This should be an easy one, it's been a couple years since I've modded and I have some weird circumstances that are making me tread really carefully when getting under the hood here. I'm stuck for the moment playing on my tablet PC, and I can't justify the internal HDD space to handle the game, the packed gamedata.db*, AND the unpacked contents of same.
So I unpacked the gamedatas to a dir on an external drive, leaving the originals in place. This brings me to my first question: since right now I'm just modding existing superbasic stuff like weapon stats to get a feel for everything, and not adding any new entities, how do I go about repackaging those limited changes I did make and applying that "patch"mod to my actual game folder?
I downloaded a few different mods and looked at how the dir structures were done, and it's obvious that to make a simple change you can effectively hotpatch it in, that is, you don't have to also include all the other files you never touched, thank ghod. But the thing I can't figure out is whether downloaded mods presuppose the user already has unpacked the entire gamedata set and the mod just meshes with that. -- Okay, once I have that sorted, I'm wondering if I might be able to use the $mod_dir$ = false | false | $fs_root$ | mods\ line in fsgame.ltx to accomplish this goal. I can't seem to find any mention of this switch anywhere on the forums, and since I don't know how it works I don't even know where to start figuring it out (though someone had posted a startup-locations script the game uses at one point, it wasn't mentioned, possibly due to prior versioning). --
kind of totally off-topic, I assume that when enemies use weapons they rely upon the same w_***.ltx that dictate stats for when you use the weapon. Aside from the double-edged sword problem this creates so often when we mod game weaps, might there be a way to alter the ways enemies interact with the files, perhaps nerfing them to comic effect? Beyond the old standard of starting the enemy without ammo or making his weap jam in all circumstances, could we perhaps randomize the fire cone or point angle so that as often as not he shoots himself or obsessively reloads after each round, or is blinded upon aim_fire (if they even use it)? Ideally, once I have the hang of it and resume abusing substances, I want to have my enemies trying to load sausages into their shotguns and killing one another in a race to collect the most weapons like I have been.
Generally speaking, games now are packed so they're smaller on disk (both cd/dvd and hard drive). The main executable is able to unpack on-the-fly the datas it needs. So, if the 'switch' in fsgame.lts file in 'on' (true:true) for modding, this executable searches for the file(s) needed in the gamedata folder first. If the file is not found, then it is unpacked from the gamedata.dbx file. (Although I'm not really sure it works like this.. :)) Btw, you didn't mention which version of the game you're running.
For the sausage-bullet thing.. well.. lol.. The second part is more interesting. Maybe some 'premium' coder out there will find that a great idea too..
Thanks for the encouragement, but I'm still a little unclear. Suppose I only make modifications to weapon ltx files, like for a perfect-condition mod. I have unpacked all twelve .db* files to my external drive, which is where I have made the modifications. Now if I go to my game dir, and create the appropriate dir structure under the /gamedata/ dir, and only add in those weapon ltx files I changed, will everything be groovy? Assuming I make the switch in the fsgame.ltx, that is.
What I'm asking is if the game will use just the changed data within whatever .db* file needs to be, or whether I'll have to figure out what db file that is and extract everything else that is packed with it.
Maybe I wasn't clear enough.. :)
You just put modified files (and only them) in the gamedata folder and the game 'knows' (the 'true' switch in fsgame.ltx) it has to use them instead of the packed ones.. If a file isn't modified, there is no need to extract it to gamedata folder, 'coz it will slow (a bit) the game -at least when loading/changing area- or crash the game completely.
Good modding, Stalker..