FlatOut Modding - Where should I start?

VajkLaszlo

New Member
Hey! I'm new to modding and new to this forum, also, my english is bad... I'm from Hungary, just about to learn english... :D

I want to make some mods to the game, but I don't really know where to start... Maybe want to add a new car to the game, which I will make in 3DSMax, but what is the format of the cars in-game? What should I do with my model? In what to convert?

So yeah, I don't really know where should I start... Also, I want to translate the game. Which files do I need to edit?

And maybe later make a new track, new textures, new skins or so...

I don't really know what programmes should I use... 3DSMax, I got a .bfs packer & unpacker, but what else (also got Notepad ofc)?
 

The Very End

Well-Known Member
Weeked Smasher
Master Blaster
Hello! It is a bit hard saying exactly what you need and should have, as most things have alternatives and depends on what you are creating.

For general moding I would check the modding section for information and study the example mod folder within Wreckfest main folder. As for program to use both Blender and 3Ds Max works, and depends what you like. The good thing with max is easier xref/linking scenes together than Blender, men when starting xref'ing is not something you should start with.

Which brings me to next part, maybe start smaller? Cars are really a lot of nitty gritty details and data work, which is much easier when you have some modding experience with Wreckfest. Not to discouraged you, I'm just trying to save you for a lot of frustration.

So where to start then? Maybe try making some objects, small tracks/arenas or something? The learning curve is pretty hard, and again, depending on what you do you can utilize and must utilize a range of programs.

Best of luck with the projects :)
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
The Very End said:
Hello! It is a bit hard saying exactly what you need and should have, as most things have alternatives and depends on what you are creating.

For general moding I would check the modding section for information and study the example mod folder within Wreckfest main folder. As for program to use both Blender and 3Ds Max works, and depends what you like. The good thing with max is easier xref/linking scenes together than Blender, men when starting xref'ing is not something you should start with.

Which brings me to next part, maybe start smaller? Cars are really a lot of nitty gritty details and data work, which is much easier when you have some modding experience with Wreckfest. Not to discouraged you, I'm just trying to save you for a lot of frustration.

So where to start then? Maybe try making some objects, small tracks/arenas or something? The learning curve is pretty hard, and again, depending on what you do you can utilize and must utilize a range of programs.

Best of luck with the projects :)
Ahh man... You're just awesome! :D Thanks for those informations, really appreciate every words! :)

I knew I have to start small, but then I'm going to learn modelling (as you said, making small things like objects etc...) with 3DSMax and Blender too, and later I'm going to create bigger things (like cars, tracks etc...).

Once again, thanks for the tips, really appreciated! :)
 

The Very End

Well-Known Member
Weeked Smasher
Master Blaster
No worries :) If your stucked on something, just ask here in forums, as a lot of the modding is a bit cryptic at times. Oh, and prepare to see errors, a lot of then :D
 

TT

Member
Hello. There are a few programs that you need.

zmodeler2 is a 3d modeling program that can export 3d models to the format used by many games.

Things may or may not have changed recently but the free version could export to Flatout format.

The pay version could also import.

I don't remember if the free version can import 3ds model files or not. If it can't, I think the first old zmodeler program can.

There is now a new version zmodeler3. I don't know if it can handle Flatout or not.

There is also another program that can unpack and repack the Flatout game files. I think it was called bfsunpack or something like that. Many games keep files bundled together sort of like a big zip file.
Edited: I see you have that already.

You can run the game unpacked if you want to.
 

TT

Member
If you are using the free versions of zmodeler then you will also need an example file for a car so you can see what it should be like.


One of the modders also made a huge mod called FOV3 that had a lot of stuff in it and also used a slightly different format. People could add more files to it.
 

TT

Member
If you are going to make new skins, you might want to make sure that your painting program will let you adjust the alpha channel easily. If it doesn't, there are some very easy free programs out there that can do it.

The alpha layer controls how shiny skins are (or for some files like windows, how transparent things are).

For skins, darker alpha is flat and lighter alpha is shiny. The default is very shiny.
 

TT

Member
If you can't find any example Flatout format car files in 3ds or zmodeler format. I think that I have some simple ones.
 

TT

Member
The Steam version of Flatout isn't patched to the final patch version.

Mods should still work but it is worth knowing.


If your monitor has a wide screen, there is a also a file that somebody made that fixes Flatout so it isn't stretched.
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
The Very End said:
No worries :) If your stucked on something, just ask here in forums, as a lot of the modding is a bit cryptic at times. Oh, and prepare to see errors, a lot of then :D
Aye, I'm prepared to errors since Call of Duty 4 Modding, I suffered a lot in that game... :D

TT said:
Hello. There are a few programs that you need.

zmodeler2 is a 3d modeling program that can export 3d models to the format used by many games.

Things may or may not have changed recently but the free version could export to Flatout format.

The pay version could also import.

I don't remember if the free version can import 3ds model files or not. If it can't, I think the first old zmodeler program can.

There is now a new version zmodeler3. I don't know if it can handle Flatout or not.

There is also another program that can unpack and repack the Flatout game files. I think it was called bfsunpack or something like that. Many games keep files bundled together sort of like a big zip file.

You can run the game unpacked if you want to.
Thanks buddy! I knew about ZModeler, but I heard 3DSMax and Blender are better programs, even they can't handle that much file format. I'm gonna' try ZModeler out of course, maybe 2 and 3 too. And yeah, I already have that .bfs packer & unpacker, later I'm gonna' see what files does those .bfs's contains. ;)

TT said:
If you are using the free versions of zmodeler then you will also need an example file for a car so you can see what it should be like.


One of the modders also made a huge mod called FOV3 that had a lot of stuff in it and also used a slightly different format. People could add more files to it.
Hm... Interesting! Going to search on it!

TT said:
If you are going to make new skins, you might want to make sure that your painting program will let you adjust the alpha channel easily. If it doesn't, there are some very easy free programs out there that can do it.

The alpha layer controls how shiny skins are (or for some files like windows, how transparent things are).

For skins, darker alpha is flat and lighter alpha is shiny. The default is very shiny.
I'm having Photoshop, hopefully that's going to be good for me... If not, then my 2nd best friend Gimp is here... :D

TT said:
If you can't find any example Flatout format car files in 3ds or zmodeler format. I think that I have some simple ones.
I'm going to PM you if I'm having troubles with it. :)

TT said:
The Steam version of Flatout isn't patched to the final patch version.

Mods should still work but it is worth knowing.
Where can I find the final patch? :) Is it some community stuff?

Thanks for this HUUUUGE help guys, if I ever going to create something good, definetly write your name up to the credits! :) ;)
 

TT

Member
I don't know if the last official patch works with the Steam version. Probably not.

If it did work, it would probably complain about not seeing a CD disk in the drive.
 

TT

Member
I forget what that Flatout widescreen fix is called. That was a custom file that somebody made.


I noticed in the Steam version Flatout directory that there is a new file called testapp.exe that is the exact same size as Flatout.exe. I have been meaning to experiment with it and see what it is.

Zmodeler has an easier interface than 3dsmax but it doesn't have as many features.
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
TT said:
I don't know if the last official patch works with the Steam version. Probably not.

If it did work, it would probably complain about not seeing a CD disk in the drive.
I'm not going to try it now, don't wanna' ruin my game... :D Maybe later... :)

TT said:
I forget what that Flatout widescreen fix is called. That was a custom file that somebody made.


I noticed in the Steam version Flatout directory that there is a new file called testapp.exe that is the exact same size as Flatout.exe. I have been meaning to experiment with it and see what it is.

Zmodeler has an easier interface than 3dsmax but it doesn't have as many features.
News: I downloaded ZModeler 2 and 3 too, 2 doesn't want to start, but actually 3 did. I downloaded a "temp" car in the format .z3d for FlatOut too. And then, I exported it to .3ds just for a test. What now? Do I need to do something in 3DSMax/Blender, or this is a good way to go on? :D
 

Purple44

Well-Known Member
Team Bugbear Member
VajkLaszlo said:
Hey! I'm new to modding and new to this forum, also, my english is bad... I'm from Hungary, just about to learn english... :D
?
Hi VajkLaszlo, welcome to Bugbear forum. I take it you are interested in modding Flatout 1? There different things and tools to know about modding Flatout 1 or Flatout 2 or Wreckfest. The modding section here at Bugbear forum is pretty much just about how to mod Wreckfest and won't be much help in trying to mod Flatout 1.

The place go to learn about modding Flatout 1 would of been to go to Flatout Joint, but Flatout Joint doors where closed back in Nov 2014. :( Flatout Joint got started by a couple of modders Muratus and Pavcules back in Dec 2005 to give us Flatout modders a place to hangout and talk about modding Flatout 1 and then Flatout 2 ( modding for Flatout 1 had been going on for around a year already, Euro version of Flatout 1 had come out in late 2004 ). A lot of great stuff got done there!! :D

But thanks to Waybackmahcine website archiving Flatout Joint, you can go back and checkout a lot the threads at FOJ. But not all the pages to a thread have been backup, so there a lot missing history. I would be checking the backup points of 2006-2007 when most modding for Flatout 1 got done. Also none of the download links where back up, so no download of mods from the download section of Flatout Joint, but can give you an idea of the mods done for Flatout 1.

[url]http://web.archive.org/web/20051101000000*/http://www.flatoutjoint.com
[/url]

About Flatout unpacker, there a bfs2pack that used to unpack and pack FO 2 and UC bfs files. For Flatout 1, you need two programs: Flatout 1 - bfs unpacker?

This how I got my start in modding custom tracks in Flatout 1:

Purple44 said:
Usmovers_02 said:
Man, you've got screenshots for everything Purple! lol :p I never noticed Frosty before.

On a side note I've noticed most of your custom skins are appropriately purple. In that case my username should be "Pink_02" lol :p
I have purple skins thanks to the skinners at Flatout Joint. I very much appreciate all the purple skins that have been done for Flatout 1 and 2. :) :) :) :)

A good share of them have been done by Heddly. :)

My first purple custom skin I got was for the Fast Hammer in Flatout 1 back in Jan 2006. My favorite silver car to race online. :) My memory fuzzy on who did the skin, was either mud or reaper.



I look once into trying to make a custom skin, Bent Rim was giving me a helping hand, but I did not get far. So I went back to playing with startpoints and spline points and drawing new minimaps in FO1. I'm more of a numbers kind of guy.







When I work on my first FO1 derby pit ( Pav's Barn & Grill ), I did not have a track editor to use at first. So I had to use trial and error method. I use the same startpoint for all 8 cars, started up FO1, saw where the stack of cars where, adjusted my startpoints again, kept doing this until the cars landed on top of the barn. After I got my spacing for the cars on top of the roof, then adjust height number to lower the cars into the barn.

Startpoints = {
[1] = {
Position = { -25.863125, 0.643875, 165.262680 },
Orientation = {
["x"]={-0.003201,0.000000,-0.999995},
["y"]={0.000000,1.000000,0.000000},
["z"]={0.999995,0.000000,-0.003201},
Then Pavcules made a track editor for Flatout 1 that made things a lot easier than using my trial and error method. :p



The modders at Flatout Joint use ZModeler to make custom cars. Heddly be the guy here at Bugbear forum to contact about making custom cars for Flatout. He done a lot of them. :D





If you got your Flatout 1 from Steam, I highly recommend you patch the Steam v1.0 to the Euro v1.1 version of Flatout 1. Can make copy of of your current Flatout 1 folder if worry the patch might break your FO1.

Here link to the official v1.1 patch I uploaded:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/zzjfwz1g0ji/Flatout1.0to1.1.enUL2.rar

Here a link to Pavcules track editor:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/oir5kzmyjoy/FlatOutTrackEditor.zip
 

TT

Member
Can Zmodeler3 export to Flatout format? I never tried it.

The last Zmodeler2 patch killed it for many people. The problem seemed to be the version of Visual C used. I didn't update so I was ok. It might still work if you use Windows compatibility mode for WinXP for Zmodeler2 and then go to Microsoft and/or download the right version of Visual C.

Here is a summary of what to do to get a new car in Flatout.

To put a new car in Flatout, you need to either import a 3d model of a car from the internet or mod from some other game or else build one from scratch yourself. Then save-as often.

Then you open up the example car file. Then you also import the new car model into the same program with the example car. They should be overlapping.

Then you line up the new car so that it is the same size and in the same position as the model car.

The new car can have lots of movable parts like doors but it doesn't have to have them.

After the 2 cars are line up, you need to make sure that the dots that they both rotate around are in the same place.

For some special parts, the example car has pointer dots without any polygons (dummy parts). They show things like where the doors open at, where the exhaust smoke should come out etc.

For you new car, you need to make sure that the model is mapped to some skin file for textures.

If you want damage dents, you need to copy your car parts and then damage on copy by grabbing some polygons and moving them. Don't add or delete any polygons to the damaged part.

When you are done, delete the example car parts, save-as and then export in some format that Zmodeler can open (unless you are already working in Zmodeler).

Open in Zmodeler and then export in the Flatout format.

Then you can either replace an existing car or else you can use FMOD3 and put it in there, or you can mess with regular Flatout and increase the number of cars that it has.

If any of this doesn't make sense, just ask.
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
Purple44 said:
VajkLaszlo said:
Hey! I'm new to modding and new to this forum, also, my english is bad... I'm from Hungary, just about to learn english... :D
?
Hi VajkLaszlo, welcome to Bugbear forum. I take it you are interested in modding Flatout 1? There different things and tools to know about modding Flatout 1 or Flatout 2 or Wreckfest. The modding section here at Bugbear forum is pretty much just about how to mod Wreckfest and won't be much help in trying to mod Flatout 1.

The place go to learn about modding Flatout 1 would of been to go to Flatout Joint, but Flatout Joint doors where closed back in Nov 2014. :( Flatout Joint got started by a couple of modders Muratus and Pavcules back in Dec 2005 to give us Flatout modders a place to hangout and talk about modding Flatout 1 and then Flatout 2 ( modding for Flatout 1 had been going on for around a year already, Euro version of Flatout 1 had come out in late 2004 ). A lot of great stuff got done there!! :D

But thanks to Waybackmahcine website archiving Flatout Joint, you can go back and checkout a lot the threads at FOJ. But not all the pages to a thread have been backup, so there a lot missing history. I would be checking the backup points of 2006-2007 when most modding for Flatout 1 got done. Also none of the download links where back up, so no download of mods from the download section of Flatout Joint, but can give you an idea of the mods done for Flatout 1.

[url]http://web.archive.org/web/20051101000000*/http://www.flatoutjoint.com
[/url]

About Flatout unpacker, there a bfs2pack that used to unpack and pack FO 2 and UC bfs files. For Flatout 1, you need two programs: Flatout 1 - bfs unpacker?

This how I got my start in modding custom tracks in Flatout 1:

Purple44 said:
Usmovers_02 said:
Man, you've got screenshots for everything Purple! lol :p I never noticed Frosty before.

On a side note I've noticed most of your custom skins are appropriately purple. In that case my username should be "Pink_02" lol :p
I have purple skins thanks to the skinners at Flatout Joint. I very much appreciate all the purple skins that have been done for Flatout 1 and 2. :) :) :) :)

A good share of them have been done by Heddly. :)

My first purple custom skin I got was for the Fast Hammer in Flatout 1 back in Jan 2006. My favorite silver car to race online. :) My memory fuzzy on who did the skin, was either mud or reaper.



I look once into trying to make a custom skin, Bent Rim was giving me a helping hand, but I did not get far. So I went back to playing with startpoints and spline points and drawing new minimaps in FO1. I'm more of a numbers kind of guy.







When I work on my first FO1 derby pit ( Pav's Barn & Grill ), I did not have a track editor to use at first. So I had to use trial and error method. I use the same startpoint for all 8 cars, started up FO1, saw where the stack of cars where, adjusted my startpoints again, kept doing this until the cars landed on top of the barn. After I got my spacing for the cars on top of the roof, then adjust height number to lower the cars into the barn.

Startpoints = {
[1] = {
Position = { -25.863125, 0.643875, 165.262680 },
Orientation = {
["x"]={-0.003201,0.000000,-0.999995},
["y"]={0.000000,1.000000,0.000000},
["z"]={0.999995,0.000000,-0.003201},
Then Pavcules made a track editor for Flatout 1 that made things a lot easier than using my trial and error method. :p



The modders at Flatout Joint use ZModeler to make custom cars. Heddly be the guy here at Bugbear forum to contact about making custom cars for Flatout. He done a lot of them. :D





If you got your Flatout 1 from Steam, I highly recommend you patch the Steam v1.0 to the Euro v1.1 version of Flatout 1. Can make copy of of your current Flatout 1 folder if worry the patch might break your FO1.

Here link to the official v1.1 patch I uploaded:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/zzjfwz1g0ji/Flatout1.0to1.1.enUL2.rar

Here a link to Pavcules track editor:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/oir5kzmyjoy/FlatOutTrackEditor.zip
Hi Puprle44, thanks for this info pack! That's a lot information here, really appreciate every words, and thanks for the time you wasted on me. :D :D

Firstly, I know this game is old, the editors for the game are outdated, and the programs which has been used to make the game or to make mods for it are updated, or just gone... Maybe that's why this "operation" isn't that easy as back in '04-'05.

Secondly, I'm going to talk with Heddly, have seen a lot of his work back when I was playing with FO2, and using some FOJ mods to make my game better than excellent. :D

I have some programs now to start learning the game and start working on some stuff to put into the game. Already have 3DSMax, Blender, ZModeler 3 (2 doesn't want to start :/), Photoshop, Gimp, Notepad++, and some VS stuff. Actually having the packer & unpacker to FO1 too. But as TT said before, the 1.1 Patch doesn't want to work for me (Steam version), it wants some CD stuff, maybe the game thinks that I'm using a CD version, or dunno'...

I'm really young (honestly, I'm 14 now :p), and I think I have time to improve my skills in modeling and coding, mainly that's why I'm started ONLY now to mod these games. Maybe later going to work on FO2 and FO:UC too. :p

To sum up, thanks for the advices, really appreciate every single word (and ofc your time guys!), gonna' work hard on these things, will post my coming up cars/tracks/whatever I make... :)
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
TT said:
Can Zmodeler3 export to Flatout format? I never tried it.

The last Zmodeler2 patch killed it for many people. The problem seemed to be the version of Visual C used. I didn't update so I was ok. It might still work if you use Windows compatibility mode for WinXP for Zmodeler2 and then go to Microsoft and/or download the right version of Visual C.

Here is a summary of what to do to get a new car in Flatout.

To put a new car in Flatout, you need to either import a 3d model of a car from the internet or some other game or else build one from scratch yourself. Then save-as often.

Then you open up the example car file. Then you also import the new car model into the same program with the example car. They should be overlapping.

Then you line up the new car so that it is the same size and in the same position as the model car.

The new car can have lots of movable parts like doors but it doesn't have to have them.

After the 2 cars are line up, you need to make sure that the dots that they both rotate around are in the same place.

For some special parts, the example car has pointer dots without any polygons (dummy parts). They show things like where the doors open at, where the exhaust smoke should come out etc.

For you new car, you need to make sure that the model is mapped to some skin file for textures.

If you want damage dents, you need to copy your car parts and then damage on copy by grabbing some polygons and moving them. Don't add or delete any polygons to the damaged part.

When you are done, delete the example car parts, save-as and then export in some format that Zmodeler can open (unless you are already working in Zmodeler).

Open in Zmodeler and then export in the Flatout format.

Then you can either replace an existing car or else you can use FMOD3 and put it in there, or you can mess with regular Flatout and increase the number of cars that it has.

If any of this doesn't make sense, just ask.
Hey! Thanks for the info again!

I thought I need to do the same except the "2 cars in same program", but you proved my thoughts! :D
Actually want to use an already made 3D model maybe exported from other game, or just find one on the internet, and do the same as you wrote down.

Thanks again!
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
Okay, so the first thing I don't understand, is how to export to .bgm? Yesterday, I downloaded a .z3d file (actually, Chili from FO2), and it's all good, but I can't export or change it's format to .bgm.

EDIT - I did a miracle with my ZModeler 2 and it's starts up, and now finally I can export my .z3d model to .bgm! YEA! :D :D
 

TT

Member
Good to hear!

A few more tips:

For driver position, there is a text file that has coordinates to position the driver. The coordinates might need to be edited.

There are also some text coordinates for collisions that tell the game where the outer edges of the car are. They might also need to be adjusted. The coordinates are for 2 box shapes. One for the lower part of the car, the other is for the upper part with the windows and roof etc.

Another thing is that the names on parts need to be kept the same as the example unless you modify another text file.

Also, when importing some new car overlapping the example, check the direction of those little origin dots that the parts rotate around. Sometimes they can be backwards on the new car and things need to be adjusted. There should be arrows showing the orientation if you highlight the part.

When starting out, you might want to just leave the game unpacked. Maybe rename the folder for some car that you want to replace. Copy that folder and rename it back to the original. Then replace things like the bgm file with your new one.

If you modify any text files, I would back them up first. Don't add extra spaces or tabs. Also, don't use Wordpad. Notepad should be ok.
 

VajkLaszlo

New Member
TT said:
Good to hear!

A few more tips:

For driver position, there is a text file that has coordinates to position the driver. The coordinates might need to be edited.

There are also some text coordinates for collisions that tell the game where the outer edges of the car are. They might also need to be adjusted. The coordinates are for 2 box shapes. One for the lower part of the car, the other is for the upper part with the windows and roof etc.

Another thing is that the names on parts need to be kept the same as the example unless you modify another text file.

Also, when importing some new car overlapping the example, check the direction of those little origin dots that the parts rotate around. Sometimes they can be backwards on the new car and things need to be adjusted. There should be arrows showing the orientation if you highlight the part.

When starting out, you might want to just leave the game unpacked. Maybe rename the folder for some car that you want to replace. Copy that folder and rename it back to the original. Then replace things like the bgm file with your new one.

If you modify any text files, I would back them up first. Don't add extra spaces or tabs. Also, don't use Wordpad. Notepad should be ok.
Thanks again! :D :) :)

I have another question: How to add the car to the game? :D

I saved all the original files to another destination with unpacked all the default .bfs files, but in my "main game" folder they are packed as default. I made a new .bfs for test, and also made a .ini file to it. But how to load it up with the game? I re-wrote some other things, such like the car's name (Speedevil -> Chili), the price etc... But I can't see that's work.... :/

If someone would see them:
- .bfs file and .ini -> Here! (also contains modified filesystem.ini)
- Source files for my mod -> Here! (the model isn't mine)

EDIT - Many things happened after I posted this. I'm going to reinstall my PC (actually change to Windows 10 from 7), and then I'm gonna' post everything that I found out or not. And I deleted all the files that I uploaded to my Google Drive before, because they wasn't good. But ofc, I will continue working on these games! :) ;)

EDIT Version 2 - So, I successfully reinstalled my PC, welcome W10! :) :D About modding; in FlatOut "1", I unsuccessfully replaced my car with an in-game car, so I just let it gone, and try to work on FlatOut 2. Now, I downloaded the .z3d file of Pepper (FO), and exported it to .bgm. Then, I downloaded a "Mod Manager" and a ".bfs packer & unpacker" for FO2, made a new .bfs file called "PepperTest.bfs", and call it in the patch file. The car replaced the in-game car "CTR" (Race Class), but I got a problem. The game loaded both car (LOL). Then I was thinking about re-making the default .bfs's (fo2a/b/c) without the car_1 (that's the CTR). This was unsuccessful, because it's said "Couldn't find file data/cars/car_1 in system files!" (or smth else like that), than I tought I should put the car_1 in one of the default .bfs files. I tried to re-make those with my new "car_1" (Pepper's body), but when I got in game, and selected CTR I always got some errors... Like "Couldn't find data/cars/car_1/panels/part_2_mirror_l!" and stuff like that, than I thought I did something wrong with the body of the car (.z3d/.bgm file). Nope, that wasn't the problem. I figured out that the car has parts like "part_11_bumperrear", and in the CTR's panel file it want's to locate some part's called like "part_4_bumper_rear". So, I need to make a brand new panel file for my new model. That's all for now, I'm going to continue making my first mod for FO and FO2 too.
 
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