors -
Second thing you notice : you don't need 'em, notepad and a simple
paint program will do.
The game data is kept in ascii files, graphics are targa files,
sounds(effects and background) are wav files, movies are wmv files.
This makes basic modding as simple as replacing one file by another -
expect mods that change the unit graphics pretty soon.
With these basics out of the way I wondered if the map is moddable -
that is : could I add another region to the map ?
Region 65 : The Netherlands is an obvious candidate for this - split
the area in 2 - call the northern half The Netherlands and the southern
Belgium as the newly created region 365.
Took me about an hour - I only had to create a region365.tga file,
adapt region065.tga and adapt such datafiles as areadata.txt,
coordinates.txt, gamedata.txt, mapregionloc.txt, movearrow.txt,
combathot.txt and regions40.txt - I found the datafiles to change by
scanning for '65' or 'neth'. It ain't pretty, but it works.
Whew, this game is indeed highly moddable - so what are the limits ?
Well, in searching through all the data-files I came across a lot of
things that can truely transform this game in fundamental ways. From
game mechanics to AI stuff - a few examples of what I found - nothing
of this is tested (yet)
The game as is will have the Russians declare war on the Axis no later
then 1943 - so what about changing the following line in alliance.txt :
Want to keep the Von Ribbentrop-Molotov pact intact till 1947 and see
if Germany can conquer the world ?
Want to increase or decrease the Vichy French fleet ? - edit Vichy.txt
Want Germany to gear up to full all-out war productivity in 1941
instead of 1943 ? - edit factory.txt
Want to make carriers less vulnerable to torpedoes - edit baseline.txt
Want the Italian surrender rules to change - edit alliance.txt
The developers have left commentary in some of the data files so you
have an idea of what all the various flags mean, but mostly it's either
obvious or can be tested to find out what it is pretty easily.
All this may raise questions about compatibility, game-balance and
possible exploits (cheats) but this game is truely a modding heaven.