Attaching Custom Patches to Your Dream
Table of Contents
One of the greatest things about Furcadia is the ability to customize almost every aspect of the game when you make your own Dream. This includes making custom art, sounds, buttons, and more! Collectively this customized content is called patches, and making custom content is called patching.
Players in our generous artistic community have been actively making patches for Furcadia since 1996, so there is a lot of free art out there to find and use in your own Dream! Using patches is completely optional though, and many people make amazing Dreams on Furcadia without ever incorporating custom patches. If you want to create your own custom patch content yourself, you can get started with the How to use the Fox Editor tutorial as well. Once you've either found and gathered together the patches you want to use (or created patches yourself), there's a few more steps involved before they're ready to be attached to your Dream.
Each type of object (item, floor, etc.) will need one new Fox Editor file created for all of them to reside in. The files have to be named using lower case only and some have their own unique set up and set of rules. Make sure to name the file you intend to use exactly as it is shown here, otherwise your patches may not load correctly.
Basic patchable object types
Every object type has its own file where you can include any additional custom art, ending with -e.fox to stand for extra. For instance, iteme.fox has extra items, floore.fox has extra floors, and so on. Here is the chart of basic object types:
|File Name||Object Type||Max # of Objects|
Other custom object types
Sounds and music are fun additions to any Dream! If you need help getting those to work, check out the Music and Sounds page for more info on accepted file types and naming conventions. The Beginner DS tutorial covers how to make your Dream have the sounds actually play in it!
Avatars are more complex objects, since they include art for the walkabout you see in the game, portraits, the butler (what you see in FurEd and whisper windows), specitags (the tiny icon by anything the player says), and more! If you want to use custom avatars in your Dream, you'll use local species. You can read more about that on the Local Species tutorial.
If you want to have custom buttons, the dsbtns.fox file will host any extra buttons you want to use. You can read about how to use them in the DS Buttons tutorial.
Walls are special and have a different kind of naming convention. You are able to override the default walls with the following formats: wall, wall_3, wall_4, wall_5, wall_6, wall_7. Each file is only allowed a certain amount of objects. The wall file is allowed 16 objects and the rest are only allowed 9. If you do not wish to override the defaults or you just want to add even more options, all you have to do is continue the naming convention trend. The next file would be wall_8 and so on after that. Check out the Wall tutorial for more info!
Regions don't need to be added manually and there are already 40,000 regions available to use. However, they are a more advanced aspect of Dreamweaving, but if you're curious you can read about them more in depth on the Regions tutorial. In order to access more than the default 200 regions, you would need to open your Dream Editor and go to:
Show Regions Tab 2 Show All Regions (0 to 40,000)
Note: This is only recommended for advanced users.
Importing patch art
There are a couple ways you can move custom patches around. Making them yourself in the FoxEd is one way. Copy and pasting is another (however result may vary on quality), or you can import them. Importing art is the recommended way, and it's rather easy so long as it is in the correct format.
Currently you can import the following:
- FOX File
- Legacy FOX File
To get started, open your FoxEd and go to:
File > Import >...
From here we need to specify whether we are importing regular objects or animation frames. We are going to select Objects... because we are not making anything for animation.
Once you have done this, another window will pop up with options for your selection, showcased below. Import from: is a drop down menu for you to choose the correct format of your object that you want to add into the file. For example, if you have a PNG file, you'll select the option PNG/GIF/BMP Images(s). If you have an 8 bit FSH or FOX file that you want to import then you would select Legacy FOX File. And if you have another modern Fox File you're using, then you would select FOX File.
As we continue we are going to cover how to import a PNG/GIF/BMP as our example, shown below. The second drop down says Import as: with an number in an editable box next to it. This is where you can select what kind of object your patch will be and how many of them you want to import at once. Will it be a normal item? Or are you creating effects? Or maybe even walls! It's important to select the correct format of your file because the object will behave as it is named. But don't worry if you make a mistake, because you can always go back and change the object type later.
Below, we now see a box named Source Images: and below it are three different options which can be selected for use. This is where you determined if your item will be a small item, large item, or if it is an icon. More than likely it will be a small item, as large items are for double sized artwork for the Large Map selection in the Dream Editor. After clicking the checkbox for small (or the desired format for your patch) you are now able to browse through your computer for the artwork that you wish to import. You can do this by clicking the ... three dots at the end. After you have found and selected your artwork it's time to move to the next set of options.
Below we are now looking at the sections near the Import By drop down menu. This lets us choose if the object will be added to what is already in the patch, or if it will be replacing something in the patch.
The second dropdown box is labeled Where? to ask you where you want the new object to appear, which can be Before or after objects, or at the beginning or ending of the patch file.
Beneath this dropdown menu is a checkbox that asks if you want to Automatically convert background to transparent. This will make the background of the the object clear or see through.
The last checkbox asks if you want to Keep import window open. This is if you intend to import another object directly afterwards. If so, the window will not close after you have finished importing your current objects.
Once you have all your settings in order, you simply push the Import button and your artwork should appear in the window and placement you specified it to be. For instance, if you told your object to be at the very end of the patch then it should be the very last object as requested.
You can add multiple objects in one go if you increase the number of Import as: to whichever number of things you plan to add.
Setting up the patch
Once you have one file type for every type of custom object (iteme.fox, floore.fox, etc.) you wanted to include, create a new folder for them. This will be the folder that will contain your Dream Map, DS, and all other patches and components that you would like to add to your Dream. Once you have created a new folder go ahead and name it what you would like, though usually it's named after the Dream itself.
Now that you have your folder and named it properly, you can place all of the files that you wish to attach to the Dream inside of it. More than likely this will only include your Furcadia Map file and the DS file. However, if you are adding custom patches (which is optional) then you will have an additional folder to put in with your map files. You can do this by simply creating a new subfolder.
If you are going to add additional custom patches, then your next step is to name the folder something easily identifiable, like DreamName-Patch. From the picture above, the new folder is named KitterPalace-Patch after the name of the Dream.
As you can see inside of the patch file, all of your patches are neatly tucked inside and ready for use.
To link your patch folder to your Dream, go to DreamEd (with the correct map of the patches you want to link), then go to the top menu bar and select Patches and then select the Dream Settings... option.
From here, you are almost done. Once the pop up for Dream Settings appears, choose the second option underneath the box labeled Patches. This allows you to use files from your own directory in the Dream. You can either use the Browse option to find the folder, or you can type it in yourself. Remember the location of your patch folder is where you placed it when it was named after the Dream.
Once you have your patch folder address entered, click OK and save the Dream. Afterwards go to Patches and then Reload Patch or you can also press CTRL + P to refresh the patches in your Dream.
All of your patches should now be visible and ready for you to use!
That's it for the Attaching custom patches tutorial! Now that your Dream is more custom looking, maybe now you might be ready to try making things come to life (making your Dream more interactive) -- you can start the Beginning DragonSpeak tutorial if so!
If you have any further questions about dreamweaving, feel free to contact the Beekins (who are live volunteers) in game by saying help I need help with my dream!