What is the best program to pack files into your .bsp?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Coolz, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Coolz

    Coolz L2: Junior Member

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    So up until recently, I have been using Pakrat to pack custom content into my maps, and all went well.
    However this last month Pakrat seems increasingly broken (and yes I've reinstalled it multiple times but that didn't actually fix anything), changing my file paths randomly every time I fix them, not automatically detecting textures for models (which isn't a huge deal but still), and just in general being very, very annoying.

    So I'm creating this thread asking which program is the best to pack stuff into your .bsp file these days?

    I could probably find the answer on google though what I am finding there is really outdated so I figured I'd ask here because I'm lazy

    Thank you for your time
  2. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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  3. Muddy

    aa Muddy Muddy

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  4. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Literally everything I've ever used other than Pakrat has given me problems. I started using Vide and thought it was OK but it doesn't let you edit the filepath after importing an asset. Or... it does... but it does a bad job of it and sets the filepath to something broken.
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  5. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    As tyler and Mudpie have said, VIDE is probably the best GUI packer. It has capable asset recognition. It adds all your models, their skins, and even picks up sound scripts and map info files that have the same name as your .bsp (I think it might do soundscapes too, can't remember). But it has some limitations. It won't detect sound files that you specify in your sound script/scape file. It won't distinguish which model skins have been used in the map and exclude the ones that aren't. So you need to do some double checking before you save. It can't add more than the contents of one folder at a time using the manual add function. The manual add function has a bug where, if you click any of the suggested directories it will put your files in an unwanted directory with a random two-character name. So always dismiss the suggestions, and type your own file path afterwards.

    If you don't mind taking the time, you can make a text file and use Valve's built-in BSPZIP program. It's a bit pedestrian but it will always pack what you tell it to again and again so in that sense it's reliable.

    VBSP also has a new feature where it will pack in the contents of a directory that you specify. You add the argument
    -embed <directory>
    to the VBSP line in the Hammer compile. Everything in that directory will be packed, so you need to make a map-specific directory that doesn't contain anything the map will not use. It's not good for version control, you get duplicate files and I'm not sure if it includes subfolders but it's simple and easy.

    CompilePal has a great auto packer which recognises everything VIDE doesn't. It knows all the sound files needed by your sound scripts, only packs the model skins that are used, and even supports multiple language versions of your map information text files. The problem is, it doesn't work with TF2's latest version of BSPZIP so you need to get a BSPZIP.exe from another game, and edit CompilePal's pack.mesa file which is a bit technical, but I have done it so if you want to explore that I can tell you what I did.

    Pakrat is great as long as you never, ever touch the pak again after you use it. Subsequent packing after Pakrat molests your BSP will likely break it. So build your cubemaps before you pack with it.
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