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Morrowind Editor Info
15 February 2011
Once the game has been released and people start to play with the editor included with the game,
this page will contain those hints, tips, and other useful help topics to let you get the most
out of the editor. Feel free to Contact the Webmaster
to contribute any suggestions or content.
- Script Functions - 15 February 2011
- A complete list and description of all the script functions.
- Scripting Help - 15 February 2011
- Some tips and guides for successfull scripting in the Construction Set.
- Editor Ideas - 15 February 2011
- A few ideas for mods to create with the editor.
- Editor Help - 15 February 2011
- Some basic help and tutorials for using the editor.
Just briefly, the editor features are:
- Editor is the same one as the developers at Bethesda are using to actually produce almost all
of the game's content.
- Can edit almost all aspects of the game but not including 3D object creation. An unofficial
3DS MAX plug-in may be released after the game to allow people to make their own models.
- Is very well designed to allow extremely easy editting while at the same time provides extended
operation for experts to create more complex objects.
- All changes, additions, modifications, or deletions effected by the editor are stored in files
called plug-ins. Bethesda says that a typical plug-in (small dungeon, loot, quests, etc...)
should be around 200kb in size. Additional models, sound, or music, may increase that size
- There is effectively no limit to the number of plug-ins you can apply to the game. This means that
you can download and install whichever plug-ins suit your fancy. The game has good checks in
place to ensure that multiple plug-ins do not interfere with each other. I believe if they do
you are notified and asked if you wish to continue.
- Plug-ins can be easily added or removed from the game. Thus, if you install a plug-in which messes
up the game or you don't like, it can simply be removed.
- Typical creation time for a decent plug-in is very small. Developers at Bethesda say they were making
simple quests and dungeons in under an hour when they first started to use it. The editor uses
a drag-and-drop technique to accomplish this. For example, you might drag a several dungeon sections
from the library to create a full dungeon. Drag in a few monsters and NPCs and some items/treasure for
- Simple scripts (no function definitions) can be implemented for most objects in the game allowing
for pratically limitless possibilities.
There are lots of other more specific rumours circulating but I'll wait until we actually get our hands on the
editor as things are still under developement.
General Editor Tips
30 November 2003
The editor can be immensely intimidating and complex to the first time user, even if they have some experience with modding
other games. The following are some general tips I've collected for using the editor, for beginners and experts alike.
- Starting Out
- Some areas of the editor are much easier to learn than others. Start out learning a few of the 'easier' parts
first and slowly expand to the difficult areas rather than trying to do everything at once (which will
probably end up getting you discouraged). Start with general item editting and interior/exterior creation,
the easier parts, and wait to get into dialogue and scripting (definitely the most difficult areas) until
you are more familiar with everything.
- Choosing Item IDs
- When creating or renaming items you'll need to choose a unique ID for it.
Most of these aren't hard-and-fast rules, but I've found them helpful in avoiding potential problems.
- Most IDs are limited to 32 bytes (cell names can have 64 bytes I believe).
- IDs are not case sensitive so dh_test_weapon_01 is the same as DH_test_WEAPON_01.
- Don't use spaces unless abosutely required (like in cell names and dialogue topics). When you begin scripting
you'll find it easier to use IDs without spaces.
- Don't start your ID with the _ (underscore) character. You'll again run into fewer problems when
you start scripting. Some people like to start all custom objects with the underscore so they'll
appear at the beginning of the item lists.
- Start all your IDs in the mod with several characters to uniquely identify yourself and the mod. For instance,
in my furniture mod all my IDs begin with dh_furn_ while in my house mod it's dh_home_ (DH
being my initials). This greatly helps in seperating your custom items from everything else as well as
helping to prevent possible ID conflicts between multiple plugins.
- Just to note that depending on the record type, you can have the same ID shared between them. For instance
you can have a dialogue topic with the same ID as a weapon (or other item). This doesn't seem to affect
the game in any way.
- When editting items, you may need/want to change the resource file (texture, model, sound, etc...) associated with the
object. By default, these resources are all stored in the Morrowind.Bsa (and other BSA) files but cannot be directly
accessed. In order to easily browse/select these resources you'll need to copy them all from the 2nd Construction
Set CD that comes with the original game and the GOTY editions. Simply copy all the files into the game's
Data Files sub-directory.
- Render View Shortcut Keys
- There are many shortcut keys you can use in the review view window.
- SPACEBAR - Hold the SpaceBar down while moving the mouse to pan the view (or hold down the mouse-wheel).
- V - Hold down V to zoom the camera while moving the mouse in the view (or spin the mouse-wheel).
- Arrow Keys - Move the view a half-cell distance at a time.
- SHIFT - Hold the Shift key while moving the mouse to rotate around the view. If an object is currently
selected the view will rotate about that object.
- C - Center the currently selected object in the view.
- T - Center the currently selected object in the view from a top-down perspective.
- D - Deselect all objects (or left-click in any empty space).
- CTRL - Hold down the Ctrl key and left-click objects to select/deselect multiple objects.
- X/Y/Z - Hold the X/Y/Z key to move/rotate objects along the world X/Y/Z-axis. Note that Y is for rotating
around the world Z-axis and Z for the world Y-axis (don't ask).
- F - Make the currently selected objects fall to the next object beneath them.
- DEL - Delete the selected objects from the world.
- CTRL+C - Copy the currently selected objects.
- CTRL+X - Cut the currently selected objects.
- CTRL+V - Paste copied/cut objects. Objects are placed in front of the camera.
- CTRL+SHIFT+V - Paste copied/cut objects in place. The objects are placed at the exact same coordinates from when they were copied.
- CTRL+D - Duplicate the currently selected objects. The duplicates are placed right on top of the selected ones.
- CTRL+Y - Redo actions
- CTRL+Z - Undo actions (not all actions can be undone).
- CTRL+F - Find the first instance of a particular item in the world. The cell window will change to display the object.
- F2/F3 - Find the next/previous instance of the last item found using CTRL+F. Use these to iterate through all instances
of a particular object in the world.
- M - Hide/Show marker objects (including door, invisible light, north and travel markers).
- L - Hide/Show the radius of all lights.
- A - Toggle the use of bright light to help illuminate the scene.
- F4 - Toggle the display of the collison mesh.
- W - Toggle the display of wireframe.
- H - Open the landscape edit window.
- Inventory Icon Images
- Icon images (seen in the player's inventory window) are a simply 32x32 image of the item, usually in the TGA or DDS formats.
An alpha channel is not required but if missing the icon's background will not be transparent (most noticable when
moving/dragging the item). While there are many image programs which support alpha channels the following is a general
walkthrough for creating a valid alpha channel for an image using Paint Shop Pro (it will be similar for most image
- Create your 32x32, 16 million color icon image. I usually get a screen capture of the item from the editor or
3DSMax and crop/resize. The background should be black for the best results.
- Choose the magic wand tool (for selecting parts of the image with the same color). Select all the background
areas in the image that you wish to be transparent. The magic wand settings can be adjusted as needed to
provide good results (such as feather).
- Invert the selection.
- Save the selection to an alpha channel (make sure you only have one alpha channel in your icon image).
- NIF Files
- NIF probably stands for NetImmerse File and is only used by the proprietrary NetImmerse 3D Game Engine
(as far as I know anyways). In order to make new NIF files you'll need a copy of 3DSMax (v4.0 or higher) as
well as a NIF Exporter plugin (available freely from morrowind.com).
Unfortunately there is no complete/official plugin/utility for loading existing NIF files (an unofficial
plugin does exist but is currently unstable).
- Creating and editting dialogue is one of the more difficult aspects of the editor to learn, yet it is required
to do any sort of quests. Dialogue consists of a large list of topics which the player can choose to
discuss, with each topic having a list of infos/responses. Each time the player chooses a topic the game
starts at the list resonse in the list, checking if the conditions for the response are meet. The game
continues down the list of responses for that topic until it finds the first valid response. This is
important to know in order to successfully create dialogue.
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