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How To C reate and Use C ustom Load Screens



Submitted /

01-15-2008 / 01-24-2008


C ustom C ontent

Forum Thread


Short Description

See Title





5 votes
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1. You need some utilities:

Tani's NWN2Packer

2. Obtain the picture you want to use as a load screen. I prefer to take a screenshot of my area: If
you're ingame, "h" is the default key to get rid of the gui junk all over the place. I took my screen
shot while resting so the character was out of most of the picture, then I cropped her out of it.
Loadscreens are wider than they are tall anyway, right?
UPDATE: download the Spoon of Vanishing erf and import it into your module. It applies cutscene
invis to your PC , so they're out of the picture too. See instructions below.
3. Use your image editor to save as a .tga format. It can be saved in any resolution. Name it with a
meaningful name. Put it someplace you'll remember how to get to.
4. Now you need to modify the 2da file. Open up your 2da folder: usually C :\Program


HOF NWN2 Modules

1) Lute Hero
2) Romance Pack for NWN2 OC-MotB
3) Hallow een
4) Bishop's Romance (OC)
5) Subtlety of Thay - Chapter 2

This is a very quick tutorial on how to create and use custom load screens. I couldn't find one, so
here it is. Sure it's easy, but until you know how to do it you don't know how:

An image editing program that saves images in tga format. I use JASC Photoshop Pro, Paintshop
works, and try GIMP for free.



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4. Now you need to modify the 2da file. Open up your 2da folder: usually C :\Program
Files\Atari\Neverwinter Nights2\Data\
Inside you'll find loadscreens.2da amongst all the other files. Open that up with any simple text
editor (I use notepad) and save somewhere else, such as the directory you put the tga file.
Use your text editor to add a line at the bottom of your modified 2da. I use tab to move between
each column - they don't line up, don't worry. For the line number, I used the next line number
available at the end of the list. Mine was 168. Edit in this format:
168 NameYouWantToSeeInToolset **** FileName(noextension) **** ****

NEW Modules

5. You need to make a hak file to include your screenshot and modified 2da. Open up your nifty
NWN2Packer. C reate a new file. Add the tga and the modified 2da file - you can drag and drop them
in if you don't want to navigate. Save as a hak file in your hak folder (My Documents\Neverwinter
Nights 2\hak). C lose the NWN2Packer.
Alternatively, you could use the NWN2Packer to add your tga file and modified 2da file to an existing
6. Assuming you made a new hak, make an association between the module and the new hak. Open
up your module in the toolset. C hoose from the View Menu "Module Properties." Look at your
module properties in the properties tab. There's a button to hit to add hakpaks. Hit the button, add
the hak you just created. Go to the desired area, check properties, go to loadscreen, and scroll to
find your loadscreen.

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That's it.
Here's a nice tutorial about adding custom content in general: C lick Here

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Updated 1/20/2008: added link to GIMP, added numbering format, modified wording a little.
Updated 1/24/2008: Uploaded the Spoon of Vanishing erf. This has a simple tag based item script on
a misc. thin object to allow you to apply cutscene invisibility. Simply import the erf to your module,
then find the spoon in the items blueprints under miscellaneous other.

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Comments (9):

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Posted by Laban

at 2008-09-18 03:06:03

Voted 7.50 on 09/18/08

Thanks for this tutorial. Two things :

1. The standard dimension is 1600x800. Keep this 2x1 ratio or shrinking might happen.
2. More interestingly, it seems that you can use JPEG files, and therefore a FAR better compression ratio. It's easy :
instead of saving as TGA, save as JPEG. Back in OS, change the "jpg" extension to "tga". This will dupe the toolset and
the game, while graphic engine has no difficulty to display this format. Saves a lot of space.

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Posted by smorpheus

at 2008-04-23 14:24:49

Voted 9.50 on 04/23/08

Thorough and complete tutorial explaining a mod technique infrequently used!

Smorpheus' Toolset Visual Index

Posted by over_my_head

at 2008-04-16 02:41:48

Voted 8.00 on 04/16/08

.2da files can be a pain in the ass. You proved that there is nothing to worry about. Thank you, the vital information has
learned me yet again something very interesting.
Yours sincerely,
Over My Head, Admin WoG
World of Goliath, a NWN2 Persistent World.

Posted by Goudron

at 2008-01-20 12:52:05

Thanks, Baragg. I updated to make it a little easier on the eyes, and added a link to a free image editor with tga capability.

Posted by Baragg

at 2008-01-18 04:58:56

Voted 10.00 on 01/18/08

I am voting a 10 for your efforts to not only get this going for yourself, but you brought the information to the rest of us. No
muss, no fuss. Good job.
Doing it the only way I know how, the Hardway!
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Posted by Goudron

at 2008-01-17 15:00:27

Thanks for the kind words, as well as your vital input. I agree about the format, I didn't spend a lot of time on it. Maybe one
day I'll come back and make it nicer.

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Posted by Qkrch

at 2008-01-17 03:33:57

Voted 8.00 on

I love when people starts to ask in a forum about a focused theme... then he takes all the replies, tests all the stuff and
finally writes a tutorial for everyone.
That's community feeling, although the tutorial format is a nightmare.. you rule!
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Posted by Goudron

at 2008-01-16 21:04:14

According to Maesse Qkrch, it doesn't matter: "The tgas can be in any resolution, uncompressed or compressed... it
doesn't matter.

Posted by MokahTGS

at 2008-01-16 20:50:40

Any information about the pixel size of the TGA? Does that matter any more?
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