Isn't VPView, which I used, specially designed for extracting files
to the data folder?
Modding basics 101 (in no particular order):
1. Things placed in proper subfolders under \freespace2\data\ will override stuff in the .vp files under \freespace2\ . For example, you have a (properly encoded) Ogg video called "intro.ogg". You place it into \freespace2\data\movies\ . Now, when you start the game, you'll notice that that video is played instead of the original FS2 intro cutscene. Why? Because the game engine found the video in FS2OGGCutscenepack.vp and under \freespace2\data\movies\ , but because \freespace2\data\ has a higher priority than the .vp files in \freespace2\ , the file in \freespace2\data\movies\ was used.
2. Despite this, you should NEVER place anything under \freespace2\data\ . Sure, it works. WITH ONE MOD. If you want to switch your mod, you must first remove all the previous mod files under \freespace2\data\ and then place the new ones there. And eventually you'll mess up; you forget a file or files there, they will interfere with the rest of the game, you come here asking for help and it'll be a ***** to figure out what the cause is, unless you mention that you placed files under \freespace2\data\ (though in this case you did mention it and for that, I'm eternally grateful).
3. Active mod folders override things in \freespace2\ and under \freespace2\data\ . And that is awesome. Instead of having to mess up with \freespace2\data\ , you can just drop .vp files under a mod folder, select the folder as a mod and be happy. Or, if your assets are in non-vp format, you can create a subfolder called "data" (!) and place them there. \modfolder\data\ will work very much like \freespace2\data\ , except that things placed in \modfolder\data\ will not interfere with everything, and if you mess something up, you can just ignore the mod folder altogether and start again.
4. One mod per folder. By default, two mods will fight for supremacy, if placed into the same folder. Keep them separated. You can use several mods at once. The -mod commandline parameter can take several mod folders as arguments. For example, -mod fsport-mediavps,fsport,mediavps will tell the game that
- use the MediaVPs for graphical pleasure
- use FSPort and if there are files with same names in the MediaVPs and the FSPort, use the FSPort files
- use the FSPort MediaVPs and replace any possible FSPort things with shinier versions.
You can use the -mod flag in several ways. The hardcore way is to enter it into the "Custom flags" field in the Launcher. The regular user way is to use the Launcher to select a mod folder and then place a mod.ini into the mod folder, with the mod.ini containing a list of secondary mod folders in the "secondarylist" line.
WHEN TALKING ABOUT MOD FOLDERS IN FRED, the Launcher cannot unfortunately be used (yet?). You'll have to do this:
- right-click the FRED.exe you're using and select "Create a shortcut" or something.
- right-click the shortcut, select "Properties"
- there's a path to the .exe there "C:\games\freespace2\fred*****.exe". Without the quotation marks, enter "-mod infr1" after it, and save the changes.
- double-click the shortcut: ta-dah. You're running FRED with Inferno as a mod. You can change the mod folder in the -mod flag to suit your needs, and as I said, you can enter several mod folders at the same time: like "-mod fsport,mediavps" and so forth.
I had something else in mind, but I forget.