How to install / why are the packages not described?

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How to install / why are the packages not described?

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Post by Thunderbird » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi!
First of all, thanks to the website and the community to working on all this stuff. Really appreciate.

But I have to say that this website is not really user friendly. For new users it's really confusing what the "XWAU Craft Pack v1.5" package and the "DTM's Super Backdrops" package are and what's the difference between them. There are just these two packages and that's it. No description at all.

Ok, my English is not the best, but I've read the whole FAQ and I did'nt find any answer to this question, and this is propably the first question every new user is asking himself. Also a short look into the forum (where I thought should be an easy to find (pinned) installation instruction for beginners) didn't give answers.

So if I look at the pictures which are above the packages, and at the package names itself, I would say that the "XWAU Craft Pack v1.5" includes space ships and the "DTM's Super Backdrops" package includes backgrounds/ planets. But I've installed the craft pack and then wanted to install the Backdrops package but the installer says that Backdrops is already installed. Is that normal? Does the Craft Pack also include the Backdrops? Very confusing everything.
The planets are still looking quite ugly (I only made it to the 5th mission), so I'm not sure whether Backdrops is really installed.

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Post by JeremyaFr » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:30 am

Hello,
DTM's Super Backdrops is included in the XWAU Craft Pack.

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Post by Thunderbird » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:37 pm

JeremyaFr wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:30 am
Hello,
DTM's Super Backdrops is included in the XWAU Craft Pack.
Good to know, thanks.

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Post by kkang2828 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:36 am

I agree. The whole project is not very noob friendly. All this opts and hooks and codes and stuff are very professional and hard to understand if you aren't a computer geek and/or have been with the project since its early days. And it doesn't help that there aren't any guides or tutorials that explain everything in a user-friendly manner.

It's hard to get a grip on exactly which files and mods do which things. And if I've researched everything correctly, not all the mods/fixes/patches are compiled on the download page and require some research to find them.

Please remember that not all of us here are modding veterans or computer experts. There are those of us who just want to use all this wonderful stuff and thank the creators. I know saying this might be too demanding or disrespectful, but a detailed tutorial on how to use XWAUP would be really helpful.
:hilfe: :respect:

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Post by kkang2828 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 am

Also, there isn't any explanation about all the other mods that are out there and their relation to XWAUP.

It might just be me, but I really don't like it when things are disorganized. It confuses outsiders and newcomers and really decreases that thing's usability.

Maybe after the project is over(hopefully in the next few years), the XWAU team(which I guess includes most of the currently active X-Wing series modders) can get to work organizing everything related to the X-Wing series games and transform this site into the center of the X-Wing series game community.

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Post by Trevor » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:26 pm

Essentially you will install ONE of two packages - XWAUP OR DSUCP.

Both these packages contain everything on the download page with DSUCP containing a few token extras.

If you want to install an additional package like Rebels or Tie Fighter conversion, you install XWAUP first then the additional package.

The rest of the individual packages on the download page are for backwards compatibility with old installations instead of downloading and re-installing a huge package again - however, due to hooks etc re-installing might be the better way to go.

Trev
Last edited by Trevor on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by General_Trageton » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:18 pm

kkang2828 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 am
Maybe after the project is over (...), the XWAU team(...) can get to work organizing everything related to the X-Wing series games and transform this site into the center of the X-Wing series game community.
It already is, kid :P XD

As Trevor said, the XWAUP or DSUCP are the base installers, everything else, i.e. models, missions and shipsetss, all unrelated to the XWAUP) can be installed onto these.

Without going into too much detail, efforts are currently being made to consolidate and archive all the knowledge about XWA modding and its use in a single location.
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Post by kkang2828 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:08 am

Trevor wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:26 pm
Essentially you will install ONE of two packages - XWAUP OR DSUCP.

Both these packages contain everything on the download page with DSUCP containing a few token extras.

If you want to install an additional package like Rebels or Tie Fighter conversion, you install XWAUP first then the additional package.

The rest of the individual packages on the download page are for backwards compatibility with old installations instead of downloading and re-installing a huge package again - however, due to kooks etc re-installing might be the better way to go.

Trev
Thanks for clearing that part up. But you see, you just casually mentioned "kooks" like it's nothing, but normal people like me think 'What is this guy talking about?' And what exactly does XWAUP/DSUCP do?
General_Trageton wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:18 pm

Without going into too much detail, efforts are currently being made to consolidate and archive all the knowledge about XWA modding and its use in a single location.
I like details, so on which website is this effort going on? And what efforts?

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Post by Trevor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:11 pm

"Hooks" - erm, Dynamic Link Libraries for Runtime Patching of Main Application Executable, Configurable via initialisation files of corresponding Section Key/Value pairs...

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Post by General_Trageton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:49 am

I do not believe anyone without basic programming knowledge understood that.
In short: Hooks are basically small patches that allow functions or fixes to be included into the game program.

@kkane2828 I shall leave it up to you to discover this new source of knowledge since it is already visible and within your grasp. Discovery by one’s own curiosity is often way more gratifying than having everything served like a ready-made dish. As a hint: I would encourage you to examine the website menu for recent alterations.
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Post by JeremyaFr » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:19 am

A hook is a way to inject code into XWingAlliance.exe. It enhances, adds a feature to, or fixes a problem with the game.

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Post by Darksaber » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:11 pm

Wow look at that, 2 good clear examples, explaining something without trying to be a smarty pants lol :D
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Post by Trevor » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:42 pm

(lol) I was being pedantic :P

But yes, use the wiki (to be honest I just noticed it yesterday)

Trev

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Post by General_Trageton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:46 pm

Darksaber wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:11 pm
Wow look at that, 2 good clear examples, explaining something without trying to be a smarty pants lol :D
Aw and here I was trying so hard to sound smartassy!! Reading the Thrawn novel atm, his way of speech does kinda rub off at times :D
Last edited by General_Trageton on Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Darksaber » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:02 pm

oh trust me your more than enough smartassy!! mate lol :?
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Post by kkang2828 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:11 am

Trevor wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:42 pm
(lol) I was being pedantic :P

But yes, use the wiki (to be honest I just noticed it yesterday)

Trev
I noticed the wiki today as well. But it isn't linked on the website menu for some reason.

While it is better then nothing, it isn't exactly what I was asking for. What I meant was a detailed tutorial on how to use these mods plus a database of all the mods/missions currently available(along with their descriptions), not how create them.

But since the wiki is still under construction, we'll have to see how it grows.

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Post by Darksaber » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:45 am

Try clearing your cache or refreshing the page a few times, the links there!

In the great words of The Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want"
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.”
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Post by Driftwood » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:14 am

kkang2828 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:11 am
I noticed the wiki today as well. But it isn't linked on the website menu for some reason.

While it is better then nothing, it isn't exactly what I was asking for. What I meant was a detailed tutorial on how to use these mods plus a database of all the mods/missions currently available(along with their descriptions), not how create them.

But since the wiki is still under construction, we'll have to see how it grows.
kkang2828 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 am
Also, there isn't any explanation about all the other mods that are out there and their relation to XWAUP.

It might just be me, but I really don't like it when things are disorganized. It confuses outsiders and newcomers and really decreases that thing's usability.

Maybe after the project is over(hopefully in the next few years), the XWAU team(which I guess includes most of the currently active X-Wing series modders) can get to work organizing everything related to the X-Wing series games and transform this site into the center of the X-Wing series game community.
Other than your post count being 4 and register date being 05JAN19, I'm going to assume that you're new here and go easy on the sarcasm since DS has already covered that. (Thanks!) But I will warn you I'm going to be a tad short, but I hope not to come across as condescending. The fact your new to this strikes me as something of an oddity, and I'm tentatively curious as to the details of you even finding our page.

1. Install instructions for the mod(s) are included in every single installer file.
1a. Descriptions could probably be better regarding each downloadable file since there isn't a description besides the file name outside of the Hook files.
That said, it's pretty obvious what each installer does just by looking at the name and thumbnail, especially if you read the FAQ and know what this project is about to begin with.

2. The wiki perhaps may have more details later regarding community, non XWAU assets.
2a. But throwing you a bone I'll list the currently relevant sites. MTD Industries, Vince's X-Wing HQ, Darksaber's X-Wing Station, and my page linked through my signature. Not to say there aren't other mod pages, but I can't definitively say which ones are still functional without looking. (Do that yourself)

If you click the links page notice there are four links to XWAU members pages (mine hasn't been added to the list yet), and following that are the community links, of which some of those are dead ends in some cases what with being defunct given the age of the game.

3. Read the FAQ

4. I'll agree and disagree on the whole XWAU not being noob friendly. Firstly you're wrong. Everything XWAU ranging from the ship model installs to the new hooks is literally a handful of clicks from being installed for you due to the nature of the installers and the extensive readme files DS has worked up over the years that preface every single install.
Secondly you're right. Updating your hooks unless you read the documentation, is not intuitive.
It is not uncommon for "us experienced" users (relatively speaking) to ask for tons of clarification in the "how" the new hooks work so new things can be made and old things can be updated to take advantage of them. So if you feel confused with the editing portion, you're in good company. Just for point of reference the hooks are relatively new say in the last two years, only in recent months have we even really gotten a foothold on implementing the new features, even "us modders" are learning as we go along. (And DS, DTM, and GT have been doing this a long time).

4.a Hooks have no relevance to the end user provided they are kept up to date, which can be done either installing the latest installer or more reliably using the auto-downloaded in the hooks thread and copied into the XWA folder.

4.b Note: JM's expansion guide had a lot of useful "how to" information regarding most aspects of XWA ranging from installing mods, new missions, ect. to creating mods yourself. I believe his site may be down now.

Simply put as the end user, you have it easy. Download, read the instructions, press install. Even installing ships manually isn't really that hard once you familiarize yourself with the process. Almost all the mods available online come with a readme that tells you exactly how to install the relevant files if there is not an .exe or .xmod installer provided. Some of the most ancient do not, but those are rare to find these days.

It's pretty obvious you've not looked around much yet. Please take some time and familiarize yourself with things if you plan on sticking around. And continue to ask questions, but take it on yourself to do some reading through the forums.

5. Furthermore since you clearly do not have historical context I'll try and summarize a few things since nobody else has bothered to do so, and hopefully it helps you grasp where we're at regarding our rather isolated small community at this late stage "of the game".

Something you need to remember, or perhaps realize since I've no idea how old you are or what your point of reference may be, but XWA is 20 years old this year. Official mod support is and always has been non-existent, many of the old content creators have moved on to other things. Drakken, Flavid, Atx, Abolisher, ect. et-al. and their websites are entirely defunct. Gone. Don't exist. Along with a majority of their opts that haven't been haphazardly backed up by those of us that are veritable digital pack rats and have yet to be re-hosted due to whatever reason.

I want to make this painfully clear, there are exactly five people working on the XWAU semi-actively, our coder Jeremya being the most active. Average opt releases to the project are 1-2 per year at this point due to many outside factors. Other opt releases not counting my own, simply down to the nature of their origins, average perhaps 3-5 per year. So you are correct in your presumption that we are the most currently active.

Now, this is even before my time (or I was not involved) but I would say the only other "central" hub was SWcrusade.net, maybe TheForce.net back in the day, unless I am mis-remembering and any of our more venerable members feel free to correct me on this. I vaguely recall LA's rather toxic forums too.This forum is the central hub. Period. It's not up for debate, all things related to X-Wing Alliance that "we" are aware of existing goes through our forums. We do not have social media pages, and our ModdB I believe is curated by GT, if that even still exists. This isn't collective ego talking either, it's merely presenting the facts.

6. We still have quite a ways to go on the project, and unless more models relevant to the project get pumped out more than 1-2 a year, then there's probably another 10 years left before the project is complete.

7. Any ships that were not included in the base game are not affiliated with the XWAUP in any official capacity. It's stated in some fashion in the FAQ. Use what you like.

8. Trevor already told you that all the "latest" patches are included in the XWAUP patch. Individual installers are released between craft pack updates and will be annotated as being released after X date so you know what to install in addition to the main pack on the news page, and on the thread for the latest updated file(s) linked there.

9. Goodnight! And if you have any other comments or questions, post away.

Edit: Also, your suggestions have being noted and are not being disregarded, there are some areas of documentation that could do with an update, and I would expect it to be done so via the wiki in due course.
Last edited by Driftwood on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by General_Trageton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:03 am

Actually, JM‘s site still exists, right here under our very noses: http://www.darksaber.xwaupgrade.com/XWA ... ion_Guide/

Oh and I'm not maintaining the modDB page, that's someone else's doing :D
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Post by keiranhalcyon7 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 am

I'm gonna agree with kkang2828 on this (surprise), for one particular reason: the readmes - which I agree, are quite comprehensive - are not viewable directly on the website. Yes, the actual installation process is fairly straightforward once you get started, but there's no way to figure out what you actually want to download and install without downloading it and starting the installation process (* unless you happen to know that the installers can be manually extracted with 7-zip). There's not even any note that the installers have embedded readmes. So getting started is really a bit of a leap of faith.

Beyond that, I would suggest adding a link to DS's page, with an explanation that DSUCP is a superset of XWAUCP. A note by each individual download that's included in the full pack would also be helpful (or vice-versa, like a "new!" banner on the icon), since this is not evident without some digging on the news page (which, incidentally, has no link in the sidebar), but I recognize that that would be a bit of a bore to maintain, so maybe just a note: check the news page for more recent releases.

Also, if your estimate is 1-2 craft per year, 2018 was a bumper year. There are currently over a dozen craft more recent than the last pack, which was cut almost a year ago.

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Post by Darksaber » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:17 pm

keiranhalcyon7 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 am
(* unless you happen to know that the installers can be manually extracted with 7-zip).
And what benefit do you get from extracting the files?
You still have to manually install items, which by the way thanks to you, is now going to get a lot harder, how would you like it if files are extracted using 7zip they extract to the same directory, with the same name, meaning you'll either have to overwrite each file or files will be named in numeric order!

The only way you'll find out which file is which will be by size, then you'll have to rename them, plus it'll probably be impossible to install the patches in the order that they are supposed to be installed.

Thanks to you this is going to be fun writing the script :) Muhahahahaha
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Post by Driftwood » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:59 pm

keiranhalcyon7 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 am

Also, if your estimate is 1-2 craft per year, 2018 was a bumper year. There are currently over a dozen craft more recent than the last pack, which was cut almost a year ago.


2018 we had 11 opts updated thanks to the hook related improvements.
2018 one of those upgrades added 6 totally new craft variants which I'll include in new opt count for the year for sake of accuracy of numbers. 8 other new opts for 2018 as single variant types, for a whopping 14.
2017 1 opt
2016 1 opt
2015 1 opt

Dtm is responsible for 3 upgraded opts to date, 3 new ones over the last four years. Warb is responsible for 5 new opts thus far 2018 alone. Darksaber and myself are responsible for two new opts, 3 updated ones for 2017-2018.

Gt is the only other member to put anything out recently, as of 2014 with the ATR.

The average official opt is like 1 new opt per year, since 2012.

Non xwau opts dont count.

2018 was a marker year, and hopefully 2019 continues the trend, but several new XWAU opts are less likely than several updated opts.
Last edited by Driftwood on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by General_Trageton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm

Driftwood wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:59 pm

Gt is the only other member to put anything out recently, as of 2014 with the ATR.
Myeah I get the hint, thanks! :D Working on it!!!!
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Post by Driftwood » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:14 pm

General_Trageton wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm
Driftwood wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:59 pm

Gt is the only other member to put anything out recently, as of 2014 with the ATR.
Myeah I get the hint, thanks! :D Working on it!!!!
No pressure :p

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Post by Forceflow » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:41 pm

keiranhalcyon7 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 am
A note by each individual download that's included in the full pack would also be helpful (or vice-versa, like a "new!" banner on the icon), since this is not evident without some digging on the news page (which, incidentally, has no link in the sidebar), but I recognize that that would be a bit of a bore to maintain, so maybe just a note: check the news page for more recent releases.
I must say I do like that idea and I think it wouldn't actually be hard to implement. I'll have a look at that
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