Ok I'm a noob Just got the game and I have alot of questions. First off I geather I need foundation but what is it and what does it do exactly? 2 what exactly are PY and TGL files? 3 What all do I need to make a ship operational in game? 4 How do I edit the ships weapons and equipment?
First Off: Foundation is a script that allows mods to be added to the game. To get it, download BCMP (Bridge Commander Mod Packager) and BCMI (Bridge Commander Mod Installer). Those two are essential to using a pimped out game.
.py scripts are the heart of the game. these files are your ships, planets, weapons and required for the operation of the game.
i believe (but am not sure) that .tgl files are ship description files. Either that or textures.
To edit ships, either look to forums like bc-central.com or bc-universe.com; they have tutorial posts that could better explain how to modify and create ships than i could.
A continuation of what laguardia528 said. The .py files are the un-compiled python scripts that you can use to edit BC. The .pyc files are the compiled files. You can get the BC SDK here at BCFiles to mod anything stock. As for the .tgl files, they are used only for ship descriptions. They're only really useful for QuickBattle or the subtitles in SP which I have never touched. Besides, there's a command in the .py files that let you add a custom ship description without .tgl files but it only works when you're selecting friendly and enemy ships in the QuickBattle menu. Anyways, I would also recommend you get the latest version of the Ship Menu Creator. This mod makes it easy to add new ships into the game. I believe they're on version 3.0.
So a PY file is like a ODF file in armada but in order to work it has to be compiled after you mess with it and the SDK is how thats done? What exactly does the ship menu creator do?
Every .py file is auto-compiled by BC every time the game starts. This means, by the way, that if you modify a .py file, you need to delete the corresponding .pyc for the changes to take effect. The ship menu creator just adds ship .py files to the game. You could have textures, models, weapons, etc. for a ship in-game, but for the game to know the ship is there, and that it can be used, the Ship menu creator is needed.
BCSMC is currently on v5.5.1, with v5.6 in the works.
the only issue i have with menu creator is it doesnt come with foundation. other than that, its a great bit of coding.
Ok so the BCSMC plugs in the ships what about weapons do they have there own .py files or is there some kind of master weapons and equipment file that all the .py files draw from? Also what about hardpoints? I know that BC ships have them, but do you add them in the modeling process and how do I put mor on a ship?
Specific weapons have their own .py file with things like color in them. There is no master file. Hardpoints are done using MPE, which is in the SDK (available from BCF). They are generally done last in the process. Other people would be in a much better position to explain the intricacies of the MPE.
For weapons, you should take a look at some of the ship hardpoint files in the BC SDK. The hardpoint files are located in scripts -> ships -> hardpoints. With time, you should be able to figure out what everything does. What .py files differ from .odf files in armada is that shields, impulse, phasers, etc. can all be edited using the one file in the hardpoints folder. That means each ship could have different phaser or shield settings instead of calling fc3phas.odf or some other phaser file. The only exception is the torpedo file. The file in the hardpoints folder needs to call a file located in scripts -> Tactical -> Projectiles. I hope I didn't lose you with all this stuff.