FIXME This page should be updated and revised. For now, check ILBM file article and FON file article. This article should be used as an in-depth example and list of all interface icon files.


Two files are used to define the icons and other interface graphics: An Amiga IFF /ILBM bitmap file (with .ilb extension) which contains the actual graphic data, and a plain text file (with .fon extension) which contains the icon definitions for the game. These images are located in <nowiki>\ </nowiki>DATA <nowiki>\ </nowiki>FONTS <nowiki>\ </nowiki> folder and text files in <nowiki>\ </nowiki>DATA <nowiki>\ </nowiki>FONTS <nowiki>\ </nowiki>HFONTS <nowiki>\ </nowiki>. These files are listed in the table below. This guide will mainly concentrate to vehicle icons but the same guidelines apply to all interface graphics.

IconsIcon definitions
Host stations (map)Maprobos.ilbMaprobo.fon
General map iconsFontpage.ilbMapvhcl#.fon

[more information needed]


Editing bitmaps

You need an image editor which can handle IFF/ILBM files. Ultimate Paint can open and edit them natively. If you don't like it or you need more features but your favorite editor doesn't support those files you have to convert them to Windows BMP first. Open the file in Ultimate Paint or XnView, then choose FileSave as…, set file type to Windows Bitmap and save it somewhere. Now you can use nearly any image editor to edit this BMP file.

After editing the file you need to convert it back to Amiga IFF/ILBM. Open the BMP file in Xn View, select Save as… and set file type to Amiga IFF. Change the file extension (after the dot (.) in the file name field) to ilb (very important!) so that the game can identify it properly. Click Options and make sure that RLE Compression is enabled. Now save it to the fonts folder.

Let's take a look at vehicle icon file (H_finder.ilb). This is the version used in UA Metropolis Dawn expansion.


You can see all vehicle icons there and you can edit them to change the appearance of already existing vehicles on the map. The grid in the file is used to make it easier to create icons. Yellow color (RGB 255,255,0) is background color and it will become transparent on the map.

Creating new icons

Choose an empty square in the grid and draw the icon there. Do not use the square with black edges as it's already used for some invisible icons. Here's an example:


FIXME You can see the red Bronsteijn icon in the 7th row.

Creating icon definitions

When you create a new icon you also have to create definitions so that the game can use it.

Open the definition file (Type_NS.fon) in a text editor such as Windows WordPad or Notepad++. (Windows Notepad might show it incorrectly so don't use it.) It should look like this (here's only a part of it):

H_FINDER.ILBM 16   ; TYPE_NS        16-Oktober-98


4   64  120 20     ; TAER  - schwer -
5   85  120 20     ; TAER  MNOSJETZ
6  106  120 20     ; TAER  PHANTOM
7  127  120 20     ; TAER  SERP
8  148  120 20     ; TAER  BRONSTEIJN
9  169  120 20     ; TAER  OTSCHKO
A    1   69 20     ; USR   TIGER
B   22   69 20     ; USR   PICO (MISSILE LAUNCHER)
C   43   69 20     ; USR   BUDJONOW
D  253  188 20     ; KYT   GHARGOIL 3 (Bomber)
E   85   69 20     ; USR   ERAZER
F  106   69 20     ; USR   Marauder
G  127   69 20     ; USR   SCOUT
H  253   69 20     ; USR   WARHAMMER
I    1    1 20     ; DEBUG EVILFURZ

The first line defines the bitmap file (H_Finder.ilb) and the height of the icons in pixels (16). Do not edit it unless you know what you're doing. Everything put after a semicolon (;) is a comment and the game will skip it when it reads the file.

H_FINDER.ILBM 16   ; TYPE_NS        16-Oktober-98>

The other lines contain the icon definitions. Let's take a look of the line which defines the icon of Warhammer:

H  253   69 20     ; USR   WARHAMMER

The first string (H) is the icon code which is used in the vehicle script (type_icon = #).

The next two (253, 69) are the coordinates of the upper left corner of the icon in the icon file. 253 is X and 69 is Y-coordinate.

The last string is the width of the icon in pixels. It's 20 by default.

The text after the semicolon is again a comment. Here it's used to tell that this line defines the icon of Warhammer.

When you have created a new icon find out the coordinates mentioned above. Hover your mouse over the upper left corner of the icon in the image editor and it should show you the coordinates.

The width of the icon is 20 by default but if you have created wider icon find out the width yourself. Note that 20 pixels is the maximum width of the icon in the vehicle creation menu; wider icons will be cut down.

You also have to define the icon code. Use a single character which is not already used in the file.

Now put a new line to Type_NS.fon. Here's a line that defines the icon in the previous example. A Scandinavian letter Ö is used as the icon code.

Ö  64  103 20     ;This is an example for modding guide

FIXME Here's a new unit with the new icon (click for bigger image):


modding/unit_icons.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/27 10:57 (external edit)
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