Mtiple XWA version Jukebox

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Mtiple XWA version Jukebox

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DTM
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Post by DTM » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:59 am

Ok, this is not a request. I don't like requests...it's only an idea!

We know that XWA has a limited number of slots to install new crafts. That's frustrating, because there are so many good opts arounde here!

Many players are not familiar with the concept of multiple xwa versions: it's possible to keep and play with different main folder of the game. Simply, install the game once, than make a copy of the main folder, before to customize the game as you prefear.

Actually I have 5 different active versions of XWA, but they could be more. It's only a matter of location of the main directory. Example: I have XWA by GOG and the main directory is here:

D:/GOG/XwingAlliance

In the GOG folder I've created multiple directory for my different versions of XWA:

D:/GOG/ORIGINAL/XwingAlliance
D:/GOG/DSUCP/XwingAlliance
D:/GOG/REBCP/XwingAlliance
D:/GOG/XWAUP/XwingAlliance
D:/GOG/TEST/XwingAlliance
....

If I want to play with one of these versions, simply I move the XWA main directory outside the sub-directory:

D:/GOG/XwingAlliance

To create you own system of versions, you have to install the game by steps:

0. Create new folders as showed above.
1. Install XWA and make a copy of the main directory in your ORIGINAL folder
2. Install XWAUP and make a copy in you XWAUP folder
3. Uninstall the XWAUP from your actual main directory (uninstall needed to install DSUCP)
4. Install the DSUCP and make a copy in your DSUCP folder
5. Install the REBCP and move the main directory in your REBCP folder.

To customize my personal 5th, 6th, 7th version, I make a new copy of the XWA version I prefear....It's only a matter of HD space...

This could appear a little "dirty", because you have to handle manually with the main folder, and the icon of the shortcuts on the desctop may temporary loose the link of their custonized image...

Here the idea: would it be possible to ceate an app that handels automatically the location of the multiple versions of the XWA?
That's what I image: to click on a link on my desktop to enter in the App for multiple XWA versions. Than I select wich version I want to play and launch the game. The App administrates the position of the version like a jukebox.
The GUI of the app should already have the option to select classic version, like Original TG, XWAUP, DSUCO, TFTC, Redux, REBCP, but I should also be able to customize the different options, to insert or delate new custom versions...

What do you think about? Could it be done? Would it be a good impovement for the players?

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Rich C
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Post by Rich C » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:35 am

A Shipset Launcher/Mod Manager. Yes, it's perfectly possible; one way to do it would be like DS' installers, only with different "profiles" to switch between. Where DS' backup the original files, it would also backup different profiles you saved/installed, and then automagically do the copy operations when you want to switch to vanilla or another set, just as his restores the original game when you uninstall. I'm sure we used to have one or two of these back in the XvT days, when there were a few different shipsets about.

It certainly would make life a little easier for those of us with multiple installs; the question is whether anyone has the time and/or inclination to make one. :D
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Darksaber

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Post by Darksaber » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:58 am

I think the problem would be the registry entries

If you have multiple versions of XWA installed, for each version you select in the app the registry would have to be changed or the directory would have to be renamed to point to that version.

The way any of my installers work is that it is pointed to a specific entry in the registry

that being "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC/X-Wing Alliance/v1.0" "Install Path"

If your using a X64 version of Windows this path does not exist, but it works due to the way Windows works

The true path for an X64 machine is "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Wow6432Node/LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC/X-Wing Alliance/v1.0" "Install Path"

but if I where to put this in my installers it wouldn't find XWA on a X86 machine

Anyhow, the important thing is the "Install Path", if my installers don't find anything in the "Install Path" it will ask you to reinstall XWA

It doesn't matter which version of XWA you use Disc, GoG or Steam, they all use the same registry location, as long as the installers have a "Install Path" it will always find your XWA DIR

Your "Install Path" could be anything as simple as "D:/GOG/ORIGINAL/XwingAlliance" to "X:/Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious/Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch/X-Wing Alliance"

My installers will always find your XWA DIR

..................

OK my point being, I'm not sure how you would implementing multiple paths, I think there is only one simple way you could do it

You place your App in the same Directory as your Multiple versions of XWA, this way the app would always find the XWA DIR or in the case Multiple DIRS "D:/GOG/XWAMultiApp.exe"

Whichever version of XWA you select in the app it would have to write that path to your Registry

Probably the best way to name your multiple versions of XWA would be something like

D:/GOG/XwingAlliance_ORIG
D:/GOG/XwingAlliance_DSUCP
D:/GOG/XwingAlliance_REBCP
D:/GOG/XwingAlliance_XWAUP
D:/GOG/XwingAlliance_TEST

This way the Multiple versions are kept in the same generic folder i.e. D:/GOG instead of being separated by another DIR I.e. D:/GOG/ORIGINAL or D:/GOG/DSUCP

If the registry isn't changed, it will always point to your original installation path i.e. "D:/GOG/XwingAlliance" so if you try to install any other installer it would always be installed to the original path (if it exists)

Next thing would be to change the desktop links as they would have to point to each new path the app is pointing too.

Or

You simply use the app to start either the launcher (Alliance.exe) or launch the game (XwingAlliane.exe) this option would probable be easier

Anyhow that's my two penn'orth worth, just a little advice :D
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keiranhalcyon7
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Post by keiranhalcyon7 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:16 am

XwingAlliance.exe is runnable in-place even if your directory name is different. Just create one link on your desktop for each flavor you've created. Yeah, the installer path detection would still need to be worked around by moving directories around, but installing a mod is a less common operation than just running the game.
Rich C wrote:A Shipset Launcher/Mod Manager
What ever happened to XIS/xmod (first on the "installation utilities" page of http://www.darksaber.xwaupgrade.com/)? Did it have some fundamental incompatibility with XWAUP/DSUCP?

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Post by Darksaber » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:25 am

The complexity or either the DSUCP or the XWACP installers made XIS redundant, don't get me wrong XIS works fine and still does, my first installers where all made with XIS, then I found the NSIS installer system which I found pretty easy to use. Defiant who made XIS was even good enough to create a *.dll so I could patch any sort of .txt .plt files and the exe's

So it made it simpler to use the NSIS installers
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keiranhalcyon7
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Post by keiranhalcyon7 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:41 am

:/ NSIS isn't a mod manager, though.

Anyway, the ultimate solution, really, would be a hook that could read a custom craft list for each mission and swap in all aspects of the target crafts. Then you could have unlimited craft "installed"; you would just have a limit to the number of craft types used in any given mission. (Such a hook would also, I think, obviate the need for any direct exe editing to change craft stats.) That might sound like a pipe dream, but based on Jeremy's work to date (especially the opt-swapper), I wouldn't put it past him. ;)

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Post by JaggedFel » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:02 pm

Darksaber wrote:I think the problem would be the registry entries

If you have multiple versions of XWA installed, for each version you select in the app the registry would have to be changed or the directory would have to be renamed to point to that version...
I think you misunderstood where he was going with the concept. The base game would be installed to <install_dir>, then everything is just copied out to <install_dir>/ORIGINAL. DSUCP would be installed normally in <install_dir>, then copied out to <install_dir>/DSUCP. To play vanilla, you'd have to purge <install_dir> and then copy everything back out of /ORIGINAL. All shortcut, registry values, etc would always be pointing at the normal <install_dir>, you'd just be switching out the contents of the directory.

DTM: as Rich said, this is very doable. Ideally it would even compare files against the ORIGINAL install and only copy what was changed to save on disk space so you're not duplicating a ton of stuff that never changes. I'd see it as being as generic as possible, so you'd have to manually "register" with the manager where your ORIGINAL (or whatever name you want, really) is, as well as where each flavor lives. You wouldn't even need them to live under the installation directory, you could put them wherever you want. The main installation would be found from the Registry easy enough.
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Darksaber

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Post by Darksaber » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:22 pm

Ah thanks for explaining it, I realise now I don't know what f*** I was talking about, thanks for the clarification!
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Post by jackalopefeet » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:08 am

I'm interested in pursuing this.
Looking into it.
A replacement launcher is a goal I have.
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