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How to make your own shield

In Stronghold: Crusader, the player is represented by a small shield with a small design on it.

To the untrained observer, it would appear that we are limited to these 18 standard shields, but in reality we can change the faces to anything we want

The first step is to locate your faces.bmp file in the Crusader directory. By default this is C:\Program Files\Firefly Studios\Stronghold Crusader.

View the properties of this file and uncheck "Read-only"

You should create a backup copy of this file so you can get your standard shields back if necessary.

Opening up the file, we see the 18 standard Crusader shields in pink boxes, and two empty boxes.

The two empty boxes are spares where you can place your own shields.

NOTE: the pictures do not have to be shields, they can be anything you want. I am just calling them shields because most of them are shields.

For this demonstration, I will be making a shield with a smiley face under St. George's Cross, just for a lark.

To add your shield, just draw or paste it in the blank pink box, like so.


Each shield must be 66*68 pixels

You can also edit preexisting shields, just by drawing over them.

After you save your work, open the game, go to options, go to Set up Identity, and scroll through the shields until you find the one you made. Then set it as your shield.

Make sure you have saved your work before you open the game, or it won't work. If you are using part of a jpg file for your picture, make sure the background has no shades of pink floating around.

When you play a multiplayer game using a custom shield, it will be automatically sent to your opponent's computer, although it may take some time to transfer.

This whole art can go much further than making simple smiley faces. You can make works of art in those 4488 pixels.

Some software you can use to help with this is Blazons for making coats of arms, and a good graphics program, like Paintshop Pro or Photoshop (Elements). Good graphics programs are expensive, but some have trial versions.


by Ztolk*
* denotes a former staff member.