Prepare to unleash the absolute latest in modern weapons technology against the world's most powerful Generals in Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour. In the next era of military strategy and might, you'll need to command a more technologically advanced arsenal to defeat new, more powerful enemies.

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EAGamesLauncher.zip
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tomstefanou
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f339e5f6806848b02511dfbdc045ec41
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Description

A small utility that makes sure EA C&C mods do not conflict any more with one another.

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Zeke_Dlyoung
Zeke_Dlyoung

A few questions:
1. Where would you place the mod files? Do you just install everything in your ZH folder?
2. How exactly does this go about activating each mod? Does it work like other launchers (renaming big files and disabling the default scripts folder)?
3. Can this launcher be used with any mod, or does it only work with certain mods?

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

Hi Zeke_Dlyoung!

1) All mods have to be installed under one directory in order to be discovered. In my case as I had the first decade installed it was convenient to have everything else in there as well. The important part is that all mods are installed in the same parent folder that hosts your Z.H installation. In my case everything is installed in "D:\Program Files\EA Games\The First Decade".

2) What it does essentially is when you run a mod, moves every other mod except the one you want to run and your Z.H one to the bin. That way it makes sure there are no conflicts between the mods. Once it detects that you have stopped playing your mod and exited it restores everything as it was before.

3) Please feel free to give it a go and let me know if you discover that it does not work with certain mods, as I have only tested it with the mods you can see on the attached screenshot.

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Zeke_Dlyoung
Zeke_Dlyoung

How does it know which files belong to which mod, and can it tell whether it needs to disable the ZH scripts or not?

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

Hi Zeke_Dlyoung,
Let me explain based on what i am used to doing.
Prior to installing a mod I create a copy of the Zero Hour folder, i rename it based on the mod name and then this is where i install the mod.
So what this little utility does then is scan for mods in the parent directory and then deletes them at folder level. That way you don't have to worry about the ini files as you will only have the ini file of the mod that you run loaded.
I will prepare a youtube video demonstrating functionality so whilst this being prepared please bear with me...

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

I have now uploaded a small video depicting the functionality of the Launcher. Feel free to view it here: Youtu.be
Apologies in advance for the terrible audio quality.

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Zeke_Dlyoung
Zeke_Dlyoung

Uh, I don't know how to break this to you, but if a mod is in a copy of your ZH folder, it has no way of interfering with other mods. Mods can only interfere with each other if they are installed in the same ZH folder. Your mods may all be in the EA Games folder, but since they are in seperate ZH folder copies, you don't have to delete the others, you can just run the generals.exe program that is in the folder to run the mod you want.

I use this system, in fact I made a tutorial on how to do it before: Docs.google.com

The problem with this method though, is that it uses a lot of space. So if I may make a suggestion, what you could do is make a launcher that looks for mod files saved in a folder inside your ZH folder, and move them to the game folder to run the mod, then after it's done it moves the files back into the mod folder to keep your ZH folder clean. You could also include a feature, that disables the ZH scripts folder, for mods that use their own AI, and maybe the ability to set custom screen resolutions, and run the mod in quickstart and/or window mode.

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

Hi Zeke_Dlyoung!,
I can reassure you that we had quite a lot of issues with the mods even when they are in their own folders. Especially with Shockwave.
Also with one of the Contra mods we were getting quite a few disconnections during multiplayer and all these issues are now gone for us. There are always better ways to do things and that's for sure, I just wanted to share this little tool with you guys because ever since we started using it we haven;t faced any issues again. Thank you for the suggestion though I will look into it :).
Regarding adding code that enables custom screen resolutions etc, although it would be nice, I would not like to interfere more with files that are already being modified. Maybe when I know a bit more about how the whole thing works internally.
Regards,
Tom

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

@Zeke_Dlyoung: I had a look at the document and to be frank this is how I had organized my mods as well, a separate installation for each mod based on a clean copy of the Z.H folder. Still had conflicts though. What I think of doing is add support for the command parameters contained in the linked document. Probably during the weekend :)

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

To anyone interested :)
I got a youtube comment from Chappeh55 asking why don't I copy paste the files somewhere else instead of deleting them. I haven't benchmarked but will give that a go as well and in case of any significant speed increase will adopt.

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Ghost-PC
Ghost-PC

hi this my ideas good work

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Ghost-PC
Ghost-PC

but on .net framework 4 only

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TheAVenger3
TheAVenger3

How can I make it Start my own Mod

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tomstefanou Author
tomstefanou

@TheAVenger3: You shouldn't have to do anything really,
as long as the mod you want to play is on the same folder level as the rest of your mods, then its executable should be discovered by the launcher and displayed in the list of mods.

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TheAVenger3
TheAVenger3

Okay, thanks tomstefanou

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C&C: Generals Zero Hour
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