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gMotor 2.0 Technology
rFactor 2 (rF2) content is very similar in layout and file types to that used in rFactor, but now must be in the form of mods and components. A component is the collection of files comprising a track, vehicle, HUD, even a UI. All of these files are stored in one or more mas files, and combined into a single deliverable .mod file. A mod is just a collection of components, also combined into a single deliverable .mod file.
Mod files are created using the gMotor 2 MAS File Utility and its two pop-up applications, the Component Packager and the Mod Packager. Both mods and components are installed using one of several different installers: in-game from the UI, using the stand-along ModMgr utility, or using utilities in both the Component Packager and Mod Packager.
The rF2 retail build uses
only packaged components and mods. There are very few loose files anywhere,
as almost every file is in a .mas file. Installation of mods consists of
extracting the mas files from the component / mod file to specific directories.
rF2 currently supports these components:
· Scripts (Pitcrew)
· Talent (.rcd files)
Components are located in
two directories: Core and Installed. Every component includes a manifest
file located in the component sub-directory.
Core components are pre-installed into the Core dir. Core
components cannot be modified - the game will check these components and won't
run if they've been modified. Certain
non-core components will also be pre-installed into the Installed dir, along
with their manifest files.
Mod files must be located in a dir called Packages under the rF2 root dir, so the in-game mod installer can find them.
A mod consists of at least one Vehicle and one Location component, and optionally others. Installing a mod just means:
· adding its components to the Installed dir, or
· updating a component’s manifest files if the component already exists
· adding an rfm mas to the Installed/rFM dir.
· adding a mod manifest file to the Manifests dir
There are three steps to create a Mod after your content is finalized:
1. create and install the components using the Component Packager, or use already installed components. Currently, the Mod Packager tool will only create a Mod from installed components.
2. create an rFm .mas file containing the .rfm file for the mod, and its two associated icon files.
3. combine the components and rfm mas file into a Mod using the Mod Packager.
To create a Component, you must first place all of its files into one or more .mas files using the gMotor 2 MAS File Utility. Any file type may be drag-and-dropped into the utility.
You can arrange your mas files any way you want, but
vehicle and location components have a couple of special requirements:
· vehicle components must have a single team-specific mas file contains all skins and veh files for each team. This mas file should probably be separate, and should be named something unique like c6rteams.mas, not teams.mas, since mas files from a few different vehicle teams could be opened at the same time.
· vehicle components should have (but aren’t required to have) a common mas file for all of the non-graphics files, such as the various .ini files, .pm file, .hdv file, .gen files, etc. Try to keep this file small since we will be checking it often, and large files take longer to check.
· location components must have a separate layout-specific mas for each layout containing at least the .gdb file for the layout. Each layout-specific mas file should also contain other layout-specific files (.gdb, .aiw, etc.), and each should have a unique name since all layout mas files will be in the same component mas.
An example of a simple and efficient track component would be:
· Racetrack.mas – contains the track spinner icon, .tdf file, or other overall track files.
· Racetrack_GMTs.mas – contains track GMT files.
· Racetrack_Maps.mas – contains track texture files.
· Racetrack_Anims.mas – contains track anim files.
· Racetrack_SponsorArt.mas – contains sponsor-specific track assets
· Racetrack_LayoutA.mas – contains layout-specific art assets, as well as .scn, .aiw, .cam, .gdb, .wet files
· Racetrack_LayoutB.mas - contains layout-specific art assets, as well as .scn, .aiw, .cam, .gdb, .wet files
· Racetrack_LayoutC.mas - contains layout-specific art assets, as well as .scn, .aiw, .cam, .gdb, .wet files
In this case, the _GMTs, _Maps, and _Anims files could be combined into a single mas file
An example of a simple and efficient vehicle component would be:
· Racecar.mas – contains GMTs, textures, anims and other geometry or art.
· Racecar_common.mas – contains .ini, .pm, .tgm, .gen, .tbg, etc.
· Racecar_teams.mas – contains team skins, alt skins, and veh files for each team.
Once all component mas files are created, hit the C (component) button on the mas utility toolbar to launch the Component Packager. Select <Add New Component> and type in a name for the component.
The dialog will now activate, and you can also enter the location where you want the .mod file, version string, type, etc. Now add the .mas files, using the Browse button. You can select multiple masfiles with shft/ctrl and delete them from the list with the X button.
When you're finished adding mas files, hit Package to make the component .mod file. Then hit Install to install the component to the Installed dir in the base directory shown in the mas util status bar:
When properly installed, the color swatch in the Component Packager will change from red to green. The colors indicate:
· Green: a component with this name and version was found installed, and matches the specified .mod file.
· Yellow: a component with this name and version was found installed, but does not match the specified .mod file.
· Red: a component with this name and version was not found installed.
You can also install components using the ModMgr utility, or directly from the Mod Packager pop-up.
Using the gMotor 2 MAS Utility, create an rFM mas file containing the rFM file for the mod, and the two icon files *Icon.ext and *SMIcon.ext, where .ext represents the extension for an image file in .bmp, .tga, or .dds format.
Creating a Mod package requires
an initial step of creating an rfm mas file, which contains the rfm file for
the mod, and the two icon files for the UI mod spinner. The rfm file is really just a
placeholder - most of the info in the
.rfm file will still be used except for the track and car filters. You
will manually add track layouts and vehicle teams to the mod in a later
step. You can save the rfm mas file
Once the rfm mas file is created, hit the P (package) button on the mas utility toolbar. All you can do at this point is hit the Select rFM Browse button to locate your rfm mas file. The Mod Name is taken from the rfm file in the rfm mas, and it’s probably best not to change this. If you want a different Mod Name, change it in the original rfm file, re-mas, and select the new version. Select the mod file location, and enter a version string.
Now use the Locations Browse button to get a list of possible Locations/Vehicles to add. The list only contains location or vehicle components that are already installed into the Working Dir path. Select multiple using shift/ctrl keys, then hit OK.
Once locations and vehicles are chosen for the mod, it’s now time to choose the specific teams and layouts to be used. Select an individual location/vehicle, then select one or more layouts/teams from each component to be used in the mod. If a component is not installed, you will still be able to add it to the mod, but you cannot choose any layouts/teams until it is installed. You can install the selected components using the Disc button. After installation, the layouts/teams will be available. The checkbox next to each location/vehicle indicates whether the component is a virtual component (will be physically included in the .mod file).
Now just hit Package, and once the process completes, you will have an installable mod file.
Mod packages are usually stand-alone, which means that all files required for the mod are contained in that .mod file, and in the Installed subdirectory for that mod. It is also possible to create an Update when you only want to change a few files, and don’t want to redistribute an entire mod package. An Update is a mod/component file containing only mas files with updated content, and is dependent on an existing mod. You create an update by checking the Update From: box, and entering the version of the existing mod required for the update. The mod version must be different from the dependent version. Updates will install alongside the existing mod, and will use any mas files from the existing mod that are not part of the update.
Since all files in a component are in mas files, it is not possible to have an Update with just a single file, you must include the entire mas file containing the updated file and its remaining original files.
Virtual components are another way to distribute a mod with a minimal file size. By unchecking the box next to a component, you are indicating that this component is part of your mod, but the actual files are not part of your distribution. When a user installs a mod with virtual components, the exact component must already be installed on their machine, or the install will fail.