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Learning modding: Where to start?


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Probably a silly question, but there's so much info scattered all over the place (some of which is outdated), that I'm not sure where to start anymore.


I want to look at making a mod for 7 Days to Die. I've had a read of some of Valmar's stuff regarding making classes and such, and I've read the SDX stuff but a lot of that seems to be focused on building the example mods and incorporating new Unity assets.


Since I'm rusty at programming, and XML is something I kinda taught myself in a haphazard way, I was wondering if anyone knew of any decent tutorials I can work through? I did some minor tweaking of the XML files in the past (mostly modifying what loot spawns where, added a couple of recipies, etc), so I'm not completely oblivious to digging around the 7DTD files. :)


Basically I want to start simple for now. Add or tweak stuff via XML, use the current in-game assets, etc. Any pointers would be massively appreciated.

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I don't recall their being any comprehensive xml modding tutorials. Most of us just learned by looking at what Valmar and other did in their xml and ask questions here when we couldn't figure out what they did. There are videos on the more complex SDX stuff.

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Modding is so varied that i cant give a decent tip additional to that what you have done allready


Start by editing some tables and and or config files (like xml in 7D2d)

* maybe lern how to make Procedural textures or if you can draw draw textures

* maybe lern to model with blender

* maybe lern to code in a C version or maybe Javascript or Phyton

* maybe make sounds and music

* maybe write story and quests

* maybe work on manuals and wikis


There are so many possibilitys and ways its 90% your own preference. Only tip is do what you like, if you dislike something and you get no money for it after a few months you will stop

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Best advice I can give:

Pick a 'Vanilla' file that suits your fancy and you want to spend the most time on (and mimicry will get you far). Once you get somewhat comfortable with making changes in that file you'll eventually start to notice all the references to the other files. Then start to expand to the other files.


Once you get the basic structure down and how they're put together in each file you then can start experimenting and going outside the box thinking to see how far you can push things.


Seeing how TFP it seems are redoing the items and buff system I would pick one of the other files first.


Also no shame in D/Ling other mods and comparing them as well to help you fumble through some areas that are giving you trouble.

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Been doing some digging around, and I think I'm probably going to start with a basic class system.


So basically you pick your class, open something, gain items and then do quests to either gain perks or items. Couple of reasons for that. I love RPG's so the whole class thing interests me, plus it teaches me how to grant things to players upon doing certain actions AND should touch on several XML files. Might be a lot to do at once, but it's something I can do slowly.


Thanks for the replies everyone. :) I appreciate it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just thought I'd pop an update in here.


It's been nearly 3 weeks since I actually started modding the game. I've made it crash hard... several times. But I've poked at a lot of the files. Got custom items, blocks, quests, recipes, materials, tweaked XP requirements, tweaked what spawns in biomes, prodded loot lists, put new perks in, tweaked old ones and even made some custom icons (and also borrowed a lot from Valmar since he posted them up for download). I even poked at the UI and managed to put water/food back as bars, plus a constant temperature gauge and increase the crafting area to 10 slots.


ATM, I'm pretty happy with it. I've got an idea of what I want to achieve, and now I just need to do a lot of testing to see if I managed it. :)

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