Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tutorial: Adding Help Files to Skyrim's Main Menu

Object: Add Help files to Skyrim's main menu.

Difficulty: Very Easy

Time Needed: Besides the time needed to write the files, about two minutes.

What You Will Need:

  • The Creation Kit. The Creation Kit is the modding tool for Skyrim, and can be downloaded from Steam.
  • Some previous understanding of the Creation Kit (preferably).
  • The text for the Help file that you want to add.

There are a number of ways to add guides and Help files to your mod. The most common way is to use a book or a Message Box menu system. With the addition of MCM (Mod Configuration Menu) to the SkyUI,  it is now also possible to add them to your mod's MCM. 

This tutorial focuses on adding Help files directly to Skyrim's normal main menu. When you press 'Esc' ingame, you can save, load, read your journal, review your achievements, etc. There are also Help messages for guiding the player in how to use the game. It is possible to add your own messages to this list. To do this, two things need to be done:

1) Create a new message by navigating to Miscellaneous > Messages in the Object Window, right-clicking in the right-hand panel, and clicking 'New'.
  • Write or copy the text that you want to be read in the Help menu.
  • Make sure that the Messagebox checkbox is checked.
  • I suggest that you follow the naming scheme that the other Help Message have: "Help[Topic]Long".
  • Ensure that there are no Menu Buttons or Conditions. Click 'Ok' to create the Message.

2) Navigate to "Miscellaneous > FormList" in the Object Window and find the "HelpManualPC" FormList. Double-click to edit it. Now go back to the Messages category, select your Help Message, and then drag it into the FormList.

3) Save your plugin. Start Skyrim.exe and select your plugin from the Data Files. Begin the game, load a save, and press 'Esc' to test your modification. Navigate to the 'Help' menu, and look for your message. The Help messages are categorized alphabetically by the Message's name.

There you go! Your Help files have now been added to Skyrim's Main Menu.

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