First and foremost, if you decide to indulge in a bit of modding for The Witcher, you will need the D'jinni Adventure Editor. Luckily, it is included with the game and does not require a separate download or purchase. It is also advisable to check out the D'jinni wiki for much more detailed information on how to use the editor.
This article contains information about modding The Witcher. It assumes that:
- You are already familiar with the directory layout. If not, See Game layout.
- You have extracted the original game data. If not, See Extracting game data.
Modding in general
In general, modding a game means following this "waterfall" model:
- extract the original files,
- pick the right file(s) to modify,
- modify the files,
- test them,
- document changes,
- re-package the new content,
The Witcher is no different — the same model can be applied.
Modding The Witcher
The nature of the beast
Modding The Witcher seems to be easy but limited.
Easy meaning that it is very easy to replace game files with modified ones.
Limited meaning that adding new content is not very straightforward since the game has been built to tell one story. This will hopefully change with future patches and the release of official modding tools.
For this reason, this article covers only the modification of game files for now.
Modding a single file
To pick the file you want to modify, take a look at the file formats. You will also find the tools there to modify the files. Once you are done with your modification, you need to make sure that the game loads it. If you have modified a resource in a BIF file, just drop it in the \DATA directory (or, in any directory under it). If you have modified a file (that is not in a BIF file), unfortunately you need to overwrite the original, so be sure to make a backup before you do so. Once the modified file is in the right place, start The Witcher and see your modifications in action.
Most of the textures in The Witcher are in DDS format (or Direct Draw Surface). To view them in the Windows Explorer you will need the DDS Thumbnail Viewer from Nvidia. But be aware, this application uses a lot of resources. If you just want to view them in a separate window, download the Windows Texture Viewer.
To edit them, you need some plugins for the following applications:
- Photoshop: Nvidia DDS plugin for Photoshop
- Paint Shop Pro can use the same plugin as Photoshop.
- The Gimp 2: DDS plugin for The Gimp 2.X
For more information about modding The Witcher, please refer to the Modding category.
Tip: Also look into the D'jinni Lab at the official game forums to better understand modding basics.
Things to keep in mind
The Witcher reads data from the entire \DATA directory. First, it loads resources from the KEY/BIF files, and then it looks for resources from the other files in all sub-directories recursively. This means that if you place a new texture e.g. in \DATA\newtexture.dds and another one in \DATA\TEST\newtexture.dds, you can not be sure which one will be loaded. So, if you are wondering why is it that you do not see the changes you have made, you should make sure that there is only one file with that name under the entire \DATA directory and its sub-dirs.
CD Projekt has released the D'jinni Adventure Editor to the community shortly after Patch 1.3, which works in a similar fashion to the Aurora tool set. The community, however, has since levelled some criticism at the developers for not providing sufficient aid in its use as there have been a wealth of new functions and D'jinni is not as intuitive and helpful as Aurora that would mark errors and provide a list of commands.
The Patch 1.4 brings added stability and refinement to the D'jinni as well, but does not do away with the frequent crashes.