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Thread: AngelLoader 1.4.1 (upd. 2020/03/31) - a modern DarkLoader replacement

  1. #176
    Heh. True, I bought the work on myself. I'll keep the visual editor in mind.

  2. #177
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Texas
    Hey Fen will talking to R Soul help you with adding system shock 2 support? He got it working in newdarkloader and you said any help was appreciated. I just had this thought when I saw you and he are helping each other. I would love you to add it as using one loader for all would be awesome. Any chance at all?

  3. #178
    See here for details on why SS2 support is a nightmare I don't want to deal with:

    Yes, it could be made to "work" if by that you mean you have a valid, full-mission archive that has its files in the right directory structure (not all do) and isn't an "addon" (which looks like a valid, full-mission archive but isn't and there's no way for the scanner to tell the difference) then yes, you could install, uninstall, scan and play it. But SS2 FMs are a mess of total non-standards-compliance. Many of them straight-up just tell you to install them manually, even. Little to no thought seems to have been given towards being loader friendly. It drove me absolutely crazy when I looked into it. So yes, I could add "well-formed actual SS2 FM file support" but if a user has a non-well-formed SS2 FM or if they put their addons in the same folder as their FM zips, etc etc etc... I would now have to field a million questions on why things don't work. I really really hate it.

  4. #179
    Registered: Sep 2004
    that about a dozen SS2 FMs that actually can be considered fully playable have been updated/checked, and they are in a FMsel compliant format - so as long as a 3rdparty loader does the same thing as FMsel priority wise, everything should work.

    but considering the total number of SS2 FMs, I'd say just sticking with FMsel would be preferable here - if it ain't broke, don't fix it..

  5. #180
    For example, Blind Disposition has its files inside a folder one level deep in the zip. I have to detect that and install it so the files are in all the base folder, so it's like FMs\Blind_Disposition_1_3 and not FMs\Blind_Disposition_1_3\Blind_Disposition. I also have to account for it in the scanner which is a major undertaking because it's highly optimized (read: inflexible) to assume files and folders are all in the base directory with no one-level-deep stuff going on.

    Also, System Shock Infinite has its readme files in the base dir, and then it has a System_Shock_Infinite subdirectory where the actual FM files are. Again I have to account for that, but now I also can't just assume the base directory is empty either, I have to now assume readmes could be in there. That means when I install, I have to MOVE those readmes out of there and into the subdirectory which I then install as the base directory. But what about differential backups? Moving files from the base dir in the zip into the install dir on disk means those files will now count as "new files" because they don't match the zip. I would have no way of knowing from the install folder whether any given file was added by the user or whether it had been moved by the app automatically to fix an unsupported directory structure in the zip. And again, what to do about the addons? The only way to detect them would be to pattern-match "-Addons" in the filename, which I really, really don't like doing because it's brittle. But I could use that to reject them from the list, but maybe I should have a mechanism for installing them? I definitely can't have them show up as normal FMs in the list, because then you would go to install them and they would install to their own folders instead of the folder of the FM you were trying to update. And who knows what other devil-filled details might crop up.

    To a player, it may seem simple and they may not realize just how much of a nightmare it is to support SS2 robustly. And that's really what I want to do, is to support things Properly™. I just can't stand the idea of having "support most of the time except in some cases where it all blows up spectacularly". I really, really, really don't want people to be like "this loader is unreliable". It actually keeps me up at night sometimes. But I feel like that's what it'd have to be if I tried this. I dunno man.
    Last edited by FenPhoenix; 20th Oct 2019 at 17:04.

  6. #181
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Blind Disposition and Infinite have been fixed some time ago (, if you are getting your downloads from some other place, we can't guarantee anything, obviously). also, Infinite is a mod, and shouldn't be loaded as a FM (is AngelLoader a combo FM/mod loader?), as that will cause issues with other mods. as for the Infinite addons, I don't think there is any way of supporting that properly, but as they are something that should only be used by those who really want what they offer, I don't see it as too much of a problem.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that as long as AngelLoader works just like FMsel under the hood, then it should be fine, but if not, SS2 support is probably better left unimplemented.
    Last edited by voodoo47; 20th Oct 2019 at 18:13.

  7. #182
    Oh, I just assumed System Shock Infinite was maybe like T2X. Glancing at the folder structure it looked like an FM to me, but I never played it. You can tell I really don't know my stuff when it comes to SS2 as it's not really my kind of game. I didn't know Blind Disposition was fixed, I'm just looking at the collection of SS2 FMs I downloaded back in... oh wow, it's all the way back in February. Whatever I got at that time was whatever I have here. Anyway, reading my rant now it seems like I'm really overblowing things, it's only two FMs that seemed problematic. Sometimes I get too perfectionist and rage-quit when I only get 99%. But okay, if I don't have to account for unusual folder structures then that's a huge problem off the table. I'm gonna think about this with a clearer head and go in and take another look.

  8. #183
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Texas
    Oh thanks a bunch Fen. And like I said talk to R Soul too as his loader worked perfectly, even for infinite downloaded from mod db. I just thought between the 2 or 3 of you if you include voodoo47 as experts would knock it out of the park. Any help appreciated. If you can't do it I understand. I will still use your loader for all thief games regardless as yours is truly the best loader right now. I will continue to use newdarkloader for ss2 until such time as needed. Thanks again for all you guys do.

  9. #184
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2019
    Deutsche Übersetzung der Version 1.1.6
    Dload hier:

    Viele Grüße

  10. #185
    Thanks very much

  11. #186
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Pushing my luck with Dromed
    SS2 handles savegames differently.
    Instead of one folder called Saves, containing savegames for each slot, for SS2 there's a folder for each save slot called save_0\, save_1\ etc. Up to 14 inclusive. I think NDL just backs them up by archiving any folder with "saves_" in it's name, or that ends with "current" (an autosave folder).

    In all other respects it should work just like a Thief FM.

  12. #187
    Thanks for the tip. After a long couple days' work, I think I've got it all working now, but going to test it some more before putting it out.

  13. #188
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: Santiago / Chile
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul View Post
    SS2 handles savegames differently.
    Instead of one folder called Saves, containing savegames for each slot, for SS2 there's a folder for each save slot called save_0\, save_1\ etc. Up to 14 inclusive. I think NDL just backs them up by archiving any folder with "saves_" in it's name, or that ends with "current" (an autosave folder).

    In all other respects it should work just like a Thief FM.
    whre is the thanks button???

  14. #189
    AngelLoader v1.2 is out.

    The big feature is System Shock 2 support, finally! Y'all helped me get over my unfounded ignorance and overblown grumpiness and so here we have it. I also apologize for said ignorance and grumpiness.

    Anyway, on with the changelog!

    • Added option to use shortened names (T1, T2, etc.) on game tabs so you can get more screen real estate. This helps with...
    • System Shock 2 support. Notes:
      • If you've ever had SS2 FMs in any of your archive folders, it's possible that AngelLoader scanned them and marked them as "unsupported game type". If that's the case, you can click the Show Unsupported filter button to see if there are any FMs with a red question mark circle next to them. If any of these are SS2 FMs, you can re-scan them and AngelLoader will now detect them as SS2 FMs. Alternatively, you can click the "Scan all FMs..." button and deselect all options except "Game".
      • Only archives with proper directory structures are supported. Ones without will be marked as "unsupported game type" and will not be able to be scanned or installed.
      • Files that look like full FMs but aren't (addons etc.) may show up in the FMs list if you put them in the same folder as your actual FMs. It's up to you to either not do that or if you do, then ignore them and don't try to install or play them from within AngelLoader.

    • Fixed: The functionality to restore saves from imported DarkLoader archives was broken. It works now.
    • Fixed: When having chosen to run Thief 2 through Steam, attempting to launch Thief 2 in multiplayer mode would simply launch original thief2.exe through Steam, without multiplayer. Steam doesn't support launching a different executable, so unfortunately I've had to make Thief2MP.exe launch on its own without Steam. Better than nothing.
    • Fixed: Patch & Customize tab would sometimes not update its state when another FM was selected or the FM's installed state changed.
    Last edited by FenPhoenix; 25th Oct 2019 at 17:05. Reason: formatting

  15. #190
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Jafaville New Zealand

  16. #191
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Texas
    Thanks a bunch!

  17. #192
    Registered: Sep 2004
    guess we'll have to support it now.

  18. #193
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Location: Campo, CA
    I've been lurking around on this thread since FenPhoenix started working on Angelloader and am excited to try it. Is it ready for kinda-competent users like me yet? Does it install on top of FMSel? Do I need to uninstall anything before installng?

  19. #194
    I'm actually preparing to release the next version, which works much nicer alongside other loaders (it no longer edits config files permanently) so you shouldn't even have to go into cam_mod.ini and change anything if you want to use your previous loader. I'm just testing it now but it'll be out soon. I'd hang on just a little bit and wait for it.

    You don't need to uninstall anything though. AngelLoader is its own standalone thing. With other NewDark loaders, you go into cam_mod.ini and tell it what loader to use and then you start your game and the game starts the loader. With AngelLoader, it's the other way round - you start AngelLoader and you choose an FM and then it starts your game (so it works like how DarkLoader worked in that respect). Currently, when you run it and start a Thief game, it removes other loaders from the config file and installs itself (which it has to do in order to work). In the new version, it will restore your previous loader whenever it exits, in order to be as un-instrusive as possible.
    Last edited by FenPhoenix; 6th Nov 2019 at 18:28.

  20. #195
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Lille, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Old and Cunning View Post
    I've been lurking around on this thread since FenPhoenix started working on Angelloader and am excited to try it. Is it ready for kinda-competent users like me yet? Does it install on top of FMSel? Do I need to uninstall anything before installng?
    As a normal user, let me tell you, it's working fine. Just try it.

  21. #196
    AngelLoader v1.3 is out.

    This version has improved behavior regarding running alongside other loaders, and improved language detection behavior (matching FMSel) for playing FMs. It also has many small performance improvements and polish.


    User experience improvements:

    -AngelLoader will now attempt to restore the previous loader when it exits. For example, if your Thief 2 loader is FMSel, and then you start AngelLoader and play an FM, and then you quit AngelLoader, your loader will be reset back to FMSel again. That way, if you start Thief2.exe manually, your regular loader will pop up. Previously, what would have happened in that case is that Thief 2 would just start up with no FM or loader and not tell you anything about why. This caused confusion for people who were using multiple loaders - suddenly after running AngelLoader their old loader wouldn't pop up anymore. This is fixed now. However, as a fallback, in case for whatever reason AngelLoader is still set as the loader when you start your game manually, you will now get a dialog box explaining the situation and telling you how to choose another loader.
    -AngelLoader now matches FMSel's FM language search and fallback functionality. This should help in cases where people were getting blank readables for non-English Thief installs etc.
    -If you try to start AngelLoader while it's already running, it will now focus and bring itself to the front, rather than just doing nothing and making you bring it up yourself.


    -Fixed: When opening the Settings window, the "Ignore articles" section didn't change its enabled-state to match its values.
    -Fixed: "Remove tag" button could throw an exception if no tag was selected.
    -Fixed: If the rating filter was selected and its label was shown and it had the text "None" in it, that text wouldn't be updated when the language changed.
    -Fixed: The Tags tab used to be able to be shrunk down to nothing with no scroll bars, causing its layout to get messed up. Scroll bars now appear at an appropriate time like all the other tabs.


    -FMData.ini now stores custom resource booleans in a more compact format, making the file about 25% smaller on average. Reading and writing of the file is now also faster in general. AngelLoader is able to read FMData.ini files of both the old and the new format, and will convert an old-format file to new-format automatically. No action is needed and all data will remain the same.
    -Various small performance improvements.
    Last edited by FenPhoenix; 7th Nov 2019 at 14:01. Reason: typo

  22. #197
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: Santiago / Chile

    I updated the spanish translation to v1.3, check your PM.

  23. #198

  24. #199
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Location: Campo, CA

    Thank you FenPhoenix and Stefan_key. I'll dl it as soon as they let me off data restriction.

  25. #200
    AngelLoader v1.3.1 is out.

    A single important bugfix: When you imported from DarkLoader and chose "Import saves", it would fail to import System Shock 2 save archives. Fixed.

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