How to build VCMI (Windows/Vcpkg)

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  • Windows Vista or newer.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 or 2017
  • Git or git GUI, for example, SourceTree download
  • CMake download
  • To unpack pre-build Vcpkg: 7-zip
  • To create installer: NSIS

Choose directory

Create a directory for VCMI development, eg. C:\VCMI We will call this directory as [VCMI_DIR]

Warning! Replace [VCMI_DIR] with path you chosen in following commands of this instruction.

How to choose good directory

It is recommended to avoid non-ascii characters in the path to your working folders. The folder should not be write-protected by system. Good location:

  • C:\VCMI

Bad locations:

  • C:\Users\Michał\VCMI (non-ascii character)
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\VCMI (write protection)

Install dependencies

You have two options: to use pre-built libraries or build your own. We strongly recommend start with using pre-built ones.

Option A. Use pre-built Vcpkg

So you decide to start using Vcpkg packages pre-built by VCMI team.

Package guaranteed to work since they tested with every commit by AppVeyor

Download and unpack archive

Archives are available from GitHub:

Only download latest version available.

  • vcpkg-export-x86-windows-v140.7z to build for 32-bit
  • vcpkg-export-x64-windows-v140.7z to build for 64-bit

Extract archive by right clicking on it and choosing "7-zip -> Extract Here".

Move dependencies to target directory

Once extracted "vcpkg" directory will appear with "installed" and "scripts" inside it.

Move extracted "vcpkg" directory into your [VCMI_DIR].

Option B. Build Vcpkg on your own

Be aware that building Vcpkg might take a lot of time depend on your CPU model and 10-20GB of disk space.

Create initial directory

Clone vcpkg

  1. open SourceTree
  2. File -> Clone
  3. select as source
  4. select [VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg as destination
  5. click Clone

From command line use:

git clone [VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg

Build vcpkg

  • Run

Build dependencies

  • For 32-bit build run:
[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/vcpkg.exe install minizip:x86-windows sdl2:x86-windows sdl2-image:x86-windows sdl2-ttf:x86-windows sdl2-mixer:x86-windows boost:x86-windows qt5:x86-windows ffmpeg:x86-windows fuzzylite:x86-windows
  • For 64-bit build run
[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/vcpkg.exe install minizip:x64-windows sdl2:x64-windows sdl2-image:x64-windows sdl2-ttf:x64-windows sdl2-mixer:x64-windows boost:x64-windows qt5:x64-windows ffmpeg:x64-windows fuzzylite:x64-windows

Build VCMI

Clone VCMI

  1. open SourceTree
  2. File -> Clone
  3. select as source
  4. select [VCMI_DIR]/source as destination
  5. expand Advanced Options and change Checkout Branch to "develop"
  6. tick Recursive submodules
  7. click Clone

or From command line use:

git clone --recursive [VCMI_DIR]/source

Generate solution for VCMI

  1. create [VCMI_DIR]/build folder
  2. open [VCMI_DIR]/build in command line:
    1. Run Command Prompt or Power Shell.
    2. Execute: cd [VCMI_DIR]/build
  3. execute one of following commands to generate project

Visual Studio 2015 - 32-bit build

cmake [VCMI_DIR]/source -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015"

Visual Studio 2015 - 64-bit build

cmake [VCMI_DIR]/source -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64"

Visual Studio 2017 - 32-bit build

cmake [VCMI_DIR]/source -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017"

Visual Studio 2017 - 64-bit build

cmake [VCMI_DIR]/source -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[VCMI_DIR]/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64"

Compile VCMI with Visual Studio

  1. open [VCMI_DIR]/build/VCMI.sln in Visual Studio
  2. select "Release" build type in combobox
  3. right click on BUILD_ALL project - build project
  4. grab VCMI in [VCMI_DIR]/build/bin folder!

Compile VCMI from command line

For release build

cmake --build [VCMI_DIR]/build --config Release

For debug build

cmake --build [VCMI_DIR]/build --config Debug

Debug will be used by default even "--config" if not specified.

Create VCMI installer

Make sure NSIS is installed to default directory or have registry entry so CMake can find it.

After you build VCMI execute following commands from [VCMI_DIR]/build.

Execute following if you built for Release:


If you built for Debug:

cpack -C Debug