FATE Modding FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and FMS (Frequently Made Statements)
Last Updated: 3/28/09
If you're reading this, good job! That means that you actually tried to find things out for yourself before posting a help thread. This FAQ/FMS contains a lot of questions that newbies (not a derogatory term, I was one myself once) ask a lot, and I'm just trying to reduce the number of repetitive threads out there.
GENERAL MODDING QUESTIONS
Q: Can you make new models for FATE?
A: Yes, you can. However, only one program will do it for you, and that's 3D Studio Max. You can download a 30-day free trial version in this thread. After that, however, you must purchase a license, which costs somewhere around $3000. As zeeman pointed out, there are educational licenses available for much less ($388.95 in his case).
Q: Can you edit the models that already exist in FATE?
A: No, you cannot. The models are saved in an un-editable format, to protect WildTangent's and Travis Baldree's intellectual property.
Q: Can you use any program other than 3DS Max to make models?
A: Unfortunately, no. However, what you can do is use a free program like Blender to make a model and then export the model in .3ds or .obj format. Then, you can ask a member of the forum who has 3DS Max to export it in .mdl format for you.
Q: Can you make an additional town?
A: This depends on the game you're modding. If you are playing the original FATE, the answer is no; while you can retexture or redesign the original town of Grove, you cannot create a second town for the player to visit. If, however, you are playing FUR, you can create additional realms for players to explore. A tutorial on realm modding can be found here (PDF file). Remember, this only applies to FUR.
Q: My computer doesn't know what to open FATE's .dat files with. What do I use?
A: When your computer presents you with the option to search the Web for the correct program or choose from a list, select "Choose from a list" and select Notepad. For more information on actually editing the .dat files, see zeeman's tutorials 101 and 102, which are stickied at the top of the Modding Discussion and Support forum.
Q: Can you make the townspeople into evil monsters?
A: Yes. However, you will need to borrow animations from another monster; see maestro's post (post #4) on this page.
Q: Can you make new weapon types?
A: No, you cannot. That aspect of the game is hard-coded and not moddable. Also, you cannot edit existing weapon types (for example, you can't make a one-handed crossbow). It is possible to simulate this by, say, using a sword model and coding it as a polearm to create a faux two-handed sword, but the game will recognize it as a polearm, not a sword.
Q: Can you create specific character classes? Can you have the player choose a specific class when they create a new character? Etc...
A: No, you cannot. While you can certainly create items that emulate classes to a certain degree, you cannot create classes or make the player choose a class. That part of the game is hard-coded and cannot be modded.
Q: What can you put after the <EFFECT>: line in an effect block?
A: See this thread for a complete list of possible effects.
Q: Can you make new skills for FATE?
A: No, you cannot. You're stuck with Sword Skill, Critical Strike Skill, and all the others. You cannot edit existing skills either.
Q: Can you edit any of the level caps?
A: No, you cannot. This aspect of the game is hard-coded and cannot be modded.
Q: How do I take a screenshot?
A: See this tutorial.
Q: What's a good site to upload my mods?
A: Many people have been uploading their mods to www.mediafire.com. It's free, easy to use, and doesn't require an account. However, you can also use www.esnips.com or www.megaupload.com.
Q: I'm using Windows Vista, and none of the changes I make to my game get applied. What do I do?
A: You can do one of two things. If you feel confident enough in your security software, you can disable Vista's UAC (User Account Control). If you rely on the UAC to keep your computer protected, navigate to your FATE folder (C:\Program Files\WildGames). Right click on the FATE folder and select Properties from the menu that appears. Click on the Security tab at the top the the Properties dialog box. Now, click the Edit... button next to the notation "To change permissions, click Edit." In the dialog box that appears, be sure that "Everyone" is highlighted in the top window, and in the bottom window, click the Allow check box for "Full Control" and "Modify" and anything else that's not checked. Click Apply, close it all. You now have full control over your FATE folder, while keeping UAC applied.
Q: I've been retexturing some items, but the new texture isn't showing up in-game. What do I do?
A: When FATE first runs, it creates .dds versions of all the .png files in the game folder. That's what it was doing when you first ran the game and it said, "Compressing Textures... This will only happen once." The game uses these .dds files when you're playing the game, because they're smaller and easier to access. What you need to do is delete the .dds file that corresponds to the texture file you modified. If you're using Version 1.21, the .dds files are located in the same folder as their corresponding textures; if you're using 1.21a or newer, they're in a remote folder, located at:
XP (original FATE) - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\WildTangent\fate\CACHE
Vista (original FATE) - C:\ProgramData\WildTangent\fate\CACHE
XP (FUR) - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\WildTangent\fateundiscoveredrealms\CACHE
Vista (FUR) - C:\ProgramData\WildTangent\fateundiscoveredrealms\CACHE
NOTE! Deleting your config.dat file is also supposed to force a texture recompression. However, on versions 1.21a and newer, this will not force a recompression, but instead will prevent the game from launching (nothing will happen when you click the "Play" button in the console).
Q: When I try and find my cache folder, either the "Application Data" (for XP users) or "ProgramData" (for Vista users) folder doesn't show up! What do I do?
A: You need to enable the viewing of hidden files and folders on your computer. For XP users, go to Tools > Folder Options > View (tab) > Show hidden files and folders. For Vista users, click Organize > Folder and Search Options > View (tab) > Show hidden files and folders.
Q: Whenever I apply a certain mod, all of my character's items disappear. How do I fix this?
A: If this happens, you're missing an [/ITEM] or [/EFFECT] tag in the code for one of your items. Go over your code carefully.
Q: Is there a way to make a dungeon template appear only on a certain level(s)?
A: No. Dungeons are randomly generated and you cannot control when they start appearing.
MOD MANAGER QUESTIONS
Q: I have FATE version 1.23a or 1.23b and I can't get Mod Manager to work no matter what I do. How do I fix this?
A: Unfortunately, WildTangent made some changes to FATE's file structure in 1.23 that break Mod Manager. If you want to mod 1.23, you will have to do so manually.
Q: Does Mod Manager 1.36 work with FATE: Undiscovered Realms?
A: No, it doesn't. See the next question for details on modding FUR.
Q: Should I use Mod Manager 2.0 for modding FUR? It said it was a beta... what does this mean?
A: Development of Mod Manager 2.0 has been abandoned due to the discovery of the Drop-N-Play method. You can find a tutorial on modding using this method here.
Q: Every time I open Mod Manager, I get some error message about my FATE folder no longer being a valid location. What do I do?
A: First, go into the Mod Manager folder and open fatedir.dat. You need to edit the file to reflect the path to your FATE game folder. Once you have done this, restart Mod Manager and see if it works. If not:
a. If you have Version 1.21, you most likely have the demo version. Mod Manager will not work with the demo version.
b. If you have Version 1.21a or above, you need to put a copy of your config.dat in your FATE folder. In previous versions of FATE, the config.dat file was installed in the game folder; however, in 1.21a and newer, the file is installed in a different, hidden folder. To find it, be sure you can view hidden files and folders and navigate to:
i. C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\WildTangent\fate\Persistent (for XP users)
ii. C:\ProgramData\WildTangent\fate\Persistent (for Vista users)
Then simply copy/paste into your FATE folder.
NOTE! This fix has not been confirmed. Different members have had different results. If this does not work for you, try changing the VERSION entry in the config.dat to 1.21.
Q: Whenever I try to apply a certain mod in Mod Manager, I get an error message that says something about not being able to find a backup. What do I do?
A: Some mods will not apply in Mod Manager unless you have a backup folder created. To do this, first remove all the mods you have applied. Then, click the "Backup All" button and wait about 5 minutes or so for the process to complete. Once the backup has been made, reapply all your mods and then try applying the mod that was giving you the error message. It should work fine.
Q: Mod Manager keeps telling me that "No copies of FATE were found to modify." What do I do?
A: I'd actually never heard of this error until about a week ago. I searched the forums and could found only one other instance of this. The user fixed the problem by reinstalling both FATE and the Mod Manager. If that doesn't work for you, then I don't know what to tell you. Sorry!
Q: Mod Manager does not work for the version of FATE that I have. How do I manually add a FATE (original version) Mod?
Download the mod normally and unzip it into the MODS folder (if you don't have one, create one),
Inside will be the normal folders. Open the folders that have the dats in them (ITEMS, MONSTERS, SPELLS), copy the contents in the dat file and paste it into the respective dat file in the games root folder at the top or bottom (it doesn't matter),
For mods that have music or effects, just copy the file and drop them into their respective folders.
Q: Is there a mod that will allow me to move the camera around?
A: Yes. It's called X-Mod, and it's actually an executable that modifies the hard code of the game. You can download it here. X-Mod requires FATE version 1.21. X-MOD WILL NOT (I REPEAT, NOT!) WORK WITH ANY OTHER VERSION OF FATE. Version 1.21 is available for download here.
Q: When I tried to apply X-Mod to my game, it gave me a "File size mismatch" error. What do I do?
A: If this happens, you do not have Version 1.21. X-Mod will work ONLY (I REPEAT, ONLY!) with Version 1.21. And no, there isn't an X-Mod for earlier or later versions of the game. Don't bother asking someone to make it, either, since no one here besides Siao knows how, and he hasn't even been on the forums in over a year.
Q: When I started playing my Version 1.21, it said it was a Demo Version. How do I get the full version?
A: If you have already purchased an unlock code for another version of the game, simply use that code to unlock your version 1.21. If you bought the retail (box with a CD) version of the game, you will need to purchase an unlock code.
Q: I tried to run X-Mod and it gave me a "config.dat" error. What do I do?
A: You probably haven't actually run your Version 1.21 yet. Run the game and let it compress the textures and create the config.dat, and then try running the X-Mod Setup again.
FATE: UNDISCOVERED REALMS QUESTIONS
Q: Does X-Mod work with Undiscovered Realms?
A: No, it does not. However, Nick C has said that he will try to incorporate some X-Mod features into a future patch for FUR.
Q: What does the "crc" folder do?
A: The crc folder and the .dat file within it contains information that helps the game know if you can play Hardcore mode or not. This folder does not need to be included in any mods.
Q: How do I create a realm for Undiscovered Realms?
A: Check out my guide here (PDF file).
Q: If I'm not supposed to use Mod Manager 2.0, how do I put mods in the game?
A: maestro made what may be one of the greatest discoveries in the history of modding: the "Drop-n-Play" method. To convert a mod to this format, simply go into the mod folder and put every .dat file (except mod.dat and particles.dat) into a folder called en-US. For example, ITEMS/items.dat would become ITEMS/en-US/items.dat and MONSTERS/monsters.dat would become MONSTERS/en-US/monsters.dat. Then, go into the .dat files and edit the paths to point to REALMS/ModName instead of MODS/ModName. Then just drop the mod folder into the REALMS folder in the FUR main folder. maestro has converted a number of popular mods into the Drop-n-Play format: you can download them in this thread. You can also see a detailed tutorial on how to convert mods to Drop-n-Play here.
FREQUENTLY MADE STATEMENTS
Statement: I'm going to make FATE 2!
Response: No, you're not. There are several reasons for this.
1) There already is a FATE 2, although technically it's a "standalone expansion".
2) You almost certainly don't have the programming skills. If you do, that's great, but it still doesn't discount number 1 or the fact that:
3) WildTangent won't let you. It would be based off their engine and that is their intellectual property, which they will not let you use.
Statement: I'm going to make a total conversion (TC) mod for FATE/FUR!
Response: Once again, no, you're probably not. I'm not saying you can't, but many, many people have said that they will and there hasn't been one TC mod released. Ever. Even when two of the forum's best modders (zeeman and redwoodtreesprite) worked together, it still didn't work out. So try sticking to smaller stuff.
Statement: Let's make FATE Online!
A: *heavy sigh* This is quite possibly the most frequently made statement and most frequently brought up subject ever. THERE IS NOT, AND WILL NEVER BE, AN ONLINE VERSION OF FATE OR FATE: UNDISCOVERED REALMS. Your best hope is to wait for FATE 2.
The Mod Archive - Go here to download mods.
The Tutorial Archive - Go here for tutorials on various aspects of modding.
Zeeman's Tutorial 101 - Go here for a detailed and easy-to-follow tutorial on how to begin making a mod.
Zeeman's Tutorial 102 - This is a continuation of Tutorial 101.
Zeeman's Tutorial 103 - Go here to learn how to install the FATE Mod Manager.
Zeeman's Tutorial 104 - Go here to learn how to download mods and apply them using Mod Manager (successful completion of Tutorial 103 is highly recommended).
Fate Reference Info - This site contains lots of helpful reference info for modders, including algorithms and comprehensive stat lists.
Editpad Lite - This free text editor is an excellent replacement for Notepad. It boasts many additional features, including tabs for multiple documents.
The GIMP - This is essentially a free version of Photoshop. Much better than MS Paint. Another alternative is Paint.NET, available for download here.
Major thanks to Mattson the 4th for his information regarding Vista, UAC, and the "valid location" error.