Needless to say, I don't do this anymore. Mostly.
This paper will divulge an actual walkthrough with a hasty individual who found my Lancia model, and after achieving no success with the simple yet detailed step-by-step instructions I included in the readme, decided to corner me on YIM for a personalized hand at getting the car ingame.
Killing two birds with one stone, this paper will show the reader how NOT to learn modding, and also serve as the first of several general modding tip sheets derived from the TFH, this one covering the basics of installing models and textures in Vice City, using a vehicle as an example..
The following discuorse took place after an extended diatribe about how instructions were followed exactly, is the model really any good, etc.
Apparently his computer was conspiring against him.
Roll the footage... <cringe>
n00b_who_won't_listen: WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT THING YOU GAVE ME
ghost_of_delete_key: did you read the readme?
ghost_of_delete_key: it's as simple as it gets
n00b_who_won't_listen: OK WAIT
ghost_of_delete_key: You can ignore the wheelmod stuff, but you will get crappy VC wheels
ghost_of_delete_key: The Lancia's wheels are much nicer!
n00b_who_won't_listen: WHAT DO YOU MEAN....REPLACE DELUXO LINE WITH THIS HANDLEING?
ghost_of_delete_key: cut out the old one, paste in the new one. Use Notepad.
n00b_who_won't_listen: What?????? cut which old one out..what old one
ghost_of_delete_key: read the readme it says HANDLING.CFG its in THERE!
<At this point I'm banging the keys with hammer strokes>
n00b_who_won't_listen: where do i paste it
ghost_of_delete_key: you REPLACE the OLD line with the NEW line
n00b_who_won't_listen: i copied the new one(your readme) where do i paste it...wheres the old one
ghost_of_delete_key: IN HANDLING.CFG!!!!!!!!
<fingers now stinging from the abuse>
n00b_who_won't_listen: look sorry about you getting pssed off ..im a noobie to this...i do not know where HANDLING.CFG is..
n00b_who_won't_listen: i copied the new line...i wanna know where do i paste ot..is it in IMG Tool???...do i right click or sumthing
ghost_of_delete_key: look- use Notepad to open Handling.cfg- it's in THERE- find the old line, it's the only one that says DELUXO then save and close notepad.
ghost_of_delete_key: sorry, paste in the new line over the old one, THEN save and close.
n00b_who_won't_listen: tell me step by step....like open notepad....find this......copy this......find this.......paste this.....save..can you tell me it like that
ghost_of_delete_key: 1 minute...
n00b_who_won't_listen: anytime..tkae your time
ghost_of_delete_key: here's a piece from a FAQ I'm writing. These are step-by-step instructions, and very detailed. If you get hung up on something, read it again. Be sure to save it to your HD somewhere, and read it THOROUGHLY- if you follow the instructions you can't go wrong. (...sending)
At this point, I sent the following snippet from my Tut From Hell outlining car installation: (It's the Tut From Hell because it turned into a huge book, and since nobody will read a novel in a forum, and I'm too lazy to trim it, I never posted it ) I decided I would leave this with Mr. Nub and leave him to his own devices. I figured: if you can't get this, then you have no business poking around in the files.
Q: I just want to install this neat-o car I just downloaded- how do I do it?
A: Installing a car is just about the most basic modification you can make to VC. The procedure applies not only to vehicles, but to pedestrian & player models and buildings as well. The basic procedure is the same for anything that has a .dff and/or a .txd file.
You will need the IMG Tool, and if the car has its own handling data and/or color data, you will use Notepad.
The instructions for installation are usually included in a readme with the model, but often they are unclear or missing altogether.
Since this is the most basic procedure, I will go into some detail on the use of the tools. For this example, we are going to replace the Deluxo with a new car. We are also going to assume that the files for the new car are larger than the originals, so we will delete the originals and add the new ones. (For files smaller than the originals, you can simply use the Replace feature- the tool will tell you if can do this when you try. Use Replace sparingly though, since too many files in the IMG will crash the game.) Our replacement car has two files, a .dff (the model) and a .txd (the textures).Since our Whatever Turbo replaces the Deluxo, the WT's files will also be called deluxo.dff & deluxo.txd. It also has a custom handling line to add to handling.cfg
You already know to BACK UP YOUR FILES before you edit them, so I don't have to tell you to BACK UP YOUR FILES.
And I know you remembered to UN_SET THE READ ONLY ATTRIBUTE on your GTAVC folder, so then we can begin:
1) Open your Grand Theft Auto Vice City\models\gta3.img file with the IMG tool. You can associate the .img extension with the tool so that you can simply doubl-click on gta3.img to open it.(right-click gta3.img and select Open With... - browse to the IMG tool and check Always use the selected program.. then hit OK)
2) Go to Edit>Find (or hit F2) and enter "deluxo" in the text box, then hit Find Next. the tool will find the first file with deluxo in the name, in this case, deluxo.txd.
3) Go to Commands>Delete and hit Yes- deluxo.txd is now gone. NOTE: This tool makes changes to the file on the fly; it will not give you the option not to save an altered archive, so make sure you delete the right file, and BACK UP YOUR FILES before you make any changes, just in case.
4) Go to Edit>Find Next (or hit F3) to find the next file with deluxo in the name, and you will get deluxo.dff.
5) Delete this file also, same as in 3). ) (At this point, if you hit F3 again, you would get "No Match Found".)
6) Now go to Commands>Add and navigate to the folder where your new car is. Select deluxo.dff and hit Open. deluxo.dff will appear at the bottom of the IMG tool's list, and you will see a File Added message at the bottom of the tool.
7) Repeat step 6), but this time select deluxo.txd.
8) Now that both files are in the .img archive, you need to rebuild it so that the address offsets are correct. Simply go to Commands>Rebuild Archive and hit Yes. When the tool is finished, you will get the confirmation at the bottom of the tool.
That's all there is to adding the files. You can exit the tool now.
Now we need to update the handling line.
1) Open up data\handling.cfg with Notepad, and disable Word Wrap.
2) Scroll down to find the entry for DELUXO. Put the cursor at the head of the line, just before the D, and hit the Enter key to give yourself an extra blank line between COMET and DELUXO. Now put the cursor at the head of the DELUXO line again, and hit the semicolon. You have just Remarked out the Deluxo line; in handling.cfg the semicolon is the Remark symbol- whatever line has a semicolon at the beginning will be ignored by the program and not loaded. Your lines should now look like this:
3) Now you can Copy the suggested handling line in the new car's readme, and Paste it into the blank line you just created between the Comet and Deluxo.
4) Go ahead and close Notepad and answer Yes when it asks you to save the file.
Presto, You're done! Barring any mistakes, you can go ahead and fire up your game now, and head over to Sunshine Autos to enjoy a spin in your new Whatever Turbo. (assuming you're far enough into the game!)
Q: I started the game, and my car isn't there!! What's wrong?
Q: I tried to start the game, but it went "DOONK!" and locked up! What happened?
A: Make sure that the files you add have EXACTLY the same name as the ones you replaced or deleted. Also, make sure that you have only ONE of any particular file- be sure that before you add one, you delete the old one! Otherwise this could cause the model not to appear, or worse, crash the game. Or, you may have a model with corrupt files. Restore your backups and try again with another model.
I thought this would clear the impasse.
The trainwreck continues...
ghost_of_delete_key: did you get it?
n00b_who_won't_listen: i don't have handling.cfg..in my data foler in GTAVC folder in Rockstar fOlder
ghost_of_delete_key: then how on earth does your game run?!?!?!?
n00b_who_won't_listen: i dunno....i can't find it
ghost_of_delete_key: it's in \data folder
n00b_who_won't_listen: i check in rockstar/GTAVC/data/ no handling.cfg.....only 2 folders
ghost_of_delete_key: it's there, if it weren't, the game wouldn't run=P~
n00b_who_won't_listen: i found it
n00b_who_won't_listen: it won't open with notepad
ghost_of_delete_key: yes it does
n00b_who_won't_listen: nop...it has a creative player sign on it
n00b_who_won't_listen: i found it
n00b_who_won't_listen: SORRY for all that work
n00b_who_won't_listen: it won't let me overwrite the new one to the old handling.cfg
ghost_of_delete_key: READ-ONLY IS SET!! un-set it
n00b_who_won't_listen: after i save it...i open IMG tool
n00b_who_won't_listen: you didn't say that in your noob info
ghost_of_delete_key: you did te second part first, but that's ok
ghost_of_delete_key: heh juno just bumped me
n00b_who_won't_listen: NICE CAr
ghost_of_delete_key: thanx - you got it working?
ghost_of_delete_key: there you go - that's basic installation. Everything in modding revolves around that.
n00b_who_won't_listen: soo...i need to do that...thats simple then..not untill i got the HANLING THING CAME UP
n00b_who_won't_listen: thanks for you help
Anyway, the moral of the story is: Pay attention to detail, but don't loose the forest in all the trees.
And UN-CHECK READ-ONLY! This should be understood, like opening your mouth to eat.
Smart people don't try to mash their food past closed lips, and they don't try to edit files with Read-Only set.
Anyway, Read-Only and BACKUP!!! are the topics of another paper to pop up soon, even though it should probably come first.
Oh, and now you know how to add your models to Vice!