Hardwar – Editing and Customising

This page covers editing and customisation of Hardwar. Hackers may also be interested in the Hacking appendix, which contains far more detail. On this page:

8.1 Setup

8.1.1 Can I run Hardwar without a CDROM?

Maybe, if you are confident about editing the registry – if not, don’t do it; I won’t be held responsible for system re-installs caused by reading this paragraph. This technique does not work for everyone. Install the game as normal. Download and copy HardLuck.exe into the Hardwar directory (see What is HardLuck.exe and how do I use it? below). Run HardLuck and tick cheat/test functions enabled. In the registry, find HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Refinery\hardman\Config and modify the path of all keys pointing to the CDROM drive to point to the installed directory instead (probably just the GDVPath set). Now you have two options: (1) run without the video by deleting or renaming media.txt (a variation on this involves removing asterisks from the start of each line in media.txt), or (2) run with video by copying all the video *.GDV files into the install directory. You will not be able to copy the music. Note that U3 allows all video to be skipped (see launcher Misc tab).

Alternative suggestions from krool: “Install Demo, and update to 2.04. Copy in missing textures. OR: Install full version from Disc 1 as normal. Copy all GDV files from Disc 1 into Hardwar folder (if install was from full version, they’ll already be there). Copy Media.txt file into game folder. Create new folder (eg “GDV”) in game folder, and copy all GDV files from Disc 2 into this folder. Install HardLuck (I’m not sure this part is necessary, but it can’t hurt.) Fire up Regedit, and open up the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareRefineryhardmanConfig – change the entry “GDVPath2″ to read the disc2 folder, for example, from c:gameshardwar to c:gameshardwargdv .”

8.1.2 Can I change the music?

To play audio CDs, follow the steps in Can I run Hardwar without a CDROM? above, so that the game no longer requires any files on the CDROM drive. Insert any audio CD into CDROM. The game will now play random tracks from your chosen CD when you leave hangars. Other audio players can be run in the background by turning music (CD audio) off on the audio tab.

8.1.3 What does the ‘enter attract mode when idle’ setting do?

This option can be found on the Misc tab after using HardLuck (see What is HardLuck.exe and how do I use it? below). Hardwar will enter attract mode when the game is idle. What is attract mode? Ian Martin writes: “Attract mode is an old term, usually meaning that a game goes into a self playing demo, to attract casual observers – if it’s running in a shop.”

8.1.4 What are MipMaps?

MipMapping merges (blurs and lows the resolution of) pixels on objects in the distance. This creates a sense of depth, notably with buildings in the foreground better defined than those in the background. Mipmapping generally improves visual quality, but requires more texture (video) memory.

8.2 Skins

8.2.1 How do I skin a moth?

You must be using U2.02 or later. On the Moths tab, select user moth skins, and then select the bitmap you wish to use to skin each moth type. For further help designing moth skins, see http://www.kronos.org.uk/html/skinning_101.html .

8.2.2 Why are my custom moth skins are not working?

Custom moth skins only work offline (custom skins are not visible to other online players). They do not work when using software rendering. Ensure that you are using a 24-bit bmp – not a jpeg. You can test moth skins by using ‘Hardwar Moth Viewer.exe’ (see http://www.downloads.hardwar.info/ ) – select the required skins in the launcher, exit the launcher, and open the viewer.

8.2.3 How do I change the look of craters?

Re-skinning the game world (craters and buildings) involves replacing certain .spr game files. This is not officially supported, but mostly works, and can look fantastic. By default these files are contained in the .res files. To replace these files simply place alternative .spr files in the install directory and restart the game (the replacements do not need to be in the .res file). Some sample world skins are available here, http://www.hardwar.info/worldskin/skin1.htm . To create custom files, first extract the existing .spr files (see Where can I find the game’s sound/graphics files? below), then convert the .spr files to bitmaps (see How can I read .spr files? below), edit them in a graphics package, convert them back to .spr format, and place them in the install directory.

8.2.4 Why can’t I change the colour of the moth’s tail?

The tail of the Moon Moth is a set colour, and not part of the main moth skin. Umm Lave writes: “As I recall you must extract from hardwar.res the MT1BULK .spr file and then convert that to .bmp and edit it, then convert again to .spr and put the file in your hardwar directory.” Also see Where can I find the game’s sound/graphics files? and How can I read .spr files? below.

8.3 Utilities

8.3.1 What is HardLuck.exe and how do I use it?

HardLuck.exe enables test and cheat features. Download it here http://zedo.hardwar.org.uk/cheats.htm . Close Hardwar, run HardLuck, check test/cheat functions enabled. Open the Hardwar launcher and examine the new Misc tab for new options. Enabling cheat keys allows quick access to God Hangar by pressing G. F12 toggles debug modes, and then F8 to F11 will give views and information on pilots, and F7 pauses debug mode. Enabling log file will create a log of any new game.

(The Misc tab can be enabled without hardluck.exe by those that are confident about editing the registry – in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Refinery\hardman\Config add a new key named “KamFong” with the value “ChinHo”. And in case you were wondering, Zedo writes: “This is a reference to an old US cop show called Hawaii Five-0. One of the minor regulars on the show was Chin Ho played by the actor Kam Fong.”)

8.3.2 Are there any modifications to change game balance?

Yes. Modifications specific to U3 betas are detailed later. Most recent utilities are available here, http://www.downloads.hardwar.info/ . A full list of Modifications can be found in the appendix:

  • Mun has written a modification to make the police more common, here: http://www.aqum35.dsl.pipex.com/hardwar/downloads.html – “The numbers of police are carefully balanced and they respawn around all the police garrisons evenly, therefore there is a nice thin spread of them across Titan.” U2.04, U3.00 betas 3 to 5 only. Morglum notes: “After several hours of playing I kept getting errors saying more police patrols cannot be supported then the game would crash.”
  • Wez has written various modifications, including:

    • CellMod to alter cell performance. In U3 beta 4 and 5 the Racemod allows an alien moth to be blagged and flown: “It uses the DeathHead frame instead so you can see out and target.”
    • RaceMod to rebalance moth weight, engine power and acceleration.
  • Many of Max’s utilities are relevant to U3, but some can also be used in U2.04:
    • Afterburner Mod, which creates an afterburner triggered like a StarShell (rather than a weapon). Fuel and energy based variations are available.
    • Metric, to convert all those feet to metres.
    • NoFog, which extends the far fog distance – most video cards/processors cannot support it, indeed the rendering engine was probably never designed to allow no fog.
    • PodMod, which, “extends the variety and capacity of the largest pod.”
    • Rapid Fire Mod, which makes the Fireburst, Swarm, Laser, and Laser Turret fire quicker (for all pilots).

8.3.3 Where can I get the Hardwar font?

Here: http://zedo.hardwar.org.uk/hardfont.zip .

8.3.4 Can I record a video sequence?

Yes, at least as a series of 24 bit bitmap images which then need to be assembled into a video or movie using other software. This facility was only made public with the release of UIM, but is thought to exist in some earlier patches, such as U2.04. Method is from Ian Martin: “To record, set the detail options for highest speed. You need to be able to record at 12 or 24 frames per second. Start a single player game, and get to the point where you wish to start recording. Save the game. For this example, your save is called “vid1.sav”. In the command prompt, go to the Hardwar directory, and enter: hardwarw.exe /t:load “vid1.sav” /t:recordsave . Act out the scene. A maximum scene of 30 seconds is recommended. To play back and grab at 24 frames per second: Set the detail options to maximum. Choose a sensible resolution for the video. hardwarw.exe /t:load “vid1.sav” /t:recordplaygrab24 . Lots of BMPs will be created in your Hardwar folder. You can then use these to create a video. Specify 24 frames per second.”

8.3.5 What do the debug keys do?

Debug keys can be enabled using HardLuck – see What is HardLuck.exe and how do I use it? above. The keys primarily allow you to watch what different AI pilots are doing. The following keys are available in the original game – Hardwar E may vary (from Ian Martin):

  • F7: Pause/unpause in debugging mode.
  • F8: Toggle watch pilot.
  • F9: Go to next pilot in who is out in the Hardwar world.
  • F10: Go to previous pilot.
  • F11: Go to next pilot.
  • F12: Go to previous pilot in who is out in the Hardwar world.

8.4 Editors

For further notes to assist hacking the game, see the Hacking appendix.

8.4.1 Are there any editors or Software Development Kits for Hardwar?

Ouch produced a series of unofficial patches which altered prices. These were not developed for versions after U2.01. Editors for recent Hardwar versions have been produced by Solidox. Editors are available for items and hangars. Some can be downloaded here: http://www.downloads.hardwar.info/ . These do not work with U3 betas. Wez started developing a U3 beta hangar editor, which can be found here. REAxion has developed an editor for U2.04, HardLook.

8.4.2 Where can I find the game’s sound/graphics files?

Extract them from the .res files in the hardwar directory using solidox’s, E_Void’s, or PlaguedMind’s extractors, which are available here: http://www.hardwar.info/download.htm (PlaguedMind’s is also available here, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/ResEditv1_1.zip ). PlaguedMind’s utility allows files to be added back into the .res file (replacement files can simply be left in the install directory, and do not need to be added back into the .res file).

8.4.3 How can I read .spr files?

Yes. PlaguedMind has written a utility to convert .spr files to .bmp and back again. Download here: http://www.hardwar.info/download.htm or http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/spr2bmpv4.zip . You may also need to edit the .pal colour tables, in which case use PlaguedMind’s PAL Editor ( http://www.hardwar.info/worldskin/pal.zip ).

8.4.4 Can I edit .shp files (moth models)?

PlaguedMind started developing a utility to read .shp files. It is available here, http://www.geocities.com/blalalaalhahah/SHPEditor2.zip . A 3D studio Max plugin is under development – http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/SHPimp2.zip for 3D studio Max 6, or for version 5, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/SHPimp_3dsmax5.zip . A materials editors is available http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/HWMaterialEditor.zip , and an ART file editor (“needed for the positioning of lights, radar on police moth, etc”), http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/ARTEditor3.zip . “Missing” DLL files can be found here, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/Dlls.zip . The format for SHP files is described here, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/SHP.htm .

Ciaran Gultnieks writes: “The models and terrain were created with RefMax, which as you can probably tell by the name was our own tool.”

8.4.5 Can I create custom maps?

Yes! Wez and others are developing a utility that allows any existing hangar designs to be built anywhere on the map. The AddMove utility is available at http://www.inbox.hardwar.info/ . QUOLD has produced a tutorial, available from the same site as “ADDMOVE TUTORIAL FOR DUMMIES.ZIP”. Current versions of Hardwar Enhanced include an alternative map – see What is UIM Enhanced? below. Technical information on file types can be found here, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/WXP.htm (WXP) and here, http://www.plaguedmind.dsl.pipex.com/WLD.htm (WLD).

8.4.6 What is Misopians (Mis[Opian]s)?

Misopians is an editor, being developed by flap, that allows scripts to be written and played out in Hardwar. It provides a framework for developing storyline and events, for example by creating and controlling NPC pilots, as well as potentially fixing problems that occur to the game. Misopians can be downloaded here, http://www.downloads.hardwar.info/ . For further (slightly outdated) documentation see http://membres.lycos.fr/hardwarhacker/Documentation.htm .

Index: Hardwar FAQ ·