How to Create a ".big" File Using ModPackager by ÜberJumper and Mikail.
This tutorial explains how to use Relic's Mod Packager.
- Install the RDN Tools
- Create a mod
- Copy the "msvcp70.dll" file from your "Relic Developer's Network\tools\bin\Archive" directory into your "Relic Developer's Network\tools\bin\ModPackager" directory.
- Run ModPackager from your "Relic Developer's Network\tools\bin\ModPackager" directory.
- When it opens, click on File > New.
- Select Create Archive, and click Ok.
- When it asks you to, type in the name of your mod (e.g, "Capture the Megalith") and click Ok.
- On the Create TOC screen, where it says Name, type in the name of your archive (this could be the name of your mod, or something else). Where it says Alias type in "Data". Where it says Root, select or type in the location where your mod is currently unpacked. Usually this will be the directory that you test your mod in, but it could be a special directory where you store your mods. Mine is "X:\games\Sierra\Homeworld2\Data".
Note: for a better explanation of what an Alias is, as well as all the values it can take, see this page.
Adding Files and Folders:
- If your mod is a game type mod, ensure that there is a "<GameTypeName>.lua" file, where <GameTypeName> is the name of your game type. For example, the default HW2 game type is Deathmatch. Its LUA file is "deathmatch.lua" (you can find it in "Homeworld2\Data\leveldata\multiplayer").
- Right-click on the very top item listed on the left side of your screen (it should have a big, red arrow next to it). Choose Add Files, and add any files that are in the top-level directory of your mod.
Note: if you hold down the SHIFT button, you can select multiple files and add them all at once.
- Now, add any directories by right-clicking and choosing Add Directory and selecting them, with the exception of the "Locale" directory. You could also add all the directories at once by selecting the directory that your mod is installed in.
Note: all the files and subdirectories will be added automatically.
Adding Localizations: (You'll have to do this one time for each language.)
- Click Archive > New TOC.
- On the Create TOC screen, where it says Name, type in a new name for this portion of your archive. Where it says Alias type in "Locale". Where it says Root, select or type in the location where the language file of your localization is currently located. Language files have a ".dat" or ".ucs" extension, and are located in the subdirectories of "Homeworld2\Data\locale". Each language should have its own subdirectory.
- Right-click on the newly created TOC. It is listed on the left side of your screen, and should also have a big, red arrow next to it. Choose Add Files, and select the language file with the ".dat" or ".ucs" extension.
At this point, we're pretty well done. We just need to package the file! I'm sure you can see how easy it is to package up a mod that only changes a few ships. Before you go on to the next step, save your work!
- Click File > Save.
- Type in a file name and select the location where you would like to save it. Click Save.
Creating the Archive:
Loading the Mod
- In the main window, click on Archive > Build Archive.
- Type in a file name and select the destination you would like the file saved to.
- Click Save and let it rip!
If your mod is a game type mod, change the archive's extension from ".big" to ".grm1" (to signify that it is a Game Type Mod. This works only with version 1.1 of HW2) and copy it to your "Homeworld2\bin\gamerules" directory.
Note: you can create installers that do this, but that's a whole other Tutorial.
Note: all players must have identical mods (Game Types or Total Conversions) to play with each other online.
If it is not a game type mod, copy the ".big" file into your "Homeworld2\data" directory and add the "-mod <ModName>.big" switch (without quotes) to your Homeworld 2 shortcut, where <ModName> is the name of your ".big" file.
Hopefully you'll find this tutorial useful. If you have any questions or concerns (or have found anything that we've missed), please post them in the discussion thread!