A Game of Thrones • A Song of Ice and Fire NWN2 Persistent World • Low Magic Role Play

Creating Custom NWN2 Load Screens

Resources - Technical Documentation
Friday, 08 January 2010 19:27

To create custom NWN2 load screens, you will have to modify 2DA files extracted from the main 2DA zip archive in the Neverwinter Nights 2\Data folder. DO NOT MODIFY ANY FILES OR FOLDERS IN THE GAME DIRECTORY. It is imperative that you copy the files to another folder before modifying them. Modifying any of the files in the game installation folder will break the NWN2 patching system.

Tools you will need:

  • Something to pack up your HAK file
  • Something to modify 2DA files
  • Something to save you pictures in TGA format

To begin with, extract the loadscreens.2da file from the Program Files\Neverwinter Nights 2\Data\2DA.zip archive. Copy that to a temp folder where you can edit the file. A convenient place is the folder in which you intend to store all the pretty pictures you are going to make.

Next, you will need to capture your screen shot, either in the toolset or the game. Remember, the H key will hide the user interface in the game and you can use the filters in the toolset to hide the objects you don't want to see. When you have your picture ready, press the Print Screen key on your keyboard to store a snapshot of your screen to the clipboard.

Open your chosen image editing program and set your canvas to 1600 x 800. Paste in the screen you captured, adjust it the way you want it, then save it. When given the file selection, make sure you choose the TGA format. Repeat this process for as many pictures as you want to capture.

Okay, you now have pictures. Now name them sensibly. You are going to have to find these in a long list of other images so prefix them all the same. Something beginning with r will help as your areas will, by default, have random allocated to the loadscreen so you will be in the r's when the list opens up. Keep the names simple (you will see why in a minute)

Now to the 2da file. Need to modify this so that it can see your pictures. Open TlkEdit and click on file open. Navigate to your folder and click open on your copied Loadscreens.2da.

Now do the following.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the file where you will find a blank line.
  • Double click on the blank cell in the column BMPResRef.
  • Input your picture file name exactly as it is named on the tga file. (now you know why you kept the names simple)
  • Next double click scripting name and put the same name in there.
  • Next double click on label and put the same name in there.
  • You will now see that a new blank row opens up ready for the next file if you have one.
  • When you are done click save and close the application.

Note - Do not change the name of the Loadscreens.2da file. The tag you see when you come to use the picture will be the name in the column label. That's it, screens made 2da complete.

Next open your nwn2packer.

  • Select new
  • Select import and navigate to your folder.
  • Highlight your Loadscreens.2da and all of your pictures.
  • Click open

Back in the packer:

  • Click save as
  • Given the file a relevant name and type the ending as .hak
  • Click save
  • Copy your file to your mydoc/nwn2/hak folder.
  • Now open the toolset and your module.
  • Select view/module properties and open the properties window. You will see a place for associating haks under misc on line 4.
  • Click on the drop down box
  • Select add
  • Select the filename box in brown on the right hand side, a new drop down box will appear.
  • Select your brand new *.hak file
  • Select open
  • Select ok
  • Save your mod
  • Restart the toolset
  • Open you mod
  • Now when you open your area highlight the area name on the area tab. When you open the properties panel you will then see your area properties. Under general row 5 is loadscreen. Select this then the drop down box. There will appear a list of all of the load screens. Usually this will open on random, so if you started your name convention with an r you will be close to your screen.
  • Select your screen by double clicking and you are done.

Now when you enter your area you will have your own pretty picture in the load screen.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 09:30

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