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Author Topic: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles  (Read 1009 times)

Offline abenavides

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Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« on: July 30, 2016, 01:27:19 PM »
Where I go off on tangents and play around with hare-brained tech ideas ...

In a past life, I coded a for a living, so I like to fool around with tech languages  to learn new tricks.
I've been playing with the latest Visual Studio as I've never done anything major with the .net languages and it's been going well. Easier than I thought.

As a long range goal, I should really convert EZHero to VStudio as the VB6 it was originally written in is way obsolete. Someday I won't be able to maintain it using VB6.
Not sure if it will be possible yet, as EZHero has lots of VB6 "tricks" to make things work :)

QUESTION: What OS do people use these days? I'm on Win10 (is there a way to do a poll on this forum?).

BUNDLES
As a quick learning exercise - I created a tiny VStudio app that takes a mesh zip file that you specify and will install it for you in the right place. (It actually does something else which is even more interesting, but I'm still trying to figure out if that's useful).

Basically it's an "EZ" mesh installer or something like what Irrational wanted to do with "Freedom Force Bundles". I know we're all experts here, but maybe it would be of interest to people first getting into the game (there must be someone just getting into the game, no? ... no?) Or if you're like me and just lazy.

The install thing works perfectly. Only issue is there are many ways creators over the years have zipped up their stuff. So it's hard for me to handle every possibility.
For example:

1. When you look in the zip file, there's a subfolder there, with the NIF, keyframes, and skins subfolder all inside that subfolder
This is the easiest to handle. Just copy the subfolder to the characters folder - DONE

2. When you look in the zip file, no subfolder - the NIF, keyframes, and skins subfolder are right there already.
Not too much harder. I can detect this and make a subfolder under characters (using the name of the zip file as the folder name)

Some situations that are trickier:
3. Some zips have "Program Files" and then "Irrational Games" etc etc all the way down till you get to the NIF file.
Haven't looked at this closely , but if it's always exactly the same , maybe I just handle it as a special exception.

4. Some zips have zips inside of them (different versions)

5. Stuff I haven't thought of yet.

I want to pursue it a bit further, but just wanted to see if there was any interest or thoughts on something like this?


www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline WyldFyre

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2016, 03:48:57 PM »
Count me interested. I have long wished for meshes/skins to follow a common format. Sometimes the .zip interiors are just plain frustrating to navigate. A program that automatically installs the zips to the right location would be great.

And <trying not to sound too greedy> if it could do multiple files at once...... well that may be too much to ask.  But even if it only handled one at a time it would be very useful.

Offline Podmark

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2016, 05:55:05 PM »
Interesting idea.
Another scenario for zips: I tend to do all in one packages and when I have to use multiple meshes I'll tend to have two separate folders inside the zip. A rare scenario but just thought I'd mention it.

QUESTION: What OS do people use these days? I'm on Win10 (is there a way to do a poll on this forum?).

We have a dedicated Polls section.
I use Windows 8 right now.

Get my skins at:
HeroForce
my Google page

Offline abenavides

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2016, 07:35:55 PM »
Thanks for the polls info.

Yeah, I have a few multi-packs. Those are gonna be tricky. I might have to just resign myself to not being able to accommodate everything. I'll have to see.

I've just gotten scenario 1 and 2 to work . I figure that's gotta cover a majority of the meshes out there. (75% ?)
If I find an example of #3, I can try to write a workaround for that.

I'd like drag and drop to work eventually - You drag the zip file onto my app, it does the rest. Right now, I'm specifying with a dialog box.. Theoretically I could do multiple files, bit I haven't tried it yet. Just making sure this single file version is stable.

www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline abenavides

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2016, 08:41:25 PM »
OK, got this bad boy working.
Pic below shows my installed meshes in left window.
at top right is my app ("AFF New Tech")
The other big window on the right is my downloads folder where I have a number of zip files I just downloaded from my site.

I can set the path where my meshes go using the "game path" button
I can pick a mesh file using the "Mesh" button
I can then click install and it works.
I can even drag and drop a file from my downloads folder onto my app and then it will install it right away. (drag and drop was easier than I thought to implement)

If you drag and drop multiple files, it will only install one (for now).
It properly handles scenario 1 and 2 which I mentioned above. I think that covers most meshes.
Just to see what would happen I dropped Crimson Avenger & Wing (which has 2 mesh folders in 1 zip file). It worked! Each mesh was installed OK. I was actually surprised. But it makes sense when I looked at my code. If the meshes inside the ZIP are in their own subfolder, the app just copies all the subfolders over, so it works.

www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline detourne_me

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 10:08:59 PM »
 :thumbup: Bravo!
That's a really cool idea,  I'm glad you can implement it.
I use Windows 10 myself, and have a few different paths going (for Steam and GOG).
Will your program be able to unzip .rar and .7z files in addition to .zip?

Offline abenavides

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 03:00:21 AM »
Yep, I am currently using 7z to do the uncompressing - so should be able to tweak it to handle RAR and 7Z files also.

Going to add some safety features to warn you if you are going to overwrite an existing mesh and allow you to stop.
(The first time I tested this, I wiped out my characters folder ! :) luckily, I usually don't have much in there usually)

Also may get rid of the Install button. No need to really make you click twice to do it. Instead, just select the mesh and it will install (or drag and drop of course , which is pretty cool).

I'm going to test more of the meshes on my site to look for other weird things I may run into. I can commit to at least making sure that all the 1900+ files on my site will work without issues.

Also, I just thought of adding a feature that lets you tell it to automatically install the FFv3R (or FF) version of a mesh if there are multiple meshes. This will work for the way I usually put 2 versions in zip files on my site at least.
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline Epimethee

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 04:54:39 PM »
Installing meshes in FF quickly becomes a chore, so this is very, very nice!

(As for the OS question… Mac OS. :P FWIW, WINE is mostly emulating Windows XP.)
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2016, 05:30:37 PM »
A flurry of improvements: (liking this new dev tool)

- Got RAR support working. Had to switch from 7z to UAR as RAR is proprietary and only UAR was handling it. 7Z should work also, but I don't have any 7z mesh archives to test with handy.

- got rid of the Mesh text box (it wasn't used for anything really) and added a little status message at bottom of form to tell me what's happening.

- Added more error-checking - it now stops you from trying non RAR,ZIP, 7Z files. It also will double-check that it unzipped anything before it proceeds.

I also now have multi-select working everywhere. You can choose multiple zips from the file dialog or drag and drop multiple zips onto the app.
It's so cool to install a folder of meshes all at once!

Still to do:
- Need to add more options to the game path button (so it works like the ezhero one)
- Maybe a log you can check?
- that feature to automatically set it up for FF or FFv3r if there's an option in the zip file
- testing all the meshes on my site (which should go much faster now that I can do multi-select!)
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline daglob

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2016, 06:29:06 PM »
For an assortment of reasons I have Freedom Force on my D drive. It often causes problems, but I can't be the only one with this kind of non-standard installation.

Just something to take into consideration.

Offline abenavides

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 08:00:09 PM »
The game path is fully customizable (that's why there's a button :) )
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2016, 08:49:39 PM »
Oh, and BTW I think I can get this to work for hero files too.

Only issue would be skins. Problem is that there's no way to tell the skin what mesh it belongs to.
Thinking about this ....
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2016, 03:01:01 AM »
OK, the mesh installer gizmo is just about ready.
I've added a Settings screen where you set the mesh folders for FF and FFv3R (same as I have in EZHero). All the common install paths are in the pulldowns, but you can also type in any path (or select it from a dialog by pressing the button to the left of the pulldown). Once you do this once, it remembers it for you.

I've made the main screen smaller since it only needs 3 buttons: Settings (pulls up the settings screen), Select Mesh to pick one or more meshes to install from a dialog, and Done to close the app. There's also a pulldown to let you pick which game you are installing meshes for. (this is also remembered for you)

Just going to test this with all the meshes on my site now!




www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2016, 07:29:11 PM »
Have added the code that automatically switches to the ffv3r version of a mesh if there are multiple ones in the zip.
This only works for zips that do it the way I've been doing it on my site (ffv3r version of a nif is called "ffv3r_character.nif").
But it makes such a difference to just drag a zip file onto the app and it's ready to play for whatever game you chose.

Found a problem with a zip I had where some files were read-only. Will look into a code fix, but I fixed the file manually for now. (male_basic_rifle)

As a stress test, I loaded all 85 of the Beyonder meshes on my site at once into the app. It took about 2 minutes, but I ended up with 85 meshes all installed for ffv3r and ready to use! Well almost! One issue - The packages I made for Beyonder's male variants aren't quite ready to use. But I can fix them by just organizing a bit differently. Will try this out.
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2016, 03:47:43 AM »
For an assortment of reasons I have Freedom Force on my D drive. It often causes problems, but I can't be the only one with this kind of non-standard installation.

Just something to take into consideration.

Yeah, I've got a bit of a "Non-Standard" set up as well for my Custom Characters. I've found that it 's a little bit easier to keep track of Characters, and it seems to cut the load time a little bit in the Rumble Room.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Offline trebean

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2016, 09:18:06 PM »
For an assortment of reasons I have Freedom Force on my D drive. It often causes problems, but I can't be the only one with this kind of non-standard installation.

Just something to take into consideration.

Yeah, I've got a bit of a "Non-Standard" set up as well for my Custom Characters. I've found that it 's a little bit easier to keep track of Characters, and it seems to cut the load time a little bit in the Rumble Room.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Wait, you can do that? But won't the game be unable to read it if you were to create the character there instead of EZHero?

I used to have the game installed in my D: Drive but it was in conflict with how FFX worked (Since I dunno for some reason but it can't detect the Steam Version which I had installed in another drive so I had to download the GOG Version and place it inside an Irrational Games Folder in my main drive so that it looks like an original installation) maybe someone can look into it and make it Steam compatible? There should still be new blood getting into the game since it was recently  featured in a Humble Bundle bundle and often gets cited in a lot of recommended Superhero Games. If there was a way to implement Steam Workshop support into the game to make modding and installing mods easier, I imagine that it would get a bit more traction too but that's very unlikely since that would mean that the current publisher would have to get someone to update the game and do some improvements to the engine(Man I'd love for this game to get some more graphics settings, Anti Aliasing would do the 3D Models here good).

Offline abenavides

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2016, 11:42:10 PM »
I've used FFX on GOG and Steam versions without any issues.
Do you mean for FF or FFv3R?

Yeah, I noticed the humble bundle the other day. Cool!
The tool I'm building in this thread should make it much easier to install meshes so hopefully will help people out as well.
re: Mods. I had a "mod launcher" in progress at one point. I'll revisit eventually.
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2016, 01:31:22 AM »
For an assortment of reasons I have Freedom Force on my D drive. It often causes problems, but I can't be the only one with this kind of non-standard installation.

Just something to take into consideration.

Yeah, I've got a bit of a "Non-Standard" set up as well for my Custom Characters. I've found that it 's a little bit easier to keep track of Characters, and it seems to cut the load time a little bit in the Rumble Room.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Wait, you can do that? But won't the game be unable to read it if you were to create the character there instead of EZHero?


I place my Meshes/Skins in the "Characters" folder originally to create a Basic Hero File, then I move it to whatever Folder I want it in and use EZHero to point the Hero File to it. And whenever I get around to it, I can finish creating my Hero File. Mind you, my Library is a bit of a mess right now because I'm re-organizing (My OCD at work), but otherwise it's not a problem.

Offline trebean

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2016, 07:23:57 AM »
I've used FFX on GOG and Steam versions without any issues.
Do you mean for FF or FFv3R?

Yeah, I noticed the humble bundle the other day. Cool!
The tool I'm building in this thread should make it much easier to install meshes so hopefully will help people out as well.
re: Mods. I had a "mod launcher" in progress at one point. I'll revisit eventually.
for FFv3R, for some reason the Install Directory doesn't correctly reflect where the game is installed. Though that could be because the game is on the D: Drive?

For an assortment of reasons I have Freedom Force on my D drive. It often causes problems, but I can't be the only one with this kind of non-standard installation.

Just something to take into consideration.

Yeah, I've got a bit of a "Non-Standard" set up as well for my Custom Characters. I've found that it 's a little bit easier to keep track of Characters, and it seems to cut the load time a little bit in the Rumble Room.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Wait, you can do that? But won't the game be unable to read it if you were to create the character there instead of EZHero?


I place my Meshes/Skins in the "Characters" folder originally to create a Basic Hero File, then I move it to whatever Folder I want it in and use EZHero to point the Hero File to it. And whenever I get around to it, I can finish creating my Hero File. Mind you, my Library is a bit of a mess right now because I'm re-organizing (My OCD at work), but otherwise it's not a problem.
Ah that seems like a good way to organize it

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2016, 11:00:24 PM »
I should mention that I don't know how well this works with FFX though. I usually keep my Hero Files pretty simple since I usually only run the Game to test my Skopes and FX.

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2016, 04:26:29 PM »
You're saying you installed your Steam games to D:? AS long as you specified that folder when you installed FFX, I would think it should be ok.

I'm probably not a good person to ask, though. I barely use FFX myself (though I will have to get more into it as I start redoing hero files).
I like the AI it adds to watch mode mainly. (and I gotta have Summoner powers for GLs)

On the tool (which still has no name) - I've been doing testing by working through all meshes on my site. Beyonder's are all OK except for the male variant packs I made. I know how to fix those the easy way (copy keyframes to each subfolder) but I want to explore a way with a little code that will let me keep the packs as they are.

I'm going through C6's meshes now. He did hexes for lots of his skins. Most are fine , but sometimes the zip files have other zip files in them. I'm just reorganizing them properly so my tool installs them without and fuss. Adding keyframes and making FFv3R versions when needed as I go. Up to the "H" characters now.
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2016, 11:57:36 PM »
Found and killed a nasty bug that would sometimes wipe out my whole characters folder! With that vanquished, the tool is much safer now. The worst you can do is install something that doesn't work.

I'm still going through all meshes on my site, Finished Beyonder and C6 and halfway through DaGlob's work. Skipped a few multi-packs as those are going to be tricky to handle.

I can easily handle a pack that has multiple meshes. But some packs have mostly skins and a couple of meshes and this is a problem. Since I am really not handling skins at all.

I would love to handle skins also, but the main issue is that there's no set way to tell the app where to install the skin without you know, telling it!
I've thought of a couple of ways to handle this, but not crazy about either.

1. Add a little text file with a special name into the zip that just has the folder name of the mesh this skins belongs to in it.
Pros: Easy to do, can handle packs as the file could contain multiple entries.
Cons: Have to create these little files for every skin. Which though easy, would take a while. Plus, if I'm the only one doing it, then it won't work with every skin people download from wherever.

2. Prompt you for the mesh for every file.  a bit more work, but I could create a list of meshes you have installed and they would pop up in a list when you try to install a skin.
Pros: handles any skin file.
Cons: More work for me (:( ), and also slows down the whole installing that works so fast now (I can install 100 meshes in 2 minutes). Still, it is probably still faster than the manual installing of skins. (and easier for a user).

Don't know ...
www.alexff.com
Creator of EZ Danger Room, EZFX, EZHero, The JLA Mod, The X Mod, Superhero TV, & famous Hero Recipes, coming up: New mods.

Offline daglob

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2016, 02:17:20 AM »
An alternative would be to include the FFv3R skins too, maybe in .dds format. I could do that, I just always went for a smaller file size.

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2016, 08:43:16 AM »
Hmmm...Would it be possible to combine this with a Nif Converter? Or even a DDS Converter?

Offline Incredible Bulk

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Re: Alex's Freedom Fortress - Division Omega - Bundles
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2016, 06:19:39 PM »
Hmmm...Would it be possible to combine this with a Nif Converter? Or even a DDS Converter?
this would a great time saver