A "Little" HOW-TO:
Warning Wall'o Text:
First, you have to locate your save files, they are at '%APPDATA%\StarDrive\Saved Games' (Paste this without quotes into your windows explorer path bar). If this does not work, try going manually to 'C:\Users\[Your Userame]\AppData\Roaming\StarDrive\Saved Games'. Note if you're trying to find saves manually: AppData is a hidden folder, so you should enable show hidden items in folder view properties - to see this folder.
There are save files and few folders here. FogMaps - contains png mask image of explored space. Headers - Contains info for displaying in save/load window. If you want to back up your save file, dont forget FogMap and Header files that come with it.
HOW TO EXTRACT & REPACK:
All save files have extension *.xml.gz, you can open and extract them using 7-Zip File Manager tool. After Installing 7-Zip, you can simply right-click your save, and choose 7-Zip -] Open Archive, this should open it in 7-Zip File Manager.
To Extract XML file simply drag it from 7-Zip window to your desired location. Do not close 7-Zip window yet, go edit your file, afterwards - simply drag edited file into 7-Zip window, confirm your action and file will be repacked back.
For editing you can simply use notepad, but I'd recommend some other specialized XML editor. I'm using Firstobject XML Editor, it's small - single file tool, and it's free. XML editors usually come with handy Structure Tree viewer, as in notepad you can easily lose track of what part of XML structure you're editing, you could change your opponents money account instead of yours.
SOME TIPS what you could edit:
The file is nicely structured, so it's easy to find what you want, just explore save file a bit.
Your money is located at: [UniverseSaveData][EmpireDataList] (One of the [EmpireSaveData] entries, usually first, have a look at it's [Name] property, it should be your empires name)[Money]
You could simply search for planet name you want to edit, planet info is located at
This entry has properties like:
[Name] - planet name
[Owner] - should be your race if you're editing your planet
[Population] - planet's current population * 1000 (so 4700 would be 4.7 in game planet view).
[PopulationMax], [Fertility], [Richness], [foodHere], [prodHere] - Self explanatory.
3. Slots/Buildings on planets:
[Planet] node has property [PGSList] which has lot's of [PGSData] entries. Each entry corresponds to a slot on planet.
has properties like [Habitable] and [Biosphere]. Some entries have [building] property, which has lot's of useful for cheating nodes, like [StorageAdded] or [CombatStrength]. I usually change [StorageAdded] on Outpost building and have some more storage space on the planet. Have a look around.
4. Research - I have not fiddled with that, I'll leave this for somebody else to figure out. Location: [UniverseSaveData][EmpireDataList][EmpireSaveData]: Properties [Research],[ResearchTopic], [TechTree] with all it's children nodes.
Thanks, and have a lot of fun.
Note: Cheating too much did ruin this game for me a little bit. At the end, when you have all technologies and can build an army of carriers in a jiffy.
[Edited by QuasiMod, 3/20/2013 11:17:39 AM]
[Edited by QuasiMod, 3/20/2013 11:35:29 AM]
I change that to true the edit the line below with an amount.
Find the name of the saved ship design you want to be built cheaply an open it in a text editor.
In the file find:
< HasFixedCost>false< /HasFixedCost> -> change that to -> < HasFixedCost>true< /HasFixedCost>
< FixedCost>0< /FixedCost> -> change that 0 to whatever number you want - it represents the labor cost (and thus the number of turns it takes to build)
Obviously you can also change other ship parameters there such as component scale, restriction, facing direction, etc. Some of those parameters however are ignored and taken from the game's default component list which can be modified and added as a separate mod.
Modifying anything else than the name, cost, level, experience and component facing is not recommended since it may cause the game to crash when the ship design is selected, built or modified.
You cannot modify default ships without messing with the core game files - which will apply the modifications globally
[Edited by tehno_lord, 7/1/2013 11:58:39 AM]