Total Conversion Mod Starter Pack by DwnUndr, May 2010.
Please include this unaltered text file in your mod release so the credits are given properly. Create a separate text file for your own credits.
You may remove the other text files in the root directory that start with DWN_ to a safe place on your hardrive and add to them for your modding ease.
This Pack is intended to help with the hardest part of creating your own TCM; getting rid of the vanilla systems and starting from nearly scratch with no current errors (but not so stripped that you would have no clue where to start).
This would also be useful for creating small mini-mods. For instance a Start system, a system with only fighters and a system with only Capitol ships for having inter-server tournaments. Or each new system could have ships from a specific mod (get permission first!).
What resources are built into this Pack?
The official 1.1 server patch by Microsoft
Quickfix 1.0c by =EOA=Louva-Deus
Aldebarans Modular Station Resource One and Two
Thousands of additional fixes beyond the above patches and tens of thousands of syntax and whitespace corrections. Lots of non-TCM related ini fixes (like vanilla systems and singleplayer files) but needed to show the zero errors. Many of the singleplayer fixes to remove the errors may break singleplayer, so use these fixes on your vanilla mods at your own risk! Open singleplayer will still work fine.
Please note that I have not gone through every single vanilla ini to fix syntax and whitespace, only the ones I used in the UnderVerse (reverse engineered for this Starter Pack).
Bejaymacs OSP tweak to allow single player mode
Gibbon's Rapier Gun and Tizona effects fix
FlyByU's Ew02 and Ew06 hole fixes
3.0 Mod version number for this Total Conversion Mod Starter Pack. See below on how to change this before you release a mod!
The newest known Hardware update pack
The Global Server Workaround v1.0 by w0d4a
StarArch fixes (from a post on the old TLR board, author unknown)
Three dlls from 'Empty DLL' made by Giskard. I used the first DLL for name and info cards, the second for commodities and the third for weapons and ships. Choose the method that works best for you. From the tutorials you will notice that many things NEED to be added to the original vanilla DLLs or they will not function properly.
There are some additional text files in the root folder for your enjoyment ;)
Please note that since the Start System has a jumphole exit, any waypoint set from it will be invalid (a vanilla feature heh). The bonus is that if you make it so you can't return to the Start System, then waypoints set from other systems will not try to cross into the Start System as a shortcut.
Sur fixes for Aldebarans stations, by Mirkha
What things exist in this Starter Pack?
A start system (with one planet, missions and npcs), a jumphole to a second system (with a base, missions, npcs, a wreck and a nebula) and a jumpgate to a third system (with one planet, a tradelane, missions, npcs, and a small asteroid field with mining turned on).
The wreck has the flag to allow it to be looted by the same player each time the flserver is restarted.
The start ship has been changed to the Rhino so you can see where and how to change it.
Everything has been named to make it easy for you to find them in the dlls so you can change them to your own names.
Miscellaneous questions and answers:
Eh? What do you mean by vanilla, TCM, singleplayer, Open Singleplayer and Sytax errors?
Vanilla: The original game without any modifications.
TCM: Total Conversion Mod (removing all original systems etc).
Singleplayer: Juni, King, the Hovis racetrack etc.
Open Singleplayer: Starting a mod by yourself without going online and joining a server. You will start in the normal start place and can explore the mod alone.
Syntax errors: vanilla entry: DA_archetype = equipment\models\pilot\ship_pilot.3db, this should be DA_archetype = EQUIPMENT\MODELS\PILOT\ship_pilot.3db to match the capitolization.
How do I use Open SinglePlayer?
Activate your mod and then start Freelancer (without starting a server). Now choose 'New Game' and enjoy! Once you have docked somewhere, you can pick up where you left off by choosing 'Load Game'.
Why did you include all the vanilla system folders etc in this TCM Pack?
So that your mod is error free. If you removed all of these fixes then the old errors would pop up again and you would have to dig through them all each time to see if you have caused any new ones.
You will also see Fp7 and all the StoX bases and systems in universe.ini, all the _path.ini files and in the SYSTEMS folder. These files should NOT be removed if you want a stable TCM, I have done extensive testing. Yes, you can remove the St0x ones but your flserver console and flspew will be full of errors (multiplayer was never intented by DA to be separate from singleplayer).
What FLMM version should I use?
Always use Freelancer Mod Manager version 1.3 as the 1.4 and 1.5 versions have many problems that you don't want.
Is there a limit to the size of a mod that FLMM can handle?
Contrary to what I was told when I asked this question years ago, I have found no limits. It is a great program and easily handles the UnderVerse at 294mb.
Should I place my changes in the mod files themselves or should I use scripting?
Entirely your choice but once a mod gets too large you will have an extremely hard time finding an error if you used scripting. Use it if you must but I would recommend it only for small mods or if you are giving players options as they install.
How do I keep my new mod constantly error free?
First, please note the proper procedure you should follow before running any error checkers or making a test run in your mod. Deactivate all mods, restore all backups. Delete the contents of the Singleplayer and Multiplayer folders in your Accts folder. Start with a fresh Freelancer folder (delete and reinstall or delete and copy from your prepared backup). Since most of the checkers are unable to un-bini vanilla files enmasse, now run Quickfix 1.0c. Now you are ready to activate your mod and test it.
I used four error checking programs and you should do this before each release.
Note that the error checkers are only as good as what the authors programmed into them and each author had a different area that they concentrated on.
For instance Datastorm finds things that none of the other programs do. FLIA concentrates heavily on the singleplayer aspect. FLScan has a built-in path generator which should be good enough for basic mods. If you get larger use the newer Path Utility by Chips. FLEC has gone way beyond and helps to correct many other areas.
Here are the utilities:
Datastorm by SE_HellFire
FLEC (Freelancer Error Checker by Lancer Solurus)
FLIA (Freelancer INI Analyzer) by Bluecat
FLScan by Accushot
While not really a utility, check your flspew after each test as it will often show errors. Ignore the following as no one that I know has ever solved them:
WARNING:General:set_gamma_function() called outside of create_buffers/destroy_buffers
WARNING: Failed to get start location
WARNING:General: DA SYSTEM: trailing references
Also, read your Console for errors. With FLServer running, click 'View' and then 'Console'. Any RED lines must be corrected!
This Starter Pack is now error free by these utilities except for some minor items...
1) Two values in vignetteParams.ini, no one can say they are wrong even though FLIA flags them as 'too many values' so I left them as is.
2) All of the vanilla 'Voice message 2213849798 is invalid for voice 3073825485' type of errors. These are caused because your new bases, systems, ships, npcs etc don't have new wav files associated with them. Ignore these forever or create new ones.
3) 'WARNING: Disconnecting equipment with FATE_UNKNOWN, using FATE_DISAPPEAR'. This warning appears in the console and is from wreck looting.
Please note that if you use Freelancer Explorer it may introduce new errors and will certainly undo the whitespace corrections. New entries will have bad syntax.
As a result of the way these checkers were programmed, there are hundreds of things you could do to your mod that crashes it and no error checker will point out your mistake. Save your mod often and under a new name every few days so you can go back to pre-crash.
What has not been totally converted or added?
The npcs. I can't predict what names and roles you will need so I left the vanilla ones.
The ships. See the answer above. :)
Various exe hacks to enhance the game (like extended scanning ranges, launch voices etc).
What should I constantly update to prevent crashes?
System paths! These are the three _path.ini files in your Universe folder. Every time you add a new system and/or a new jumphole or jumpgate you MUST update the paths or you will CTD when you set a waypoint.
What are the ways to host my mod?
The most common server operator program is Ioncross mk.V.1
Additional treats can be gained by using FLHook or FLAC
How do I make my own unique mod version number?
First visit FreelancerCommunity.net and look through the list of already reserved numbers under the Forum called 'Mod Version Number Reserve List', then request your own there.
Use Reshacker to modify your numbers into the freelancer.exe and flserver.exe
This Starter Pack comes with version 3.0, you NEED to change this before releasing your mod to keep it unique!
Credits (you should include these in your mod release as well):
[RIP]DwnUndr for this Starter Pack
**Aldebarans Modular Station Resource One and II** Thanks to Aldebaran and the Freeworlds Development Team for providing this incredible resource! Visit them at Phpbber.com
Bejaymac for his OSP mod
=EOA=Louva-Deus for the QuickFix 1.0c
StarTrader for his fixes for voice error messages
Buck Danny for his sound archetype fixes
Dragnite for InfocardMap.ini help
w0dk4 for the docking ring exploit fix and the Global Server Workaround
Lancer Solurus for FLEC (Freelancer Error Checker)
SE_HellFire for Datastorm
Bluecat for FLIA (Freelancer INI Analyzer)
Accushot for FLScan
Mirkha for Sur fixes for Aldebarans stations
Microsoft and Digital Anvil for this wonderful game!
© 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Digital Anvil, DirectX, Freelancer, the Microsoft logo, the Microsoft Games Studio logo, the .Net logo, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.