Basic Modding I: Tools & Files
by ArgCmdr

For adding files to the game you should have XCC Mixer, XCC Mix Editor, and preferably (in a later stage) XCC Mod Launcher, all available in

For making voxels you will need VxlSe II, and if its more comfortable to you VxlEd I, both available at Otherwise, you can use 3D Studio Max and convert its models to VXL format using Flyby´s script, which last time i checked, was available at

For SHPs and cameos, you will need a good image managing tool, such as Paint Shop Pro (Easiest to handle in this games case), Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw or similar. Its preferable to use Paint Shop Pro for its simplicity. You can get a trial at

For placing voxels and shps into the game, you have three ways:

One, works with vxls and its respective HVA files, is putting them straight in the game folder. If they are named as something currently in the game, theyll replace those unit graphics, however, they wont do it in every case. If name does not match any unit ID in the game, it will not be used. In case of adding any new graphic for a new unit, you must actually make the code for that unit, adding references to it in rules/md.ini and art/md.ini, both files can be found using XCC Mixer, opening ra2/md.mix in local.mix. This procedure on how to add units, applies to ALL ways of adding units.

Second, via MIX files. Using XCC Mix Editor to create *.mix files, which are read by the game. Use Insert button to get files inside it, then save & compact. File must be named ExpandXX.mix for vxls or Ecachexx.mix for both of them, where xx is a number between 02-99 (01 works, but its likely used by patchs and updates f the game) in RA2 and YR 1.000. In YR 1.001, you must name the files Expandmdxx.mix and Ecachemdxx.mix.

Third is using XCC Mod Creator and XCC Mod Launcher in order to place files inside a file which will later be compiled into an exe, which you will be able to execute to activate the mod.