Square Enix has taken the first step in releasing their suite of mod tools for Final Fantasy XV with the launch of the Mod Organizer which allows users to create their own mods to add new items into the game, or replace models for existing ones.
Let’s first start by taking a look at the interface.
This is what my editor looks like currently, I have a few weapon mods I’ve been playing around with, one of them which is published which I’ll be going over in this article.
If this looks a little overwhelming to you, there is documentation to describe how to use it over here. However, that being said, there are a few bits of information that isn’t specified, as well as some broken English and a few things that just seem misleading or incorrect.
First you’ll need to start off with a model. I asked over on our forums at MognetCentral if anyone had some interesting ideas that weren’t too complicated for a mod. One user suggested a sword that they own in real life which is a replica of the Excalibur.
Using images for the sword as a reference, I was able to create a rough copy of the sword in Blender, a free 3D modeling suite.
After that, I created a few textures for it using the sword as reference again for some of the detail like the pattern on the blade, or the details on the hilt.
Once you have a model working, you have to prepare it in Blender for export. Here is where some of the issues come into play. The information on the documentation about the sword is somewhat misleading. Without going into full detail here, there are some things that just aren’t correct which took a lot of time fussing around with.
After going through the process of getting the model in game, I found that there was one glaring problem, quite literally… The models would glow like the light of a thousand suns in the middle of the night. This has to do with the way that Blender exports the files, and took me editing Blender itself just to get working properly after several hours of tinkering around. Other users (myself included) who tried using a more industry standard tool like 3ds Max had other issues where the weapon would be completely invisible. Issues like these made the whole process a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
However, once I sorted out all my problems over the last few days, I managed to finally get it working! I threw together a quick desert scene for an icon and built the mod once again and low and behold the mod was in the game. When you start the game now, you have an option at the main menu for Mods. You can cycle through menus to enable or disable different mods.
However, there are these blank mods that show up as well which don’t seem to do anything. Yet another strange bug with the Mod Organizer it would seem.
In game, you’ll get your new modded item straight away without needing to find it anywhere or do anything special.
Then you can enjoy your new creation and bask in all its glory (and take some screen shots of course).
Of course, you could create things that are far more terrifying like a “Cursed Thomas the Tank Engine” Ignis replacement mod… (yes that exists, and yes it’s terrifying).
While this is a big new step for Square Enix, it didn’t come without its share of issues on launch. Many users are struggling to put together even the simplest of mods due to the limited nature of the tool itself. While Square Enix describes the tool as easy to use, there are a few areas that go unexplained, and without any way to reach out for official support, many users have come together to share information with one another to help each other with these problems. However, once the problems are worked out, the tool does work effectively and shows the amount of work the team put into making mods a reality.
There’s also a demand to allow for mod creators to get access to the game’s models for use in reference or to change existing models. While there is an option to modify existing models, you don’t get access to the original. There are a few user generated tools to extract these models, but it’s all a bit complicated, and not officially supported. This puts a lot of burden on regular users to make changes like these and complicates the process a lot.
With all its mistakes and problems, the Mod Organizer is still a really cool tool and when it works right and doesn’t give vague error messages and frustrate you to no end, you can create some cool mods. This is just the first of the modding suite that Square Enix has planned for Final Fantasy XV. Later this year, there will also be a fully fledged level editor added into the game.
For those of you who want to download the Excalibur mod I made, you can see it here.