Understanding Ship Logs
First thing’s first, I’ll define some terminology regarding ship logs in the game, and how ship logs are structured.
An entry is a card you see in rumor mode, it represents a specific area or concept in the game, such as Timber Hearth’s
village or the southern observatory on Brittle Hollow.
An entry is split up into facts, a fact can either be a rumor fact or an explore fact.
In red you can see an entry, in green you can see the entry’s facts
Curiosities are entries that represent big ideas in the story, such as the ATP or the OPC.
Non-curiosity entries have a Curiosity attribute that can be set to make the color of that entry match the color of the curiosity (Like how everything regarding the Vessel is red)
The Ash Twin Project is an example of a curiosity (internally it’s called TIME_LOOP)
Entries can be children of other entries, meaning they’ll be smaller.
The murals at the old settlement on Brittle Hollow are examples of child entries
A rumor fact represents the information you might hear about a specific area or concept, usually, you get these through dialogue or maybe by observing a faraway planet.
Explore facts represent the information you learn about a specific area or concept.
Now that we know some terminology, let’s get into how the XML works.
Every planet in the ship log is represented by a single XML file, you can see this if you use the unity explorer mod and navigate to ShipLogManager.
Using The Schema
In the example XML, you may notice something like
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation at the top, this tells whatever editor
you’re using that the file at that link is the schema. The game simply ignores this though, so it won’t be able to catch
errors at runtime.
Some editors may require you to Trust the workspace to use the schema file. Doing this varies per-editor, and you may also have to right-click the link and click download.
Loading The File
You can load your XML file to your planet by doing adding the following to your planet’s config
Rumor Mode Options
By default, entries in rumor mode are laid out by rows, where each row is one planet. This will not make for a perfect
layout, so you can use the
entryPositions property in your star system config to change them.
For example, if I want to change an entry with the ID of
EXAMPLE_ENTRY and another with the ID of
To help with this, download the unity explorer mod and manually position entries (they’re located under
Ship_Body/Module_Cabin/Systems_Cabin/ShipLogPivot/ShipLog/ShipLogPivot/ShipLogCanvas/MapMode/ScaleRoot/PanRoot), then simply use the dev tools to dump all the entries to a json string you can copy and paste into your config.
A set of entries laid out with auto mode
Custom entry images are a bit different from other custom images, instead of pointing to each file for each entry, you point to a folder:
Each file is in this folder is then named the ID of each entry.
EXAMPLE_ENTRY’s file would be named
you set alternate sprites by making a file with the entry’s ID and
_ALT at the end, so
EXAMPLE_ENTRY’s alt image
Colors for each curiosity is given in a list within the star system config, so if I wanted the curiosity
EXAMPLE_ENTRY to have a color of blue:
The curiosity’s color is changed to blue
Map Mode Options
Layout in map mode can be handled in two different ways, either manual or automatic, if you try to mix them you’ll get
Also, adding planets to the vanilla solar system requires you to use manual layout.
In automatic layout, each planet that orbits the center of the solar system is put in a row, then, each planet orbiting those planets are put in a column, then, each planet orbiting those planets are put in a row for as many planets there are. The order of each planet is determined by their semi-major axis, if two planets have the same semi-major axis then they’re sorted by order loaded in.
An example system laid out with auto mode
offset option lets you adjust a planet’s offset from the last planet.
For example, this offsets example planet in map mode by -5 units.
The manual layout is a lot more involved than automatic but offers much greater freedom.
Manual layout requires you to fill out both
manualPosition option in the
mapMode object sets its position (if manual position isn’t set, it assumes
the planet is using automatic mode)
Manual Navigation Position
This setting tells Outer Wilds how to handle navigation for this object, the x and y values correlate to the row and column of this planet. For example, the sun station is at navigationPosition (0, 1) as it is in the first column on the second row (you can’t select the sun, so it doesn’t have a row or column). So, by making a navigation position of:
We say this planet is to the right of the sun station (putting in a position that is already occupied will override what is in that position).
Overriding Vanilla Planets
You can also move vanilla planets by creating configs with their names and changing their manualPosition and manualNavigationPosition
Settings for both layouts
These settings can be used for both type of layouts
A path to the sprite to show for when the planet is revealed
A path to an outline to show for when the planet is undiscovered
Invisible When Hidden
invisibleWhenHidden to true makes the planet entirely invisible when not discovered instead of showing an
How much to scale this planet in the map mode screen (you may have to change offset to compensate)
Shrinks the planet by one half
Don’t include this planet in map mode at all, simply ignore it
Details are images that go on top of a planet in map mode, and changes states with the planet (like the sand funnel between Ash Twin and Ember Twin)
As you can see, they have similar properties to planets, with the addition of rotation
Of course, having a custom ship log is neat and all, but what use is it if the player can’t unlock it?
You can set facts to reveal as soon as the player enters the system by adding the
You can set a fact to reveal as soon as a signal is identified by editing the signal’s
You can set a fact to reveal in dialogue with the
Reveal volumes are triggers/colliders in the world that can unlock facts from a variety of actions.
Reveal volumes are specified in the
Props module, its key is
The position of the reveal volume, relative to this planet’s center
How big the collider is (use the collider visualizer mod for help)
A list of facts this volume reveals
Can be any of the following:
When the player or probe enters the trigger, reveal the facts
When the player observes the trigger, reveal the facts
When the player takes a picture of the trigger, reveal the facts
Can only be used if
revealOn is set to Observe or Snapshot, the max distance away the player can be and still be able
to trigger the reveal
Can only be used if
revealOn is set to Observe, the max angle the player can be looking away from the trigger to still
trigger the reveal
Setting Entry Locations
Entry locations are the “Mark On HUD” option you see when in map mode, this allows the player to go back to where they
were in the event of the big funny.
Adding an entry location is similar to adding a Reveal Volume: