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Multiple non-conflicting mods
#1
<disclaimer> This is just theoretical babble from one bored and sleep deprived man, not a request to do anything.</disclaimer>

Plenty of mods, particularly Total Conversions and TS mods, tend to hexedit the game(md).exe to look for <modname>##.mix and other files that are undetectable by the original game installation. With the creation of RP/ETS, they have to keep editing each version of the patched exe to keep their changes functional. Clearly, there should be better ways to separate mods. This idea (multiple non conflicting mods) has been brought up in the past, in this very forum, and as I recall it was proposed to use Quake style -dir=moddir exe switches and load content from gamedir/moddir as if it were part of the game.

Thoughts?
#2
Maybe have Mod01 (Mod02, Mod 03, ect) folders, and if it detects them then it gives you the option while loading?
#3
i say have folders such as rrotc, rboth and... wbr, and if you run the game normally, it loads normal YR, however if you run ra2md.exe -m rrotc then the game will load everything in the RA2 folder, plus subfolders, and then also load everything in the rrotc subfolder, and any other subfolders such as \taunts. now taunts is an important 1 because with new countries and 4th sides, many people replace or add new taunts.

on a semi-related note, i also sugest doing to the bag and idx files like what you did with string tables. where it loads everything in the original, then the modified 1, this will not only improve distribution of sounds, but it will also allow you to place the sounds files in the sub directory, to allow multiple mods with new sounds, without having the 35Mb+ original sounds cloned god knows how many times.
#4
The idea with the ModXX folders is that no special icons or typing is needed, and it would only ask if the user installed it.

Hmmm, maybe have Mod[String] (Like ModDerelict Soil) and it will display the name of the mod (On the list it would have 'Derelict Soil', the folder name without the 'Mod')
#5
its easy enough to have an ini file.
most installer software, like what we use for R:ROTC can add a few tags to a small ini file. and if its a small file with only a few tags, I'm sure people wouldn't mind editing it.


modmd.ini, with a [Mods] section, followed by a 0=rrotc (the folder name), and 1=wbr, and so on.

then a menu pops up if the file contains something, and on that file is a list of mods, by reading the Name= tag from the [General] section of rules.

I'm sure VK did something like that already, but only with the rules files.
http://forums.renegadeprojects.com/showt...07#pid4207
#6
I still think the folder way is easier, but if any of this is done then it is how it is.
#7
i have a few other things that would make things easier. for this, and other things.

1. do to audio.bag what was done to ra2md.csf. allow multiple small .bag and .idx files, that include only your new files, and can be placed in mix files, such as expandmd##.mix

2. allow placing taunts in a mix file, these overide existing, or add new taunts. maybe a spacificly named taunts.mix file that can be placed inside other mix files, such as expandmd##.mix
#8
One central ini file as a modlist sucks. What if the user simply deletes your mod's folder? After all, it works if the mod is an XCC MC/L executable... He now has a nonfunctional mod entry that he pretty likely doesn't know how to dispose of. Yay.
#9
I think it really should be as simple as deleting a folder to remove mods, and I think this was the best idea...
#10
I agree. That method is the best that has been presented so far. The problem with it is that it requires the user to run the exe with special commands, which is no problem for the computer savvy, but not everyone is.
[Image: alexstand1.gif]
#11
well, for R:ROTC this is no problem, the mod comes with a control panel, which can easily be modified to run ra2md.exe -m rrotc instead of just ra2md.exe. it also give you the option to add shortcuts to the desktop and start menu.

with a new system, comes a distribution other than XCC mod launcher. i supose people can then distribute their mod with an alternate system, that might include some kind of shortcut, or a new control pannel interface that you run. like a menu.exe, spacificly programmed to determine what folder is a mod or not. (you could make gamemd.exe do it, but then the loading sccreens is missed)
#12
One could create a program that checked for mod folders, checked for a control ini file within that mod folder that listed things like Mod Name, version, etc (like in Half-Life). The user then chooses what mod to run and the program does the rest.

The problem would be what to do about all the existing mods/installation methods (including XCC MC/L) that would bypass this system.
Ever wondered what the hell is going on?
Believe me friend you're not the only one.
--Lysdexia

Check out Launch Base for RA2/YR - http://marshall.strategy-x.com
Also home to the Purple Alert mod, 1.002 UMP, and the YR Playlist Manager.
#13
basicly, all you can do is encourage people to move to the "new" system, and make the program give a warning if it detects non-compliant mods. also a message somewhere near the downloader saying "this is a Rockpatch multi-mod launcher compliant mod" or whatever, would be a good start.

i would presume map packs would be ok to install into the game directory, the only problem there is that they do not contain their own sting tables. too bad costom new string tables don't work in a YRO.
#14
Add "select mod" dialog box at start up?
ARM forever - x86 sucks!


#15
you could do that, but as in your demo, that only apeared on the loading screen after the bink video, many mods, including R:ROTC have their own costom intro video and loading screens, so it would have to be the very first thing that happened before the intro bink video. would be a lot simpler to program if it were an external exe like ra2md.exe and yuri.exe are loaded before gamemd.exe.




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