The Arcanum Module Making Tutorial
AMTUT v1.2 - Creating Your Own World For Arcanum

Published Saturday, 1st June 2002
Written By: Martin D.C. Schahinger
(DarkUnderlord) -


Part 1   --   A Beginners' Guide
Part 2   --   Learning the Ropes
Part 3   --   Getting Tangled in the Ropes
Part 4   --   Strangling Yourself with the Ropes
Part 5   --   Hanging Yourself with the Ropes

Chapter 1   --   Introduction
Chapter 2   --   Where to Start
Chapter 3   --   Creating A New Mod
Chapter 4   --   Creating A New Map
Chapter 5   --   Scrolling, Sectors and Saving
Chapter 6   --   Building A Basic House
Chapter 7   --   Loading Your Mod Into Arcanum


So, you've played Arcanum and thought it was a pretty good game. Or maybe you haven't. But either way, for some reason you've decided to make your own module (level) for it. But where do you start? How do you do it? You've found the editing utilites and looked at them but how do they work? What's the first step? Well... That's why I wrote this. (That and I needed a reminder for myself of how to do things that I'd just spent two hours working out how to do).

This tutorial is intended to be a complete beginners guide to Arcanum module making. It will (hopefully) tell you all the basics from the simplest things such as scrolling in "WorldEd" to the harder tasks like making a Script and creating dialogue. If you find it too easy in parts, just skim read those bits to get to the harder stuff. Likewise, if you find some parts too hard, simply re-read them or skip them and come back to them later. Some things make sense only after you've thought about them for a while and mucked around with them yourself. The style of this tutorial is also 'problematic'. That is, I'll start off by deliberately creating a problem, in an attempt to show you what can happen. I'll then tell you how to solve that problem. (Not sure what I mean? Check out the chapter called "Construction Lessons - Building", for a good example). This way, you will be more confident when it comes to dealing with other problems that may crop up during the course of making a module. Also, there are bound to be times when what I'm saying makes absolutely no sense to you what-so-ever. In those cases, just keep reading. Sometimes I explain things further down, or they make more sense as you move along. In most cases like that, it will (hopefully) be technical stuff that you don't really need to understand anyway. Of course, if there are parts that don't make any sense at all, no matter how many times you read them or how far ahead you read, then e-mail me, at I'll be glad to help if you're stuck.

Just before we start, a few words of warning might be appropriate. First of all, this tutorial will not start out with the hack-and-slash dungeon quest (If you want that, try the rough tutorial that explains "The Dungeon Crawl"). Instead, you'll first learn to build a small village, you'll put in some streets and signs, containers and all the sorts of goodies a small village might be expected to have. From there we'll move onto some of the more complex and involving things that are involved with making a module. Second of all, making an Arcanum module is not easy. You will not be able to whip up a good, solid module with a decent story and lots of quests in a short amount time. Even a fairly simple module with only a few involved characters can take a long time (Expect a time frame of somewhere between 3-6 months, at about an average time put in of 2 hours per day).

So, before we start, you really need to ask yourself, are you ready to get into this? Are you really prepared to sit down and spend the time required to make a decent and involved story? If you're only interested in making a dungeon hack, then you need not worry, they can be whipped up in about a week. But if you have grand ideas for a deep and involved story, expect to put in some serious time and a fair amount of work. You'll eventually find that there comes a point during this that it no longer becomes fun, instead, it becomes hard, time-consuming work. In those cases, it will be hard to press on, to continue working on something, that ultimately, was only started as a fun thing to do. So, are you ready to devote a substantial amount of your life for the next couple of months on making an Arcanum module? Well, are you? If so, then read on! (And in that case, welcome to the club!)

NOTE: The best way to use this tutorial may be to have it open and Alt-Tab between it and WorldEd. It will save you printing it all out. (Unless of course you'd prefer to print it out.)


When Arcanum shipped it came with two tools that you can use to create your own mods. Those tools were the "Arcanum World Editor" (WorldEd) and the "Arcanum Script Maker" (SockMonkey Script Maker). You may have already opened them up and looked at them. If not, find out where you've got them stashed on your computer (they should be under the same directory that you installed Arcanum in. Namely you're looking for "ScrMaker.exe" and "WorldEd.exe"). If you want, make shortcuts to them on the desktop because you'll be opening and closing them quite a bit.

Now, you may not be aware of this, but since Arcanum was published (2001), two patches have been released to fix some bugs that were still in the game at the time of publishing. The first patch, Version 1070, also made a few changes to WorldEd. These changes were mainly for the better. The latest patch (at the time of writing this), Version 1074, fixes a few more bugs that were left-over in the game (see the "readme.txt" file that comes with the patch to find out exactly what). Unfortunately, it also changes WorldEd again. Now, a lot of people have had reason to complain about the 1074 changes to WorldEd. I'm one of them. Basically, The first patch, 1070, changed WorldEd by adding in some tabs in the WorldEd side menu (as well as a few other changes). The latest patch, 1074, changed WorldEd by making it compress and uncompress ".dat" files. Now, at the moment, you won't understand that, but basically, it means that WorldEd takes a bit longer to load, and for no real good reason. It also removes the file structure that was present in WorldEd 1070. The 1074 version deals ONLY with the compressed module ".dat" files whereas the 1070 version quite happily dealt with an Arcanum module that was uncompressed and split up in its' various files and folders. For personal reasons (mainly to do with speed in editing) I prefer using the old 1070 version of WorldEd. As such, this tutorial is written for the OLD 1070 version of WorldEd. (I hope I didn't lose you in all of that. If I did, don't worry, it'll all make sense as we move along, just keep reading.)

So, what does that mean for you then? Well, there's no need to despair. The first thing you should do is download and install the latest Arcanum patch, version 1074. You can find it at the official Arcanum website: Once you've downloaded that and installed it, you have two options. The first is to ignore my advice and use the shiny new 1074 version of WorldEd. However, you will find that a fair bit of this tutorial may not make sense, certain things are changed that will make it harder for you to do what you want by following this tutorial. If of course, you can handle some differences, then you should be okay. However, if you do need to follow this tutorial EXACTLY (for example, you're new to this modding game and you need all the help you can get), then all you need to do is follow the instructions below and install the old 1070 Version of WorldEd.

Installing WorldEd Version 1070:
Once you have downloaded and installed the latest patch (Version 1074) from simply:
1. Download the zip file that contains the old Version of WorldEd from here: WorldEd.exe (Version 1070) (772 kb)
2. Rename the existing 'WorldEd.exe' in your 'Arcanum' directory to 'WorldEd2.exe' (or even better, just delete it)
3. Unzip the old version of WorldEd.exe (Version 1070) (772 kb) that you just downloaded, into the 'Arcanum' directory
4. Then, whenever you edit your mods, use 'WorldEd.exe' (the OLD version) and completely ignore 'WorldEd2.exe' (the NEW version)

If you haven't figured it out yet, all you're doing in the above instructions is downloading and using the version of WorldEd that originally came with the 1070 Arcanum patch. Instead of using the version of WorldEd that comes with the latest 1074 patch. Trust me, it is a good idea to use the old 1070 version of WorldEd. It won't be clear right now, but in the long run, it's better. Of course, by simply using the old 1070 "WorldEd.exe", you still get all the in-game benefits of the latest 1074 Arcanum patch (like the ability of Masters of Repair to repair completely broken items). This is the process that I went through and I highly recommend that you do it as well (Special thanks to Chris Beddoes for being the bright spark that came up with this simple ".exe" exchange).

Now, once you've done all of that, open up the good ol' 1070 Version of the Arcanum World Editor. It's time to make an Arcanum Module!


Once WorldEd has opened (It may take a few minutes for it to load the game libraries) you will be presented with this screen (figure 3.1) asking you to select a module.
Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1 - The Opening Screen for WorldEd

As you can see, every mod that you have downloaded and placed in the "Arcanum\modules" directory appears in the list, including the Arcanum module itself and any mods you may be making yourself. (NOTE: You won't be able to open all the mods and edit them. If you open the Arcanum mod for instance, you'll find that you can't open and edit any of the games maps. This is the same for Vormantown. You see, both of these mod are complete compressed ".dat" files. Basically, the old 1070 version of WorldEd can't open them. The newer 1074 version can, but personally, if you need to undat someone elses mod to have a look-see, it's better if you download some of the Undat programs that are available for Arcanum. Either the Undat tools from the downloads section of Terra-Arcanum or Troika's own Undat utility from the downloads section of Dimensions of Arcanum. This goes with all the other mods you may have downloaded. To edit a mod with WorldEd 1070, you need the uncompressed directories and files for that mod. Don't worry too much about this though, it'll all start to make sense later.)

Now, to start off with, let's start a new module from scratch. So... Instead of opening one of the modules in the list, click in the text box where it says "Enter module name:" Now comes the hard bit. Think of a name for the module that you'll want to create. I usually name my mods after the major town or city that is in them. Sometimes however, you might want to name it after the Big Bad Guy that the player has to kill. At the moment, for the purposes of this tutorial, just type in "My First Mod". Now, you see the "Allow Multiplayer" checkbox? Well, multiplayer Arcanum is apparently a bit of a flop. I don't know personally (I haven't played Multiplayer Arcanum) but from what I hear, Multiplayer isn't really all that good. So, the big question, should you make your mod available for Multiplayer? At this stage, I'll say yes and I'll show you how to make a multiplayer mod, even if they are somewhat limited in what you're allowed to do in them. Apparently, wandering creatures and flickering lights can really slow the game down online. Also, for a Multiplayer mod, you have to have everything on one big map, you're also not allowed to have a world map for a multiplayer module. (Trust me, that'll all make sense later). So for now, click the box to put a tick in it (I'll point out now that this is the only time you need to tick that box. Once you've started a new mod with that ticked, the mod is multiplayer, there is no need to keep ticking that box whenever you open your mod in WorldEd). Now that that's done, click the "OK" button. You'll now be told that the module "My First Mod" (or whatever you called it) does not exist and you'll be asked if you want to create it. Click "Yes".

Incidentally, a mod is a group of maps, dialogue, scripts and all sorts of other files that Arcanum needs. The "module" is essentially the 'overall thing' that you create and then send to all your friends. When you create a new mod, WorldEd will create all these files and directories for you in the 'Arcanum\Modules\NAME OF MOD' directory. (If you're using version 1074 of WorldEd, then these files and directories will be created in a "temp" directory somewhere on your computer. When you quit Arcanum, the folders and files in this "temp" directory are compressed and all you are left with is a "NAME OF MOD.dat" file in your 'Arcanum\modules' directory.)


Right now you should be looking at plains of grass. This is because whenever you open a mod (including one you've been working on) the first thing loaded is a new map of blank grass. Now, for your first map we'll create a new map from scratch. So... Select "File --> New". Click NO when it asks if you'd like to save changes. You should now be presented with the dialog box in Figure 4.1.
Figure 4.1
Figure 4.1 - The New Map Dialog Box

Now it's time to make a decision. What kind of map are you making? Dungeon? Forest? Desert? A small village or a large town? Well, let's make a small village. It'll be nice and simple and it might stop this tutorial from getting too big and complex (famous last words). So... From the drop down list scroll down until you find "Green Grasslands" and select it. Now to choose the size. It'll be a bit hard at first (Just how big is Width 64 by Height 64 anyway?) but that's why you're reading this. We only want a small village so change the Width to 5 and the Height to 5. Then click OK. You should be presented with a view of green grasslands! (Yes, these are exactly the same kind of grasslands you saw when you first started WorldEd, but it's a much smaller map.)


So, what do you do now? Well, this is where some real forward planning is required. However, I want go into planning and desiging a module until Part 2, so for now, let's take some time to get used to a few basics of WorldEd. First of all, let's scroll around our new map. To scroll, make sure the "NumLock" key on your keyboard is on. A little light should be on your keyboard if it is. Now, use the Keypad keys to scroll. The Keypad keys are just the keys on the far right of your keyboard. They should have numbers on them and maybe arrows as well. You can use the Keypad keys to scroll any way you want in WorldEd. Up, down, towards the top right corner or the bottom left corner or any other way. If it is scrolling too fast for you, you can slow it down by selecting 'View --> Scrolling' and selecting a different speed. If it is scrolling too slow for you, unfortunately, the fastest speed available is 'Faster', and it is selected by default.

NOTE: I've found that scrolling in WorldEd can be *extremely* slow unless you load Arcanum up first. I don't know why (I presume Arcanum loads a game library or something) but if you load Arcanum, then quit (you don't need to start a new game or load a game in Arcanum, you just need to get passed the three intro movies) what you'll find is that when you load WorldEd, it will scroll a lot faster. I don't know if this is just a "me" thing, but if you've found that WorldEd is painfully slow when scrolling in top down view, then you should load Arcanum first, quit and then load WorldEd. With any luck, it will scroll much more nicely.

Now that you've had a bit of a wander... There are two views in WorldEd. "Isometric" and "Top-down". By default, you will be in Isometric view. To get to the top down view click the "Top-down" button on the left hand side of the screen as seen in Figure 5.1.
Figure 5.1
Figure 5.1 - The "Top-Down" button

Now, once you've clicked on it, you should see a screen of green grass, some yellow lines running up and down and left to right and a lot of pink dots. This is top down view. You can zoom in and zoom out in top down view. To do so, just use the "+" plus and "-" minus keys on the keypad. Zoom right out as far as you can (if it's moving really slowly, see what I just said in my note above Figure 5.1). Now scroll towards the top of the map. As you scroll up you will eventually come across a blue patch. This is the edge of the map. Stop scrolling here. If you ever scroll off into the wide blue yonder and get lost, just press the "Home" key and you'll jump back to your map. In actual fact, press the home key now to see where it takes you and then scroll up to the top of the map again (The normal home key on your keyboard, not the home key on your keypad). The Home key always homes you in to the junction of sectors near the top right of your map, no matter what size the map is. If however, you'd prefer to get back to the center of your map, you might want to save and reload the map. Whenever you load your map, you are always brought back to the dead center (I explain how to save your map a couple of paragraphs below).

Now, the yellow lines you see are the divisions between the sectors of your map. How big is a sector? Pretty big actually. Now scroll down to the bottom of your map and count the sectors as you go down. Your map is 5 x 5 so there should be 5 of them on the way down (If there isn't then you must be hallucinating). Your map will also be 5 sectors across. As you can see, even a small 5 x 5 map is quite big and takes some time to scroll through (not too long mind you). The total number of sectors that you'll have to play with in your new map is 25 (Width x Height = Area | 5 x 5 = 25). We'll learn a bit later that even though this map is quite big, it is far too small for any serious modding, but as I said, we'll learn that later.

Before we continue, let's save the map. Click the big "Save" button that's in the top left of your map. See Figure 5.2 (As if you couldn't pick out which button it was...)
Figure 5.2
Figure 5.2 - The Save Button.

A dialog box will pop up. Click in the text box at the bottom and type in a map name. I'd suggest "Village" if you're stuck for names. NOTE: Apparently, map names CANNOT have spaces, but if you want, you can use the '_' underscore to separate words. (Well, the designers of Arcanum say maps can't have spaces in their names, so we'll just trust them on this one). A map name can be fairly long if you want, so there's no need to abbreviate (shorten) the name.


Construction in WorldEd is a bitch. No really, I mean it. Sure, it's easy, simple, and you can whip up a simple house in no time. But... I've had to remodel entire buildings because walls don't go where you plan and end up leaving gaps in certain areas. Don't be afraid though, it's just one of those things you'll have to live with (You'll see what I mean later on in the chapter on Construction Lessons - Building).

To build a house, select the "Build" tab from the left side menu. The buttons in order from left to right are :

Select Button Select - Use this to move objects around (when you have objects to move)

Select Button Destroy - Use this to remove walls, roofs, scenery, tufts of grass, people, items etc... (To remove walls and roofs, hold down 'Ctrl' while clicking on the offending item)

Select Button Build - This will let you choose a building type and build with it. Be warned: Be careful what you build, it is very annoying to delete a building. You have to do it by hand, wall by wall.

Select Button Door - Click this, then click on a wall to put a door in the wall there.

Select Button Window - Click on this, then click on a wall to put a window in the wall there.

Select Button Décor - Click on this, then click on a wall to put a design there. Fireplace, support beams etc... (Type of décor depends on the wall type. Doesn't work on some wall types)

Select Button Gap - Click on this, then click on a wall to put a hole in the wall. (Doesn't work on some wall types) This tool can also be used on NPCs to kill them, leaving a dead NPC and a nice pool of blood.

Now, press the home key to jump to the top right of your map. We might as well start building our town there. You should still be in top-down view. Top-down view is the only view that you can build walls in. So, let's build some walls. Click the "Build" button. A picture of a house with "0 Village" beneath will pop up in the left side menu. This is where you can preview the type of building that you have chosen to build. Click the 'next' button to scroll through all 45 types of buildings to see what you can choose from. I'd suggest starting with "14 Wood Shack - 1", so scroll through again until you find it. Once you've found it, click and drag out a building on your map. Don't go too big. Just drag out a small square building. You should see something like in Figure 6.1 below. (If you're having problems, then skip ahead to the chapter on building for more advanced building tips)
Figure 6.1
Figure 6.1 - A small Wood Shack.

NOTE: Some people receive this error message "worlded has caused an error in kernel32.dll, worlded will now close." whenever they try building. This is a windows bug (I think with Windows ME) that is easily fixed. If you get this problem, simply right-click on your desktop, choose 'properties' and then click on the 'settings' tab. Then reduce your colors to "High Color (16 bit)" or less. Once that's done, restart your computer, load WorldEd, open your module and try again. That should get rid of the error. The error seems to occur because Windows ME (for whatever reason) doesn't like WorldEd being run in "True Color (32 bit)".

Now, change into Isometric view to see the building up close. You should see a building with a roof on it. To get rid of the roof, select 'View --> Objects --> Roofs', or press the 'R' key. The roof should disappear from view and you'll see inside your shack. If you want, you can see through the walls too, select 'View --> Objects --> Walls' or press the 'W' key and the walls will disappear too! Press 'W' again to make the walls reappear. Now, our house is okay, but let's add a door shall we?

Click on the 'door' icon and then click on one of the walls of the house in isometric view. If you don't like the door you get, click on the same place again (with the door icon still selected) and the door will cycle through the next available door for this building type. If you're using '14 Wood Shack - 1' there are only 2 door types. Figure 6.2 shows a type 2 door on our shack.
Figure 6.2
Figure 6.2 - A Shack with a Door.

Let's add windows now. Click on the 'windows' icon and click on the walls. Click anywhere that you would like to add a window.

If you make a mistake in placing a door or window just click on the 'destroy' icon and then click on the offending window or door. Try it now and delete all of your doors and windows. You'll also find that clicking in 'just the right place' to delete a window might be a bit hard at times.

Now that we've just deleted everything... Let's start again by putting in some double doors. Click the 'door' icon and click on a wall. Now click on a wall right next to the door you've just placed and the door will change into a double door. You can click next to that again and put in a triple door. (Triple doors are usually big archways). You can do the same with windows. Put in a window and put in another window right next to it. It'll change to a double window. You can also put in triple windows just like doors. As with single doors and windows, clicking again cycles through all available double and triple, door and window types.

You should note that you can't build windows and doors too close to corners. WorldEd just won't let you put them there. Also, you'll find that if you cycle through the door options and end up with an archway, you'll sometimes have to 'destroy' the door and start again, if you want a solid door back. This can be the same with windows.

You should now have a wooden shack with a door and some windows. Now click 'save' to save your map. Now... How about we find out how your shack looks in Arcanum? Well... Before you start Arcanum, there are a few things you'll have to do to make your mod load correctly. Read on adventurer!


If you quit WorldEd now, load Arcanum and try to load your mod, Arcanum will freeze on you (You'll be stuck with a black screen and with no option but to reset your computer). This is because you have to edit a few text files and do a few other things before Arcanum will recognize your mod with your village map. Open up 'Windows Explorer' and find your Arcanum directory. Then find the modules directory, open that. Whatever you called your mod there will be a directory there with that name. In this example it would be the 'My First Mod' directory. On my computer, the directory structure looks like this:
"C:\Games\Arcanum\modules\My First Mod"

NOTE: If you DO NOT have this directory structure and instead only have a "My First Mod.dat" file in your "Arcanum\modules\" directory, then it means you are using Version 1074 of WorldEd and NOT version 1070 of WorldEd. In that case, you can reach the following ".mes" file from the menus up the top in WorldEd 1074. However, you can also find the files in a temporary directory on your computer somewhere. If that is too difficult for you at the moment, then I suggest you change to the 1070 version of WorldEd, as explained in Chapter 2.

Now, in that "My First Mod" directory should be a whole new bunch of directories. Find the "Rules" directory and open it. In rules, there is a file called 'MapList.mes'. That's the file you want! Now, it is a simple text file. So if you want, you can double click on it and choose Notepad (or a simple text editor) to open it with. After double clicking on the '.mes' file, it should come up with a box asking you what program you want to open the file with. Scroll through the list, pick something like Winword (Microsoft Word), Notepad or Wordpad (Wordpad is my favourite), then click the "Always use this program to open this file" tick box at the bottom. Then click ok. Now, whenever you click on any of your '.mes' files, they will now open automatically with the program you've just chosen. If that's too hard for you, then open Notepad first and then find 'MapList.mes' and open it that way. (I usually just associate all '.mes' files with Wordpad so that I can just double click on them from Explorer. This is because during the mod process, you will open these files a lot.)

NOTE: If you associate your ".mes" files to Microsoft WordPad, sometimes you will be given an error like this: Cannot find this file. Please verify that the correct path and file name are given. That's a bug with WordPad itself. It means that in one of the directories which hold the file you're trying to open, there is a space in one of them somewhere. Something like this for example: "C:\Games\Directory with spaces in name\folder". To work around this bug, open up WordPad first, and then from the "File --> Open" menu, locate the file you wish to open.

Now, once you've got the file open, you should see something like this below (In actual fact it should be exactly the same):

// Map List Info

// Types:
// START_MAP -- This is the starting map (there should only be one of these!)
// SHOPPING_MAP -- This is the shopping map used in character creation. If not
// present, then this process is skipped during character creation.

// Starting Location (Convert for World by:)
// (54624 - 32) / 64 = 853
// (45408 - 32) / 64 = 709

// Area: <#> -- This is the Index # in area.mes that the map maps to

// List of valid maps for game & Starting X/Y position
{5000}{ShopMap, 31, 29, Type: SHOPPING_MAP}
{5001}{start, 2048, 2048, Type: START_MAP, WorldMap: 0}

Okay, what you want to change is line 5001. First of all, 'start' should be the name of your map. In this example that would be 'Village' (Enter it EXACTLY as the name appears in World Edit. If you're not sure, just go 'File --> Open' in WorldEd and the exact name of your map will be there in the list.) Now... The next two numbers are the starting location for your character. Alt-Tab back to WorldEd (or, if you closed it, open it up again. Select your module, click OK, open your map and press home.)

In Isometric view move the mouse cursor over to an area outside the front of your little wodden shack. Choose an area that would make an appropriate start location. In other words, a flat empty piece of grass. As you move the mouse, two numbers will change in the menu on the left. These numbers are the location numbers. They tell you the coordinates that the mouse is currently at. See Figure 7.1
Figure 7.1
Figure 7.1 - The Location Co-ordinates

After moving your mouse to an area outside the shack, write down the two numbers. Now, Alt-Tab back into Notepad with the 'MapList.mes' file open and replace the two numbers with your own two numbers. In my case the line:
{5001}{start, 2048, 2048, Type: START_MAP, WorldMap: 0}

Would become:
{5001}{Village, 76, 59, Type: START_MAP, WorldMap: 0}

Now, save the "MapList.mes" file and close it. What we've just done with the 'MapList.mes' file is set a start location for the single player mod. We now want to set a start location for multiplayer as well. To do that, go back to WorldEd and right-click on a suitable start location outside your hut. It should bring up a menu like in figure 7.2 below.
Figure 7.2
Figure 7.2 - The right-click menu.

Click on "Set as start location". It will seem as if nothing happened, but in reality, we've just set our multiplayer start location. Pretty simple huh? Now, save your map and select "File --> Compress Module". This will create a ".dat" file in the Arcanum\Modules directory. This is the file that you give all your friends (once you've finished of course). When it's finished compressing, close WorldEd and open up 'Windows Explorer'. In your 'Arcanum\modules' directory, you should see a "My First Mod.dat" file. This is the file we just created by "compressing" the module. Now, Arcanum has problems when there is both a "Name of Mod.dat" file AND a "Name of Mod" directory. So, click on your "Arcanum\modules\My First Mod" directory and delete it. Yes, that's right, delete it! All you should have now is your 'My First Mod.dat' file. Now, start Arcanum. In Arcanum, choose 'Options' and in the modules box, scroll through until you find your mod (in this case "My First Mod" and click "Done". Then "Single Player --> New Game --> Pick Character --> Merwin Tumblebrook" (There's no point creating your own character for a simple test like this) and click Start.

If that all worked, you should now be right outside your shack. Run inside. Hmmm... A bit empty in here! It's also a bit dark isn't it? Wander around a bit. Pretty sparse outside too. This is where you get ideas as to what you can add to your mod. Remember how we built this shack near the top of the map, very close to the "wide blue yonder"? Well, run straight up for a while and eventually you won't be able to scroll up anymore. That's the edge of the map. When you get there, Arcanum simply won't let you move up anymore. Try moving left? Notice how you have to move down a bit and then move left? That's because the map is isometric which means the edge is a diagonal edge, not a straight, flat edge. Basically, your map is like Figure 7.2 below.
Figure 7.3
Figure 7.3 - The Isometric Map.

Before we finish, there's one more thing we need to try. Quit your current single player game and then start a new multiplayer game. You don't need to be online to test this, all you need to do is choose "Multiplayer --> Network --> Host Game". Then in the "module" box on the left of the screen, scroll through until you find your module. Now click on the green "click to start server" button at the bottom. You should be looking at the same scene as before, except that this time, we've started at the multiplayer start location.

Well... Nothing else to look at now, so you might as well quit Arcanum and reload WorldEd. If you want to for posterity's sake, take a screenshot. (Press F12 in the game, all screenshots are saved in the directory of the mod you are using. On my computer that would be 'C:\Games\Arcanum\modules\My First Mod') Below in figure 7.3 is a screenshot of the small shack that I built.
Figure 7.4
Figure 7.4 - Merwin Tumblebrook having a look around a very dark shack.

Once you've quit, open up 'Windows Explorer' and go to your 'Arcanum\modules' directory. What you should find is that Arcanum has created a new "My First Mod" directory. Any screenshots or save games that are from your module will be in here. These directories are created whenever you play a module. If you didn't delete the directory structure before we started, what you'll find is that Arcanum has still created the extra 'TIGCache' and 'save' folders anyway.

Hopefully, that all worked and you enjoyed yourself making your first Arcanum Module. If so, then well done! Give yourself a pat on the back and have a cookie! In part 2 of Amtut, I'll talk about how to design and plan a module, I'll go into more detail about building, I'll talk about adding characters (NPCs and Critters) to your module as well as adding in lights and some other things. I'll also tell you how to uncompress your currently compressed '.dat' file using Troika's own undat utility, so that you can continue working on it.

Part 1   --   A Beginners' Guide
Part 2   --   Learning the Ropes
Part 3   --   Getting Tangled in the Ropes
Part 4   --   Strangling Yourself with the Ropes
Part 5   --   Hanging Yourself with the Ropes

Moo... Moo... I'm a Troika cow.

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is Copyright (2001 Sierra On-Line, Inc.)
DarkUnderlord has no affiliation with either Sierra On-Line or Troika Games LLC