Modding NHeat

Table of contents
Making a mod for NHeat requires to have a look in these topics Optionally you can/should have a look into

This is intended to be a tutorial for getting into modding NHeat and some knowledge database. This tutorial does NOT claim to describe the one and only right way to do things - it's just about which methods CAN be used on making mods for NHeat. This tutorial is NOT about 3D modelling, though some of it's aspects will be treated !

If someone reads this tutorial and finds things described in an unsufficient way, or would like to add knowledge and/or corrections.... you're most welcome to drop me a line on the forum:) . I'll take up whatever seems to be a worthy addition and will happily add it to this tutorial

What's modding ?
Generally speaking, "modding" a game is making modifactions to it's content or even game engine. Typically it's about the content only. Which means everything that you can see or hear in a game, but not the way it is handled. In a racing sim like NHeat the content would be the cars and tracks in first order, but the user interface as well as the sounds. Tracks, however, will not be treated by this tutorial.

In the early days of modding race sims, with ISI's SCGT game, most people only made singular cars, very often by using physics that only had been roughly adjusted to these cars. It was rather making car shapes than making cars in most cases. Later on, people went over to making matching car sets, for example a Lemans car set. On the next step, there was matching User Interfaces added to those car sets. As for today, a mod for a race sim is expected to have both a specific User Interface and a matching car set.

For doing any part of this, there's some tools required.

  • 3D Editor - the only 3D Editors with NHeat export filter are zmodeler (v1.07) and 3dsMax (v3.5). The tutorial will refer to using zmodeler, as it's legaly available for free
  • 2D Editor - any program will do that is able to export 24 bit uncompressed TGA images. This tutorial will refer to usage of Gimp, as this is a really great tool and it's freeware
  • Sound Editor - any program will do that is able to export 16 bit mono WAV
  • Heat Tools - either the batch tools or WinresToolsWizard will do

Some advice
The making of a single car mod of reasonable quality, even if you "just" convert the car from another platform such as any ISI based game or NFS or alike, will take about at least 3 month, assuming you're NOT working fulltime on it. For an experienced modder. Making an UI is the easiest part by far, second next is sound. Most difficult part is getting physics right - and this takes most time, most of it for testing. So don't underestimate how much time you'll have to put into making a mod.

Don't publish anything just for the sake of publishing it and
Don't publish half finished mods just so that others may continue your work, that you don't want to finish yourself.

Actually most likely nobody will ever take up your work.

There's enough half-finished or sloppily worked mods for most game engines wasting away out there already. People download those mods for curiosity, run it once, then put them away. You won't even get any negative feedback for a lack in quality or about an obviously lacking "final" status - such mod would just fade away and make it's author's work worthless. Just like quite some other mods have done, even if some of these's previews had caused great expectations to the audience on their way of making. Bad physics or lacking quality on 3D and mappings will turn a mod to insignificance in an instant, while a well made or even unique User Interface and great sound will enhance and emphasize the quality of a mod.

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