From InsaniquariumGuide Wiki
Guide to Mod Making
This guide is currently under construction, and was being provided by Evil Bob. All images were shrunk from their original size to make things load faster on this page.
Part I: The Basics
Okay, here's the nitty-gritty, the basics, mediums, and advanced bits of changing your game, with images from the Insanaqualian mod, and some of my custom pets. This lesson is editing fish, and their images on the menus.
To every image, there are two parts: The main image, and the Alpha Channel. These will both be described here.
The Main image is a gif in 256 color format. These images have nothing to do with transparency, all that is done in the Alpha Channel. To edit these, you must convert the image into PNG, JPG, BMP, or any other format. For most of the Fish and Pets, The dimensions are 80x80. Most of the Aliens, and the Ultravores, Have a dimension twice that, 160x160. The exceptions are the Bilaterus, which has the dimensions of a fish, and Amp, which has its own resolution, 40x160.
The images on the menu have dimensions of 60x60, and must, with the exception of food, fish, and breeders, be changed separately, or they will not show the same image as the fish.
The Food and money dimensions are evil, and inconsistent. You're on your own there.
Each alpha channel has frame dimensions exactly matching those of its counterpart. Their names match those of there counterparts as well, but are preceded with a "_". This is where the computer checks to find what level of transparency you want. The alpha channel should be a grayscale image. If you fill the alpha channel with black, your fish will disappear. If you fill it with white, your fish will appear in a black box, the size of the frame. All shades of gray mark varying transparencies.
So, how do you match the dimensions of your new images? If you have Photoshop, you can use the color selection tool to select the black of the main image, invert selection, and press delete. If you have the background color set to white, you have now created your basic alpha channel. Go through and edit the transparency as you please, and save as _(Image name).gif.
Part II: THE ADVANCED BIT OF ULTIMATE DOOM
After this bit, the rest will seem easy.
Okay, Both of the fish styles are completely different, so there both going to be separate.
Guppies: Guppies are not as complex as carnivores, and yet they have more files. Go figure. Anyway, there are three files you need to look at, _guppy_turn1.gif, _Guppy_swim1.gif, and _Guppy_eat1.gif. These are simple- there the alpha channels for the Small, Medium, and large guppies.
Here's an example:
After you've got your alpha channels set up, its time to turn to coloring...
This is were it gets seriously, Seriously evil. So evil that it took someone as evil as me to out evil it.
There are three parts to each of the alpha channels, For example, for the Guppy_turn set, there is Guppy_turn1.gif, Guppy_Turn2.gif, and Guppy turn3.gif. For the sake of consistency, all the examples in this section are of the Guppy_turn set.
This is the easiest part. Whatever you don't want to be changed with the colors goes here. Mouth, Eyes, Claws, whatever there is you don't want to change, put it here- BUT NOTHING ELSE.
Okay, I'm going to go over this now so I don't have to go over it again. This part is both an alpha channel, and an image. Like alpha channels, the blacker, the more transparent. The game will take this alpha channel and overlay it over the other one (which will show a black outline without this), therefore darker parts are darker, as you can see through it to the black below. The alpha channel will be tinted, therefore creating the color changes. It is recommended that you take your original fish image, put it into grayscale, and increase the brightness and contrast until you get something you like. Make sure you change the black back to black though, or you'll get a little box of color floating around your fish!
Same as before, except for everything that you don't have in the first one you want to have in the second one. Keep in mind that you need to do this well- I will talk about that more in editing techniques and recommendations.
Carnivores only have two files, Simcarnavore.gif, and _Simcarnavore.gif.
_Simcarnavore is just an alpha channel, but its set up kind of funny.
The white spaces can just be ignored.
Now, the second file, SimCarnavore.gif, is set up like this...
Row one: Carnivore Swimming, first color Row two: Carnivore swimming, second color Row three: Carnivore swimming, third color Row four: Carnivore swimming, unchanging. Row five: Carnivore Turning, first color Row six: Carnivore Turning, second color Row seven: Carnivore Turning, third color Row eight: Carnivore Turning, unchanging. Row nine: Carnivore Eating, first color Row ten: Carnivore Eating, second color Row eleven: Carnivore Eating, third color Row twelve: Carnivore Eating, unchanging.
Here's the other picture:
Keep in mind that you have to do this well. I failed my first try, and had to redo it. However, this lets me provide you with both good and bad virtual tanks.
Editing the resources file
Note: make sure you backup the resources.xml before you attempt any of this.
If you're making a mod, you might find that the dimensions or speed isn't working out for you.
To solve this problem, simply go to \Insaniquarium Deluxe\properties\ and right click -> edit the file 'resources.xml'. Scroll down, and you should find the desired image's attributes.
For example, <Image id="STINKY" path="stinky" cols="10" rows="3" anim="loop" framedelay="2" />
Note that stinky's image is 10 columns and 3 rows. If you needed more or less frames, you can edit the numbers to your liking. The animation can either be 'loop' or 'pingpong'.
Loop will play out the frames in order, starting at the beginning after the last one. This is the most common type.
Pingpong will invert the frames at the last point of a particular row. An example of this would be Niko closing his mouth.
Have fun, and remember to BACKUP your files!
(Credit goes to Dino for finding this.)