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nkjellman

[IV] Modifying a mods file hierarchy for easy installation/uninstallat

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nkjellman

A tutorial for modifying file hierarchy for easy installation/uninstallation and to save hard drive space

 

This is something that modders should take into account when making mods for GTA IV.

 

Try to make your mods replace the least amount of files as possible.

Why do I recommend this?

-Easy install and uninstall.

-People don't have to eat up as much hard drive space with another copy of the game if it is a big mod. They won't have to back up as many files if its a small mod.

 

How to do this?

Lets say we have a map mod for example called Mod Island (random name). Here are the files it contains.

REPLACE:

[root]\common\data\gta.dat

[root]\common\data\images.txt

[root]\pc\data\cdimages\paths.img

[root]\pc\models\cdimages\radar.img

ADD:

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.ide

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.wpl

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.img

 

So to change the file names, we would do this. You can change the file names how ever you like.

1. Edit the gta.dat and change this line.

 

 

IMGLIST common:/data/images.txt

change to

 

 

IMGLIST common:/data/images_mod_island.txt

2. Add the necissary lines to the gta.dat so the ide and wpl for the map load.

3. Rename the images.txt that comes with the mod to images_mod_island.txt.

4. Edit the images_mod_island.txt to rename the files that are being replaced. So in this case,

 

 

platformimg:/models/cdimages/radar 0

change to

 

 

platformimg:/models/cdimages/radar_mod_island 0

 

 

platformimg:/data/cdimages/paths 0

change to

 

 

platformimg:/data/cdimages/paths_mod_island 0

5. Add in the necessary lines to images_mod_island.txt so the IMG file loads.

6. Rename paths.img and radar.img to paths_mod_island.img and radar_mod_island.img respectively.

 

Now the file hierarchy of the mod should look like this.

REPLACE:

[root]\common\data\gta.dat

ADD:

[root]\common\data\images_mod_island.txt

[root]\pc\data\cdimages\paths_mod_island.img

[root]\pc\models\cdimages\radar_mod_island.img

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.ide

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.wpl

[root]\pc\data\maps\modisland\modisland.img

 

Now when users install the mod, all they have to do is rename their gta.dat. It is a quick and easy way to switch mods. This would be good for mods that replace a lot of files. So if all map modders did this, users could install all of their map mods on the same directory. To switch mods around, or switch to the normal game, all they have to do is switch the gta.dat.

 

NOTE: Some files can't be renamed, like the water.dat or plane path files. Other files like handling.dat, weaponinfo.xml, etc can be renamed in the default.dat.

 

This acts like a temporary solution for a mod loader. Later, I'll update this tutorial so you guys can do the same on Episodes From Liberty City. On EFLC, you should only have to swap the same files as IV, plus the content.dat in the DLC folder. It also should possible to avoid swapping out some other files on EFLC as well. For example, carcols.dat and water.dat.

 

Tutorial to manage save files easier for different mods where old saves don't work, using Games For Windows Live.

You read that correctly. Games For Windows Live actually has a use for something now. As we all know, GTA IV automatically loads saves when we play. It isn't like III, VC, or SA on PC where we can pick load game, or new game, so when we play a total conversion, we have to mess with our saves. If we use Liveless, it moves the save location for us, but it still requires us to move saves around if we have saves there. So here is what you do in Games For Windows Live.

If you have not played GTA IV with Games For Windows Live on your computer:

1. On your total conversion copy of GTA IV, uninstall Liveless (xlive.dll), and look for a different asi loader to put in its place. Look it up on google. If the file that comes with it is dsound.dll, then you have the right one.

2. If you want a Games For Windows Live profile, when you make the account, make sure you disable auto sign in. If you don't want a profile, just don't use GFWL. When the game asks you to sign in, just tell it no, and it will start a new game.

If you have played GTA IV with Games For Windows Live, all you need to do is disable auto sign in on your profile.

1. Hit the home button on your keyboard, or guide button on your Xbox 360/Xbox One controller.

2. Sign out of your profile.

3. Sign back into your profile, but uncheck the box that says Enable Auto Sign in.

NOTE: If you want auto sign in enabled, when ever you play a mod where old saves don't work, just simply sign out of Games For Windows Live before you hit start.

 

So long story short, you can use Games For Windows Live to control whether or not GTA IV loads up your last save, or starts a new game. As of now, there are no mods where old saves don't work, and you can save your progress unlike Renderware GTA's, but if such a mod comes out, you simply create an offline profile for that mod.

 

This stuff will make it easier to switch between mods and saves. Hopefully one day, we will get an asi script that will allow us to specify the location of our saves, and a mod loader like we got for San Andreas.

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