ModPack Studio

Article written by j_c_a
Published on 10-12-2008; updated on 08-17-2014

Welcome to the Mod Pack Studio HomePage! ModPack Studio is a freeware created by JC Alsup (j_c_a), designed to help players create ModPacks. It's currently in Version 2.0, and although ModPack Studio 3.0 is available, it is in a buggy beta stage and recommended only for those who are experienced.

Before downloading, please take a moment to review the Version 2.0 Release Notes, Special Requirements and the End-User License Agreement.

Technical Support: Please use the Scenario Design & Modding forum here at Age Of Kings Heaven; there are many friendly people that would be glad to help you. Alternatively, you could also use the Modpack Stable's MPS Tutorial.

Features


Tutorials
Installing ModPacks

An explanation of how to install modpacks using ModPack Studio.

Creating a Mod

Find out how to create modpacks with MPS!


Features
Project Explorer

Learn about the central part of MPS, the Project Explorer!

File Menu

Find out more about the file menu in MPS!

Tools Menu Option

Learn about MPS's Tools Menu!

Shortcut Buttons

Learn about the shortcut buttons in MPS.

Release Notes

Version 2.0

What has been added in Version 2.0?

  • The Conquerors Compatibility: Version 2.0 lets you build modpacks for machines with AoE2: The Conquerors (TC) installed. Due to changes in TC, modpacks designed for the original Age of Kings will not work properly if TC is installed.

  • New File Format: MPS 2.0 adds a new file format for TC mods to accompany the AKS format for AoK mods. The new files end with a AKX extension and are created for mods targeting machines with The Conquerors installed.

    If you do not have TC installed, MPS will work the same way as it always has, although there are a number of new interface features to assist your work.

  • Favorites Tab: MPS 2.0 adds a new, "Favorites" tab to the "Project Explorer" window in addition to the standard "By Type" and "By File" tabs. On this tab, you can group and arrange resources in any order you wish and even create an organizational heirarchy to catagorize your resources in any way useful to you. You "Favorites" list can be exported the same way as resource descriptions, via a REG file.

Version 1.0

For users of the MPS Beta 2, you'll find Version 1.0 very familiar. Only a few major features have been added to 1.0 with the bulk of the coding effort dedicated to refining the software and fixing bugs, including the mysterious Windows 95 bug. Here's a run-down of the new features:

  • Multiple Mod Pack Installation!: Due to the large number of requests, multiple AKS mod packs can now be installed at the same time. The mechanism for this is an AKG file which is a simple script that ties multiple mod packs together. MPS has an installation wizard that creates AKG files automatically via drag-and-drop or you can hand code them yourself. A file called akgfmt.txt is installed along with MPS and includes the syntax rules for AKG scripts.

  • AKS Decompilation: To allow more flexibility in how mod packs are installed, you can now decompile an AKS file to extract the resources contained. This could be useful for creating composite mod packs or converting AKS mod packs to DRS mod packs. Mod pack authors can optionally password protect their AKS files to prevent decompilation.

  • Composite/Animation Preview Window: MPS now provides a tool that can be used to preview multiple SLP's. For example, you can preview a building and its shadow as one scene. Or a ship's hull animation and it's sail animation. You can specify the palette to use when viewing SLP's and also a background terrain.

Special Requirements

AKS is the file extension for the original MPS "install-on- the fly" mod packs. This format is still used for mod packs targetting machines without TC installed. For machines with TC installed the new AKX file format does the same thing. (NOTE: The distinction is not whether you want to play AoK or TC, it's whether you have TC installed on your machine.)

MPS won't let you install the wrong type of AKS/AKX file on your machine, but it will let you build both types if your MPS installation allows.

MPS can produce mod packs for both AoK and TC, but your options depend greatly on the order in which you install Age of Kings, The Conquerors and MPS.

Option 1:

If you only have AOK on your machine when you install MPS, you will only be able to make and install AKS mods.

Option 2:

If you install MPS AFTER installing The Conquerors, you will only be able to make TC mods. The reason is simple: MPS needs a clean copies of your original AoK DRS files in order to work. Once has been installed, these files have been altered and are useless to MPS for making AoK mods.

If you find yourself in this position, but still would like to make AoK mods, then you can enabled this feature by creating a folder named "Data" in the MPS installation folder and copying all the original AoK DRS files from your original AoK CD to this folder. The next time MPS starts, you will be able to create TC mods as well.

Option 3:

If you have installed MPS (any version) prior to installing TC, and then install this update over top of your original MPS installation, you will be able to make mods for AOK and AOK:TC. Note however, that this increases the disk space needed by MPS to backup DRS files subtantially, as you now have two sets of DRS files backed up.

If you have this configuration and would like to disable the feature to create mods for the original AoK, simply delete the "Data" folder found in the MPS installation directory.

In order to use MPS, you MUST have Age of Kings installed! This software works with AoK, not AoE! Also, you'll need to have about 138 Megs free, up and above that required by the software, because MPS makes a backup copy of all your AOK resources the first time it is run. For the same reason, make sure that you have your original AoK DRS files installed the first time you run MPS.

End-User License Agreement

ACCEPTANCE AND DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY

MOD PACK STUDIO (HEREAFTER REFERRED TO AS "MPS") IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE RESULTS, USEFULNESS AND PERFORMANCE OF THE MPS SOFTWARE IS ASSUMED BY THE END-USER. THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, CORRESPONDENCE TO DESCRIPTION, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. FURTHER, THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES REGARDING lack of viruses, accuracy or completeness of responses, results, lack of negligence, AND lack of workmanlike effort, FOR THE MPS SOFTWARE.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR SPECIAL DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, ARISING FROM THE USE OF MPS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF BUSINESS INFORMATION, AND THE LIKE, ARISING OUT OF THE PERFORMANCE, USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, ALL OR PART OF THE MPS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF THE AUTHOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Hosting

A Note to Webmasters:

I've publically stated that I (j_c_a) didn't want anyone else to host the download for any of the beta versions of MPS. The reason for that had to do with testing and keeping an idea of how many beta copies were in use. With the release of version 1.0, that restriction has been lifted. If you would like to host the download from your site, I have only a couple of requirements:

  1. You are required to make a reasonable effort to post any updates or bug fixes to MPS in a timely fashion.
  2. Proper credits in terms of authorship, etc. regarding MPS need to be given.
  3. A link back to this page is required.

If you can satisfy these requirements, then feel free to host the download, mpssetup.exe.

Notes:
Program created by JC.
Tested by AoErat and Ronin.

Special thanks to JCA for kindly letting Age of Kings Heaven host ModPack Studio and it's website.

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