Tools

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Besides the Applications included in the OpenMW source tree, there are various external tools available to assist with OpenMW development.


Morrowind

The vanilla Morrowind game executable. Perhaps more of a game than a tool. But we list it here as a tool because it should be used as such during development. Before reporting OpenMW bugs, check to see if the same bug exists with the vanilla Morrowind executable. Use vanilla Morrowind to research game formulas, or test for OpenMW regressions.

Morrowind on Linux

You can run Morrowind on Linux using WINE which works almost flawlessly. On international keyboards, you may be unable to open the console with the TILDE (key below Esc) key. The only fix to this I've found is to temporarily switch to an English keyboard layout.

Useful tweaks

Open Morrowind.ini, change the AllowYesToAll line to 1. This allows you to select "Yes to all" when an error pops up, ignoring all further errors. Such errors can happen during testing, not being able to ignore them might send you in an endless message box loop.

AllowYesToAll=1

BSATool

The game's assets (meshes, textures, etc) come packed in .bsa files. You will need a special extraction tool to inspect these files. BSATool included in the OpenMW code repository can be used to do this.

BSATool is a command line application, see the bsatool --help for usage instructions.

NifSkope

NifSkope is a free and open source tool used to inspect and modify .nif files. Morrowind uses NIF files for its meshes and animations.

NifSkope is cross-platform and uses Qt, you should be able to compile it on your platform.

You can download this tool from here. Keep in mind that newer application binaries available only for Windows, so if you are use a non-Windows system, you have these options:

1. Use older binaries.

2. Build NifSkope from source.

3. Use WINE.

4. Switch to Windows.

TES Construction Set

The original game's construction toolset used to create and modify game content.

On Linux, WINE runs the TES Construction Set without issue save for one problem: you can only save to existing files, not create new files. To workaround this, use MWEdit to create a completely blank .esp you can then modify in TES-CS.

Useful tweaks

To enable the "Merge to Master" function (the only way to make changes to ESM files), open Morrowind.ini, find the [WhoCanMerge] section, then add your OS user name:

[WhoCanMerge]
<username>=1

ESMTool

A command-line inspection tool for ESM/ESP game content files. Very useful to quickly dump records from a file, search for occurrences of a string, or compare two files.

ESMTool is a command line application, see the esmtool --help for usage instructions.

ESMTool is included in the OpenMW code repository.

OpenMW-CS

OpenMW-CS is intended as a cross-platform replacement for the TES Construction Set, that also comes with many new features. At the time of writing, OpenMW-CS is still in alpha stage, but can already be used to create simple plugins. Terrain editing and cell editing is still missing though.

OpenMW-CS can create plugins compatible with the vanilla Morrowind engine, just rename the output file from .omwaddon to .esp and they should work.

OpenMW-CS is included in the OpenMW code repository.