Mod Dissection: Preface [Crosspost from WoW Forums]
Alright, I decided to start a series of tutorials, my long term goal is to take some of the existing mods, disect them, and help explain how they work.
However, there are a few things and tools I'd like to present for those that might need them, and that personally help me when I'm making mods.
First, and foremost, an editor, you're going to be editing lots of files with just plain text. Notepad works just fine, however, I use and recommend SciTE
Next, something I made for myself, that just speeds up some of the initial gruntwork of creating a new mod. I made a template, that has some of the most basic information possible.
I confess, I'm ignorant of what other fields can be put in the .toc files and I also don't know exactly how the UI tag is made up, just that it's neccessary.
I know that's quite a bit to digest, and, I apologize, but a little more filler. LUA is a great scripting language, and it's how most of the functionality of your mods will come to be. Fortunately, it's not that complex, it's very human readable, and it's easy enough to pick up that until I'd looked at a few mods, I'd never coded anything in LUA. I know programming theory, but, before WoW modding, I'd never touched the language itself, I've figured almost everything I know about LUA from examining mods.
So, having bored you to death with some of the above. That may or may not be relevant to this actual lesson, but, neccessary for my own train of thought and considering this is a series of tutorial, I wanted to get some things out of the way, even if they end up being forgotten for a good long while.
I wanted to dissect existing mods, but, a good number I wanted to do, would be jumping just a bit far for a progressive tutorial. So, I've decided to do a hybrid of explaining a few functional mods, and then some mods of my own, and then onto some of the existing mods. I may deviate, but, that's the basic plan.
Lastly, some useful links.
Scintella Text Editor - http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html
WoW Wiki: World of Warcraft API - http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_API
WoW Wiki: UI Customization Guide - http://www.wowwiki.com/WoW_UI_Customization_Guide
Of special note, the WinMPQ let's you extract files from the game, and those can be a great source of ideas and learning.
I know this preface isn't what was promised, but it's information I wanted to put out there before going into the meat of something else. I'm not sure how helpful it'll be as a good deal of it is just stuff that's been stated elsewhere with my own rambling.
This is somewhat of a double post, since I responded with the same comments to Cairenn's thread:
Did these tutorials ever get made?
Did these tutorials ever get made? It's been 7 months methinks. :( If anyone knows the links post them?
Not that I ever heard of. Shame. =/
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