Hello everyone, this is just a quick, lightly detailed overview of the mod tools and how to use them. More detailed tutorials will come after I implement the official Gearcity wiki page. This is not really meant to be comprehensive or anything. Before v1.22 comes out the mod tools are a use and learn at your own risk type deal.
First an overview of the map/mod system.
The editable parts of the game are broken down into two systems.
-The "Map" files which consists of map specific artwork, city artwork, news artwork, AI artwork, and scripts that use city ID's. These include the City information files, AI files, and the Turn Events file.
-The "Mod" Flies consist of scripts not specifically tied to the map files. Although components.xml and turnevents files do share some linkage. The mod files can also override files, such as turnevents, on specific map.
Currently on the Map files are implemented.
You can find maps in the game in the "install location/media/Maps" folder. Each map has it's own folder, two xml files, one for use in game, the other for the editor, and a number of folders and scripts in specific locations.
You may want to back up the map folder before changing anything there. You can break the game. Deleting the map folder then verifying game cache would also fix any issues if you break something.
To open a map in the editor, click "Map Data Tools", "Open Map Data", then navigate to the folder with your map data and select the "MapFileForModTools.xml" (Please note, if you are currently working on a map and it is not completed, you should save it in a different location outside of the game. You can then load the xml files that file. This is to prevent the game from crashing on load.)
The Test Dot City map is probably the best to play around with.
You will notice on the left hand side various locations and folders. The exporter will look for specific files in these locations. So when you edit AI files, or City Data, please save those files in these folders.
If you're editing an existing map and do not want to overwrite it. Be sure to rename the map under "Map Name" before exporting.
All artwork must be saved in zip files and have unique names, and may not contain folders in the zip files.
To export the map, click export. Navigate to the /media/maps folder. A new folder will be saved with the name of the map and all files will be moved to that location.
The city script files are located in the "install location/media/Maps/Map Name/scripts" folder. The tools are pretty self explanatory. Using a dot city map, such as Test Dot City map, you can add remove cities from the game using these files. Go ahead and open Test Dot City map's city xml file and add a city. Be sure to fill out all the information, then save it over the old xml file. You should see your new city in the game.
(Two points, First, the world coordinates will place the dot on the map, so be sure these are correct! Second point, removing cities will not automatically adjust turnevents or AI HQ locations city information at this time. So if you remove a city, you will have to adjust both of those files as well. I'll be adding a automated solution to this in the near future.)
You can also interpolate data between multiple points. For instance, in the "Classic Map" you'll see city files for 1980, 1950, 1930, and 1900. The mod tools will automatically adjust growth rates for you between the files if you load them. If you're making/editing something form scratch, it is best to start on the last year first and work your way backwards.
AI and Turn Events
Both of these files use other files. For instance the AI files use the city files for HQ locations of companies. The Turn Events link multiple files to world events as well. It can alter city's as well components.
In short, you'll find a couple of file loaders for both of these tools. Load the appropriate files, and modifying things such as HQ city locations for AI companies will become much more easy.
(Note, with the turn events files, unless you plan on re-translating the entire game to multiple languages, it is probably best to avoid the "Localization" checkboxes for news events. )
As I said, a nice quick overview. I'll have a better one with pictures in about a month or two. (Will make it while I work on the new map system.)