Open the G.E.C.K
Choose File from the menu and click Data
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GECK has 4 windows:
- Main Window where all the icons are shown across the menu bar
- Cell View Window where all theplaces in the game world are listed
- Object Window where all the things in the game world are listed
- Render Window where you put together the places and things to make your mod.
The Data window pops up
In this window choose Fallout3.esm and click OK
Everything in the world of Fallout 3 will load in - it'll take a while, so wait.
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- After choosing File from the Main Menu and Data from it's drop down, the Data window pops up.
- If you have no mods or addons the Data window will look like this one above
- It shows we are about to load the Fallout3.esm - The Master File which contains the game.
After it's finished loading - click World from the top menu and choose Cells...
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The game loading time varies greatly from system to system - be prepared to wait a minute or two.
A Window pops up showing all the Interior cells in Fallout3
Point to the first cell in the list and Right Click your mouse button.
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Name it AaronsRoom and Click OK
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Why name it AaronsRoom?
You could call it anything, but for now ....
- Aaronsroom will now be easy to find at the top of the alphabetical list in the Interior Cells window
- Scroll up and down the list -you'll see all the interior places in the game.
- It will be much easier to find when you are beginning your first mod
- Later you will have your own naming system, but for now stick to AaronsRoom
Don't change anything here justChoose Lighting from the tabs at top.
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- This screen lets you make several decisions:
- Water (a half flooded cave for instance), how deep and how drinkable.
- Music and Acoustics to play in your mod - scary, battle sound, barroom background sound etc Modders can learn how to add/change to their own musak
- The Can't-Travel-From-Here check is to allow/prevent the player from using the PipBoy to teleport out of the cell.
- As you can see there are other boxes that could be checked but they are not needed in this cell.
The color is already pre-chosen at grey.
Move the slider up a little and click OK
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- We have chosen the color and the level of light that the player will find in the room
- You will use this window to change colors to set moods in your interiors
- Make interiors bright and airy or dark and spooky
- You will be going in the game as a player and coming back to this window in GECK to adjust to your likingFor now, we shall keep it as shown.
Now click the Interior Data tab
Type Aaron's Room in the Name boxLeave everything else and click OK
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- The game engine sees your cell as AaronsRoom
- The player will see the name Aaron's Room when he goes to enter the room in game.
- You decide if the room is public (no owner) or owned, an NPC owns it, his faction, and rank required to legally be there. ....We'll leave that as is for now.
You now have an empty cell called Aaron's Room.
Pull down the File menu and Save your work
Because this is your first save of this MOD you will be prompted to Name your mod, call it Aaronsroom
IMPORTANT! The Next time you OPEN your mod you MUST (well not must, but almost must)
Set it as the ACTIVE file
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In the Object Window click World Objects and scroll down to Static
- Under Static click Architecture
- Expand the window to see the list on the right
- Scroll down the list to the 'Gs'
- We want is GenRmDouble01 - a Generic-Room-Double(size)-01
Eventually we shall be using the six highlighted pieces.
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Grab GrnRmDouble01 with the mouse and drag it into the Render Window
Note the Cell View Window shows that it contains the item you put there.
At this point Save again - with GECK you will often crash so save frequently.
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- The GECK can take forever to close... Be as patient as you can and let it finish closing.
- Wait at least 5 minutes before you decide you have a crash and then ctrl+alt+del it.
- Go ahead send Microsoft the error message- like they're gonna read it.
- Expect lots of errors and crashes as you experiment with GECK - it's all a part of modding.
Click the main File menu again and choose Preferences
At this window change the numbers as shown and check Snap to Grid
- This number can be adjusted to suit your own method but keep to numbers like 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256
- For this tutorial stay at 64
You could do it all by eye without the grid but it is not as quick nor reliable.
- 64 means that when your piece is moved within 64 pixels of another piece it will snap into place
- 64 pixels in the game world is about a metre (3ft)
- After adjusting your Grid preferences remember to depress the toggle Grid icon on the main menu. Down is on.
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- You can see there are a number of settings here about Camera Movement and Landscape
- The Camera settings as they are set now will work fine for what we are doing
- The Landscape setting is for when we are working on an exterior design
- There are several other Tabs to make decisions with but not now.
- Expand the Render Window
- This window is now a 3d world the top is North
- Click on the Floor piece you dropped and use the mouse wheel back and forth
- This will zoom your view of the item in or out.
- Wheel backward is Down
- Wheel forward is Up
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DoubleClick the floor piece and a Reference window pops up
Under Position and Rotation X Y Z make sure these are all set at 0.0000
Make sure Scale is set to 1.0000
You have now correctly positioned the piece to be dead center in the cell.
Everything will be much easier for you if you always start with these settings.
We will use these common rotation settings 0, 90, 180, -90, -180 . to assemble Aaron's Room.They allow us to rotate the room pieces to fit together.
Note: Think of your cell as a big box of nothing.
It has a top, a bottom, and 4 sides; north,east,south,west.
By starting off with Position and Rotation set to zero you are now dead center in the middle of that box
These settings start the piece to be lined up correctly ready for easy alignment using the Grid
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- There are choices under the other Tabs like Decals where we can throw blood around the room - but not now.
- The 3D data is what we want (you'll depend on this window as you mod more.)
- Following these directions you will soon feel comfortable moving things around...
- Conquer these early steps well - there is more to learn.
We get another GenRmDouble01 and drop it in the Render window.
If it doesn't drop into place automatically, we need to get it at the same level (height) as the other piece.
Manipulate the piece by selecting it, holding down the Z key and the left mouse button and pushing the mouse forwards/backwards to zoom it up or down
we can also hold the button down and drag or push the piece sideways.
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- When an item is selected it shows an outline of colored lines
- The lines indicate the amount 3D space the item is using and helps to line things up.
You should find that with the Grid on (depress the grid icons - main menu)
you can drag the piece close to the first piece and it will 'snap' into place.
Select an item
Use the T key to center your view from above
Forwards and Backwards with the mousewheel moves your view Up and Down
Use the C key for a sideways view
Forwards and Backwards with the mousewheel moves your view towards and away from you.
Hold the Spacebar down and move the mouse left and right this moves your view left or right
Practice this a number of timesSeparate the pieces and then rejoin a few times until you get the hang of it.
Remember that the T key will center from above (Top)
The C key will center from the side and you will be facing north
Repeat pressing the C key to toggle-rotate your view of the selected item.
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We'll need 4 of these pieces GenRmDouble01
Drag the items into the Render window and set them into place - make sure they are all set to zero's when you doubleclick and view their references.
This is your easiest way to get used to the Snap-to-Grid routine - before you have a lot of pieces to assemble.
When you get to using irregular shaped pieces, like caves and tunnels, you'll be glad you have this down pat.
Save if you like what have so far...
Once assembled you will have the middle part of the floor of Aaron's Room.
Hold the Shift key while the part is selected and move the mouse to Rotate the view and see underneath.
You will also see that the floor has a ceiling above it that we can see thru' from a top view.
Practice until it's second nature.
Need help with adding walls, corners and a doorway?
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C key for a Center view
Keys to Practice withC key for a Center view
T key for a Top view
Left and Right mouse buttons
The axis keys to move/turn the item are: Z X Y
T key for a Top view
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If you are so lost that you cannot even find your work in the Render window at all.
Look in the Cell View Window where it shows AaronsRoom Objects
Double click any object this will bring it to view in the Render window.
At any time you can use:The T key to return to a Top View
or the C key for Centering from the side view.
You must be active in the Render window and an item must be selected.
- After you understand better what you are doing, you may want to stop using the mouse and learn the keys on the keyboard.
- Before you progress any further you must get the basics.
- Use the keys in conjunction with the mouse left and right buttons and wheel and the Shift Key
- Press or hold these axis keys; Z, X and the viewing keys; C, T, spacebar to move/view in the Render Window
- While doing all this you will probably hit keys and combinations that do things that you don't need to know about just yet.
- Such as the lighting (A) and wireframe(W) views changing.
- As your modding requirements grow you will require knowledge of more keys and their various functions in GECK but not right now.
These are essential must-knows for success
- Use the GRID
- Use the curved arrow icons on the main top menu next to the Grid buttons
the Undo Redo buttons these are lifesavers as they allow multi undo/redo.
- I can now drag, drop and snap together a room in minutes while only viewing from above...
- ... In the past I have struggled for hours trying to line up the interior parts to get rid of the annoying overlapping edges.
- Fortunately, you will miss out on dozens of wasted hours and hair pulling frustrations merely by learning how to use the grid effectively.