Soldat in the upcoming version will go through many changes, one of them is to change the way of loading game files. In previous versions all the files were placed on disk as is and it was causing many problems including:
1) Implementing proper auto-update system
2) Easy way to manipulate game files for own benefit (e.g. removing textures)
3) Uploading maps/mods was pure hell (overlapped filenames of sceneries or textures, using 3rdparty tool only to pack maps etc)
4) Implementing shared installation support or portable version
.. and many more
We have decided to change this by implementing support for PhysicsFS
- an opensource library that allows us to load contents of file archives (e.g. ZIP).
What has changed?
Most of game files (default sceneries, maps, textures, translations, graphics etc) have been placed in one file called soldat.smod. On startup soldat loads everything from that archive.
We have also changed the way maps/mods are loaded as they will have to be converted to archive files like we did with soldat.smod.
mapname.smap file will contain non-default sceneries, textures and .pms file. Same goes with game mods (modname.smod).
There will be also an option in the server that enforces players to play only with original game archive or servermod.
We are going to provide easy-to-use converters for maps and mods for painless transition to a new system.
1. Will this change increase size of soldat setup? I don't want to waste my precious 100MB on my ssd.
In most cases the size will be smaller thanks to compression.
2. Does that mean i will need to pack my mod/map every time i change something?
There will be an option to mount soldat directory as game archive so you will be able to load maps/mods like old days.
3. Is it possible to load non-default sceneries or textures from another map? My mod uses a lot of the same sceneries.
You can put those sceneries/textures in mod archive and soldat will load those files without any problem.
4. What is the loading order of sceneries/textures?
1. Mod archive 2. Map archive 3. Game archive (soldat.smod).
5. Servermod? What is that?
It's a new feature in upcoming version, server will be able to serve non default mods on connect like it does with maps. This feature will be covered in another devlog.