The Developer.exe or Dev.exe is an official modified Sins executable which provides a high level of control and analysis of the functions of the game. The most recent versions of the Dev.exe are provided in the Sins install directory.
Using the exe Edit
To begin using the Dev.exe you simply need to run it instead of the main executable (This is not possible to do through Impulse, so you will require to browse to your install directory, obviously making a shortcut is recommended)
The game will seem to load up as normal: if you have mods enabled it is possible you will already be getting error reports at this point. Once at the main menu to prove that you are using the Dev.exe you can press CTRL+SHIFT+. (period) and one of the control menus will appear in the top left corner.
Start a game using whatever settings you require, the Dev.exe has no impact unless you specifically tell it to do something so everything will function as normal.
Note: The Dev.exe will reset all of your personal settings, so it is recommended that you backup your settings, and then when you are done editing your mod, you can reload back your original settings.
Basic Instructions Edit
All functions of the developer exe are accessed through keyboard key combinations. There are two control menus: CTRL+SHIFT+. (period), and CTRL+SHIFT+M. All submenu keys are case specific, so turn off caps lock if it is on. To return to a previous Menu press ,(Comma), used on the root menus this will also close the Control Menu display.
This is a minor menu, it has a few specific functions, but is limited, inexplicit and of little use. TO BE EXPANDED
This is the primary control menu, almost all of the functions of the Dev.exe are accessed through it.
[a] Change Galaxy - This submenu covers all developer exe functions that directly affect gameplay.
[b] Overlays - This is mainly for general analysis tools, FPS, memory usage, and various statistics
[c] Entity Info - This is for information overlays that cover the actual entities of the game. Note many of these will display an overlay for each ship selected, so be careful when group selecting ships.
[d] Player Info - Though framed as Player overlays the majority of these are mainly helpful as AI analysis tools
[e] Rendering - This menu allows removal of certain UI functions, as well as the ability to change skyboxes, it also allows you to change the visibility of certain entities (basically you can change what is visible through the fog of war)
[f] Windows - This is for UI analysis, the most helpful function is "Show Brushes Under Cursor" Which makes it much easier to identify what needs to be changed when modifying Icons
[g] Camera - A small selection of camera analysis tools, of limited utility. Does allow you to ignore the minimum zoom distances, so can be used for screenshots
[h] User Input - Again, limited utility, main use is if you change the mouse cursor, you can see where it is actually pointing. It also allows you to see the Z-Axis interface that never was.
[i] Sound - A wide range of sound and music analysis tools, good for testing sound, and also for seeing the criteria for music tracks to change.
[j] Dump - Outputs to a text file a list of items, such as loaded textures, or all the watched files being used in the game
[k] Settings - Essentially the options menu.
[l] Network - Allows you to simulate lag, as well as changing certain network behaviours