You know, synchronicity is such a wonderful thing. Yesterday evening I had an unexplainable surge of motivation and decided to start working on some user-level documentation for stressed. After writing on the first few topics, I was left thinking "good, now it would be great to have active modders again to use and discuss this stuff...". And here you are. Welcome aboard Lady Astrum
I started playing Stunts in about 1992 and never really stopped. It's been on every computer I've had. In the old days I competed against my brother, these days against my husband, who is as into the game as I am. I also live in Australia and have cats.
Ah Australia, such a wonderful corner of the world! I hope to be able to visit it some day eventually. We didn't have many people from Australia in the community before, but one of the members our hacking "team", Cas, is not very far spending a season in NZ.
(...) with a new mega project. It's top secret right now, but all shall be revealed when completed.
The first bit I can't manage is, I believe, within the SD?SEL files. I want to both add more cars, and remove some opponents.
We have two separate issues here, so let's begin with the cars. Adding a new car to the game just requires you to provide the four car files with the correct names. For your Mercedes (nice 3D model, BTW
) these might be CAR300E.RES (performance and text data), ST300E.3SH (3D shape), STDA300E.VSH (dashboard bitmaps) and STDB300E.VSH (auxiliary dashboard bitmaps). If your car is not finished yet and you need to do some testing, copy any missing files from an existing car and change the file name. Just be careful with one thing: file extensions. The .PVS and .P3S files that come with the game are compressed versions ("P" stands for packed). Stressed unpacks the files on loading, and always saves unpacked files. In order to have edited files loading correctly, you need to change the extensions on saving from .PVS to .VSH and .P3S to .3SH and delete (or move to somewhere else as backups) any pre-existing .PVS and .P3S with the same name (that holds for cars as well as for all the other things). If you just copy-paste an original (packed) file to test your car there is no need to change extensions, just the file name. The only other problem that you might have is that there is an upper limit to the number of cars in a Stunts install, 24 if I remember correctly.
Now, the opponents. If I got it right, with "remove some opponents" you mean reducing the number of choices in the menu from 6 to 5 or something else, as opposed to just modifying the opponent attributes. I'm afraid that may not be possible, through I'm not sure as I did very few tests with opponent modding so far. As you already noticed, the SDOSEL file contains only the graphics of the menu, the actual performance (and text) data for the opponents being in the OPP?.PRE files. A crude solution could be merely removing the OPP?.PRE for a certain opponent, which will make it inaccessible - but then the game will crash ("Please Check Disk" error) every time when someone switches to the position of that opponent in the menu. And any attempts of removing the opp? bitmaps on SDOSEL cause a crash as well. Editing the existing opponents' data should
be possible, though. Which leads us to...
The other thing is editing the opponent profile text and dialogues- I assume Stressed doesn't interpret all the data in the .RES files, or maybe I'm just doing it wrong, as when I save the modified file, the game crashes when I try to race the opponent.
Your assumption is correct. stressed can't parse the parts of OPP?.PRE (or OPP?.RES if unpacked - BTW, which version of the game are you using, 1.0 or 1.1?) which contain performance data. That means that no matter what you do you won't be able to modify these files with stressed (I can see a temporary solution to this issue which might be easy to implement, though, and will pass the idea to dstien). Currently the only way to modify that data is using Opponent Blaster
to adjust performance and manually changing the text on an hex-editor. All of that assumes you're working either with 1.0 files (which are already unpacked - .RES extension) or with 1.1 files manually unpacked via stunpack
. Bit of an annoying task, but possible.
Hope I could help with these first few initial questions. Please tell us what you intend to do, or learn to do, next - and feel free to post as many questions as you wish. I and others will do our best to help! (note to Zak: maybe it would be better to move this topic to the "Car Creation" subforum. Or maybe not, as it will also touch other modding issues...)