Creating skinpacks with paid content

Discussion in 'Hosting Help' started by SPASKIS, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    This thread is especially directed to devs @Marcel Offermans @Christopher Elliott. Leagues typically create skinpacks to be used in the different races of a championship.

    In our league we have been tipically using incremental updates to do this task. In some particular cases we built a whole new component but that is not relevant here.

    DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM

    The problem with McLaren is that it is ALREADY using this incremental update strategy for its own skinpack.

    This creates problems for users in order to install a second skinpack affecting the same base component. I'll go through later.

    From league admin point of view it is no big deal to create the update with skinpack. Both 1.22 and 1.23 versions are actually installed so MAS2.exe can create a second update for version 1.22.

    However other users will not be able to install the second update version because v1.22 does no longer appear in mod manager. Only 1.23.

    It is not possible either to downgrade from version 1.23 to v1.22. when you uninstall v1.23 (after uninstalling any vmod using it). Modmgr will try to uninstall the full component. I suggested long ago that all installed versions should appear both in mod manager and later in game when selecting the vehicle from all tracks an cars. This would make it easier to handle different versions which is also useful for testing purposes. It would also better represent the real situation since both versions are actually installed and can be used by a race event. Using race events (vmod) are the only effective way to force a determine version of a component to be used.

    The only way to do this is manually deleting 1.23 folder from installed/vehicles. That way v1.22 and the possibility to update it, is now shown in mod manager. After updating version 1.22 you can start rF2 and v1.23 will be installed again in the initial synchro. This mess is what we have had to do in our league. I am sure it will create confussion in many users the fact to delete folders.

    There is an alternative way to install a second update which I mentioned earlier in the thread about creating a race event with paid content. It is including the updated component in the vmod by clicking the square to the left of it at the last screen when creating the race event.

    The created vmod will be able to update 1.22 to the second update to McLaren without the need to uninstall 1.23.

    However, when trying this method in the case of MCL I have had problems of drivers not appearing when using the vmod. You can check this problem both offline or when trying to host a race event. I think it is relevant here that I advised about this problem which has already been reported by some experienced league admins when trying to use regular McLaren install.


    I probably should have checked including the main vehicle mas file in the update since it is the method I use. However since the original update 1.23 worked without it, I finally didn't give it a shot.

    MY CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS

    As I started the thread and it is worth repeating, the point of this thread is to advise about all the potential problems that the approach taken for managing DLC is likely to start causing.

    If after working with content updates for years I have had huge problems I can only expect many league admins struggling as well. Just imagine creating the race event for a full GT3 grid using the promised 5 car GT3 pack.

    IMO the best and most logical approach is to treat content as what it is in terms of hierarchy. Every version properly installed (usable by a vmod) should appear independently both in mod manager and in all cars and tracks. According to my experience, this would solve most of the difficulties of dealing with both incremental updates (modify an existing one) and independent updates (new full version). The direct consequences of this proposed approach would be the following.

    1. When you place an incremental update in packages folder, it should appear as a new line with its version. The actual system of highlighting the base component to show available update is an uncontrolled disaster. Several updates could be used for the same base component and mod manager decides which to use unless you leave only one in packages. Furthermore, after installing it you cannot install the others using the same procedure. Base component which is usable for race event creation is not visible any more in mod manager.

    2. When uninstalling an incremental update only that version would be uninstalled leaving base component installed. Actual system tries to uninstall the full component. This is poorly debugged since when base component is used by a race event, trying to uninstall an update (this one not being used by a race event) will yield to a corrupted component that needs to be fully reinstalled. Uninstalling incremental updates and having base vmods linked to original base components shouldn't be something so strange if we had more online activity where drivers would share their racing time between casual racing and league racing.

    3. Single Player mode should show all available versions of installed components when using all cars and tracks to avoid the necessity of creating a vmod specifying a certain version of a component. This fails regrdless the second version of a component is an update or an independent version. Only one of them will appear in all tracks and cars. In mod manager it will show both lines however in the second case. As I said actual system is a mess in terms of anything regarding multi version components.

    My two cents.

    Thanks for taking the time to read. I wish I could have simplified it a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  2. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    There's a simple solution, always create your update package as "update from" the 'base version'.

    So for example you have Version 1.22 and version 1.23 McLaren
    - Make your skin package version v1.24 for example, and then choose "update from" v1.22 in MAS2 (not v1.23)
     
  3. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    @Christopher Elliott I could be reading this wrong (and haven't done this stuff myself) but Spaskis appears to be saying above that the issue is users can't install that update package, because they've already got the 1.23 McLaren (updated from 1.22) and therefore nothing to apply the 1.24 package to (as there's no 1.22 listed).
     
  4. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    Not come across that myself, but if you do it as I mention above, multiple updates can reside happily along side each other.
    If someone is not seeing the base package (v1.22 in this example) then either they don't own the content or they have some other issue I'm not aware of....
     
  5. Goanna

    Goanna Registered

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    Same here in mod manager, both at home and on our league server...no 1.22 only 1.23. I was the same with the 1.10 to 1.11 update, once updated the lower number version was not available. If I uninstall 1.23 then 1.22 is once again available.
     
  6. lagg

    lagg Registered

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    I had this problem @Christopher Elliott in my computer.
    The 1.22 wasn't in the installed folder.
    I solved it copying from a friend the 1.22 folder to my pc.
    Obviously i had already bought the GTs pack previously (the first day).
     
  7. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're talking about the old Mod Manager in bin32, it will only show the latest update, it behaves a bit differently to the Launcher.
    I have no idea why that would be.
     
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  8. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    That's it! I guess

    I always use mod manager and so does most people I would affirm.
    The lack of sorting features of launcher content manager makes it quite unfriendly. I didn't know it correctly displayed all available versions of each component. I'll check it!

    Thanks for the tip for how to deal with this. I think more people could be in the same situation.

    Hopefully the new UI will revisit this, leaving only one robust and friendly system for this.
     
  9. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I think it is quite clear now and the issue is the one you mention but just in case:

    We are indeed updating from 1.22 and the problem was modmgr.exe not displaying that version 1.22 (only 1.23). As I said in previous post, I didn't check if launcher content manager displayed this info correctly, as it appears according to Christopher's post.
     
  10. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    What the old Mod Manager does is, when you manually install v1.22 and have v1.23 is present in the same package folder, once v1.22 is installed it will show in bold 'update available', you then click update and it shows v1.23.
    The launcher on the other hand just shows both packages as installed - A bit confusing if you use the old Mod Manager, but it's really just a different way to display the same thing.

    Also I should add, if you 'update from' the base package, you can call the update version whatever you want and it will not conflict with any other versions, and it will show alongside other versions in the UI under car selection.

    So you can make v1.24a, v1.24b, v1.24c etc. In the car selection in single player you will see all versions listed under McLaren.

    If you host a server later and only choose just v1.24b for example, the server will filter and the user will only see v1.24b skins when joining.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  11. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Thanks for the clarifications.

    I already understood how updates work. The confusion just came for the way mod manager displays different versions.
    The way the launcher is displaying different versions is actually the correct one as I understand it.

    I made a small inquiry in my league and it seems it was just me using old mod manager to install stuff. I really thought many others were using it for its sorting and filtering capabilities. Sorry for the confusion created.

    Hopefully it will help other potential admins which as in my case still were using mod manager.
     
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  12. Goanna

    Goanna Registered

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    So if on a dedicated server box(steam cmd setup) that does not have a full copy of rF2 on it (and therefore no launcher option) do I now have to install any skins update package locally using the launcher and then copy the ../installed/vehicles/whatever version folder to the server or is there a better way?
     
  13. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    You can and should still use the old Mod Manager on a dedicated server install.
    The only difference is how it shows updates and installs them. Just make sure your update rfcmp is in the package folder the Mod Manager is pointing to, and the base package (ex. v1.22) will show 'update available'.
     
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  14. Goanna

    Goanna Registered

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    Ahh, got it now, thanks Christopher
     
  15. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Which means: If in the sever you already have installed version 1.23 you will have to delete it from vehicles folder manually.
    You will not be able to uninstall only version 1.23 from the server using mod manager. It will also uninstall version 1.22.

    The only exception to this (that I know) is if you have previously installed a vmod using version 1.22 which would be strange since it has no skins. In that case the program fails to uninstall the full component and will only uninstall version 1.23. This sometimes yields to corruption for some vmods.

    I am not sure if with imminent new UI, all this will be still valid. If mod manager is still to be used in the future I would strongly recommend to change its behaviour according to what the launcher does which is the right way to go for many reasons.

    I am logically talking about the displaying criteria and what tries to do when uninstalling an incremental update. I still need to test these things in the launcher which I never use as I said. For the display part it has already been confirmed by several people it does OK so I have no reason to question it. Let's see if hopefully the uninstalling process is also flawless in the launcher. .
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  16. fab06

    fab06 Registered

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    sorry , i don't understand at all this tread even with google translator ..

    but simply , a league want to add a skinpack to an existing RF2 mod (for solo mode and multi mode) , i seen many solution in different tread ..

    i was thinking doing a simple skinpack (200Mo players DDS and new VEH of players) in a mas file and put it in the MAS folder of the mod , it work fine with miniatures in the dev mod .. but it work only in solo mod (without the miniatures picture) because the RFmod can't take the new created cars , they don't exist for the mod manager .. result ; we have deleted the new Skin Mas File (DDS and VEH)

    second solution : we have create RCD file of each players (put in Usedata/Player/setting/xxxmod) in the dedicated server and in the players game .. and add , in the players game , all the folders of each skin with DDS inside .. it works in solo and Multi (but still without the miniatures picture) ..

    is theres another solution for having a Skinpack to an existing Mod with miniatures pictures of the new players cars in the menu (for solo and Multi ) ??
     
  17. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Take a look at this component which updates official Callaway Corvette. It should clarify how a skinpack is created.

    https://mega.nz/#!r8U12ABK!8mdDaPbqPAtmC7pmMFRWIcrDkNjdaDrjl1JeAYJjXqI

    Beware if the original component is from the workshop. When such content gets updated it will uninstall old version from suscribed users. In those cases the component needs to be redone with newest version and the server needs to be reconfigured accordingly.
     
  18. fab06

    fab06 Registered

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    EDIT: ok for doing a new RFCMP to updates the mod with new skins , that work fine ..
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  19. fab06

    fab06 Registered

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    Problem : When i ununstall by the lancher box my new updates of the mod (V2.02) , it erase all in the Folder ("installed/Vehicles/"mod") the addon skin folder and the original S397 Mod folder too ..

    i must redownload the original S397mods each time :mad:
     
  20. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Read point number 2 of this post where it explains what you just described. Read next posts after that. As I told you by pm use the launcher content manager.

    https://forum.studio-397.com/index.php?threads/creating-skinpacks-with-paid-content.57855/
     

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