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Basic Filesystem Tutorial
In this tutorial, we will look at the file system and directory structure used in morrowind.
The ESM file
The Morrowind.esm file, contains ALL the data you can find on the editor CD, in addition to the world file, all the scripts and npc's and so on and so on.. However, if you copy a file with a name that allready exists in the esm file, to the correct path under gamedata, the game will use the extracted one instead, this is handy if you want to change textures to some of the models in the game.
The Naming System
Lets have a look at a common model file:
B - This shows two things, 1. its a body part and 2. it should go in the B folder
N - Just Bethsofts way of saying 'this is not a vampire skin'
Dark Elf - The race in question
M - the sex
Head - The part of the body
01 - in case there are more than one
.nif - Net Immerse File, this is a net immerse model
now if we look in the textures dir, we can find this file
Thats the texture for the model up there, textures are pretty easily recognized by the TX in front Using this system finding the models/textures you want, and finding out what they do is pretty simple. Lets take a closer look at the directory tree now, so we know where the files we want are located.
The Directory Tree
The gamedata dir on the editor CD contains all the files inside the ESM file the directory looks something like this:
--Meshes - All the .Nif model files
--Textures - all the Textures
--Icons - All Spell and inventory icons
--Bookart - All the pictures and graphics used forthe ingame books
Lets go through theese one by one starting with the Meshes folder:
Meshes - All "special" animations like the sky and water as well as cursors
-- A - Armor
-- B - Body parts
-- C - Clothes
-- D - "door" models, including cave entrances
- -E - Spell effects
-- F - furniture
-- I - Room parts and bridges
-- L - Lightsources
-- M - Misc. stuff
-- N - Alchemical ingredients
-- O - Containers
-- R - Monster models
-- W - Weapons
-- X - More rooms
As you can see, finding the correct path of your model is quite simple. For instance if we want a torch, thats a "Lightsource" starts with an L.. go to the L folder Knowing about these paths will be essential when adding own models into the game, well if you care about keeping just a little bit of order in your files anyway.
Textures - all normal texture files are put directly into this folder
--Birthsigns - birthsign pictures are put here in .TGA format
--levelup - levelup images for class list classes can be found here
--Magicitem - The magic item "forcefield" effect, framed animation from 0-31. in .TGA format
--Nvwater - dispacement maps for water effect (dont recommend messing with it)
--Water - same as above
Self explanary really, not much special to note here.
Icons - defaults and menu icons
-- A - inventory Armor
-- C - inventory Clothes
-- K - Skill icons
-- L - inventory Lightsources
-- M - inventory Misc. stuff
-- N - inventory Alchemical ingredients
-- S - Spell icons
-- W -inventory Weapon
Nothing 'new' here either really.
Bookart - fonts and images for use in the ingame books
Now the bookart folder is fun, did you know that books in morrowind are actually HTML? For more information on this check morrowind books HTML.html in the bookart folder.
Thats it for now.
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