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Game Modification FAQ

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This FAQ covers some of the most common skills and programs required to create modifications for Emergency 3 and Emergency 4/Deluxe/911: First Responders.

Required Skill Sets:

Photo/Image Creation or modification abilities: You have to be able to create or modify textures in order to reskin the people, buildings, maps, and vehicles. You may also alter the User-Interface as well in appearance using this ability.

3D Modeling abilities: You MUST be able to create or modify vehicle models. You MAY be permitted permission(s) by the author of other models to modify their existing models, however in most instances you will have to change detail items in order to do your modification. You may also desire to change the street signs, buildings, people, or other miscellaneous objects and in order to do this you will most likely require some modeling abilities.

Scripting abilities in C++: In order to create new missions, new features, or in some instances new animations you will be required to be able to create scripts. In some instances, you MAY be permitted permission(s) by the author of other scripts that were not in the original game for use in your mod; it is highly probable you will have to modify their script in order for it to function correctly in your modification.

The ability to use the editor provided with the original game: This is one of the features you will find yourself using far more often than most of the others, in the editor you can prepare prototypes (the game's model files are packaged as a prototype through the editor), you can alter certain attributes of your mod files here, you can create or alter the maps used in your mod here, and you can set up the lighting on your vehicle models here. The Editor and the Scripting abilities are both required in order to create a mission!

Patience and Devotion!: As you can see from the list of required skills, creating a modification is very time consuming and requires a great deal of various skill sets to successfully complete a modification. This will require you to devote long hours to your project in order to accomplish very much, if you do not have the abilities or the level of devotion to work on a modification, you should not start one.


You may not necessarily be required to know how to do all the above mentioned things, in some instances you will be fortunate enough to find others willing to assist you in creating your modification. There are not a great deal of people available for this task because they either have their own modifications or assist other modifications on this forum, so it is strongly recommended for a basic modification you at least be capable of creating models and skins (the texture files), as well as be competent with the editor. If you do not have the required modeling program, there are several people on this forum that have the program (Zanoza Modeler 2) and these people would probrably assist you in converting your models into the proper format.

Tools of the Trade (The most common tools used to modify Emergency games):

Here you will find the most common applications required for each group of skills listed above that are required in order to modify the emergency series. The programs listed are not necessarilly the only ones that you may use to do the specified task, I will only list those I know are commonly used, there are plenty of other programs out there that can do some of the tasks you'll need to do to make a modification.

Photo/Image Creation or modification - .DDS Image File Applications:

If you wish to use the default image files from the game or use another modification's image files (with permission from the author) these files will typically be in .DDS format. In order to open .DDS format you will require one of the following programs:

  • Adobe Photoshop With the .DDS Plugin from Nvidia
  • .DDS File Converter

Emergency-Planet's Download Center

You can find both the Nvidia Plugin for Adobe Photoshop and a .DDS file converter program in the Emergency-Planet's download center. There are several other .DDS File converters that can take a common image type and convert it to a .DDS or from a .DDS to the common image type you select. I will not be listing other ones since they vary greatly in how they function.


Some of the .DDS conversion applications will not save the alpha layers correctly or permit you to save your common image type as a .DDS with it's alpha layer correctly, since we do not test all of the applications that may be used for this purpose if you run into such a problem we will not be able to provide technical support regarding the issue.

Photo/Image Creation or modification - Applications for Common File Types:

All of these programs are acceptable for modifying or creating common file-type image files, they will not open .DDS however (with the exception of Adobe Photoshop). Adobe Photoshop is obviously prefered for the Emergency series game modifications, followed by Paint Shop Pro or GIMP (GIMP is a free Photoshop/Paint Shop Pro type of program), and lastly and least prefered is Microsoft© Paint (Paint has the least number of functions and is the least useful for creating decent graphical images). If you use any other program other than Adobe Photoshop you will have to save it as a common file type (.jpg,.png,.tga).


If you do not wish to use .DDS format, it is recommended you use either .BMP/.PNG/.JPG formats. Other file format types may work, but to use alpha layers you may use .PNG. Alpha Layers control the transparency of the textures in the Emergency games, so if your model uses transparency you will require an alpha channel.

3D Modeling Applications:

In order to create a model file that can be used by the Emergency games you MUST have Zanoza Modeler 2! Zmod2 is the ONLY known program currently available that has the ability to import/export the.V3O model file format. If you do not have this program, it is possible someone who does have it would be willing to assist you by converting your model files to the proper format, but it is strongly recommended you have this program so that you may do this yourself opposed to having to depend on others that may be unable to do the task for you.

All of the above programs have file formats that can be read by Zanoza Modeler 2. Z-Modeler 2 is obviously the prefered program of the group since it is the only one with the correct plug-in to import and export the emergency series file format .V3O. Z-Modeler 1.07 Has the ability to save in both .Z3D and .3DS, Z-Modeler 1 is the first generation of Z-Modeler and is overall very similar to Z2. GMAX and 3D Studios Max are both capable of saving the file format .3DS, GMAX is a less-capable but fully version of 3D Studios Max.

Scripting Applications for C++:

You do not technically need to get another type of application for creating or modifying scripts for the Emergency games, Microsoft© Windows comes with Notepad, which is fully capable with creating or modifying scripts without concerns over the program damaging the script in the process.

  • Notepad
    Ships with Microsoft© Windows

There are several programs out there that were created for working in C++ but you do not require them since everything that you would need to do can be successfully done in Notepad without any risk of the application damaging any of the formatting used in a script, which could cause it to no longer work properly. Primarilly you would require some general knowledge of how the scripting process works and a great deal of patience in order to ensure that your script is written correctly, if you make one simple error in your typing in the script, it typically will fail to work!

The Editor Which Comes With The Game:

The Editor program is installed in the game's Executable .EXE and comes with the emergency games for free! You do not need to install anything extra to use this application, however you will need a great deal of patience in order to figure out where everything is and how to use it properly. Very little documentation was provided with the editor tools, so a great deal of what it can do is left up to the user to figure out. Be prepared to spend a great deal of time using this tool, as it is one of the most important tools for creating a modification since there are so many things that must be done in the editor.


As you can see, this FAQ gives you an idea of how much effort is required to create a modification completely for the Emergency game series. This FAQ is only intended to help you prepare to get started by ensuring you have the proper tools available in order to create a complete modification for the Emergency game series, it does not and will not go into how you go about creating your mod, that is what the tutorials are for. We at Emergency-Planet.com STRONGLY suggest that those of you who wish to attempt to create a modification ensure that you have the devotion and tools necessary to create a comprehensive modifications, while there are others on the forum that may be able to assist you, most of them either are working on their own modifications or with their respective modification teams to create their own works. Unfortunately, this usually means that most of the people who are capable of doing the tasks you need to do in order to create a complete mod are busy with their own work and may not be able to assist you with anything more than suggestions and simple assistance in the form of responses to questions you may have on your way to creating a modification.

Best of luck to those of you that feel you can manage to put in the time and effort and create a modification for the game!

FAQ By: MikeyPI

© 2008 www.emergency-planet.com and related sites.

Nothing from this FAQ may be cited, reproduced or distributed in any way by other sites (except www.emergency-planet.com and related sites) without written permission of the author and www.emergency-planet.com.

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