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Hey y'all, I'm the new guy on the block and I was wondering if it's possible, in any way shape or form, to re-color/re-skin the locomotives and cars in RT2?

After many years of playing the game, it gets mundane seeing the same paint schemes over and over again, and I just wanted to spice things up a bit (For example, re-skinning the SD45 into Great Northern colors and/or painting the 2-6-2 black).

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I skipped this a year ago 'cause I don't know how...

But it should be possible to replace some graphics. First you need to find them. Then you need to be real careful about size. The game has data on how long each car is, so you can't skin a short car/loco with a long image (and vice versa) without causing problems in car spacing on the track. Also, for steam locos, the data table has a number that somehow tell the game the position of the smoke (both height above track and point back of the nose), but I don't know what the units are (maybe pixels?)

However, as long as you literally skin a loco model without changing its model, it should be feasible.

Update:

I just looked through the game files, and I can't locate the car/loco images. The only images I see support the various documents. Maybe somebody else knows where the graphics are hidden? I suspect the .pk2 files in the /data folder, but I can't make any sense of them.

Edited by jeffryfisher
Update

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I can't even open the .pk2 files, do I need a special program?

I have WinRAR, but when I try to open a .pk2 file, WinRAR says the file is "Either an unknown format or damaged".

What program would I need to reskin a loco? Hopefully something free. :-D 

And by screenshot, I meant of the JT56ACe.

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I have no idea. I'm not even sure that's where the images are; I just can't find them anywhere else.

PK2 looks like some kind of "package" file, and it may well be in some windows developer-suite proprietary format for bundling assets for its exe programs to use. On the other hand, if the coder 16 years ago used some other dev tool, then the format could be anything.

Since we don't have the original dev tools, what we're talking about here is hacking (but not cracking). You'll need to teach yourself what a bmp file looks like inside of a hex editor, and then open the PK2 files to see if you recognize any such inside. Then you might be able to copy a section of bytes into a bmp file, edit the image there, and paste the revised bytes back to exactly where you found them (do I even need to caution you to back up your original files before attempting something so devilishly tricky?)

PS: My JT56ACe did not do any graphics. It looks exactly like the GP35, because that's the data line I edited. All I did was change the name, intro year, power, price etc so I'd have an "ultimate" diesel for the 21st C. That also means that my patch does not have a GP35, a diesel that was great during its day but frustratingly retired before infinity, leaving players with worse diesels in the 21st C than they have in the 20th.

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