How to use AMUMSS
by: Lo2k | Forum Topic
AMUMSS stands for Auto Mod-builder Updater with Mod Script System and was created by Mjjstral before being now mostly maintained and extended by Wbertro.
It was originally developed to avoid mods to be broken at each update and allow some more flexibility in modding possibilities.
Indeed, before AMUMSS, mods were just modified files. But each major update was changing file structure, adding new variables and values, exchanging some, or offsetting everything and all the mods released before the update needed to be completely recreated after each update.
To prevent this chaos, AMUMSS offers to script mods.
Instead of modifying files and releasing the full files, AMUMSS lets you create scripts that are just saying which value for which variable in which file has to be changed. Then AMUMSS apply the script to the current game file and generate the mod. It's a game changer.
Now, when a new game update is released, most of the mods can be regenerated in a few seconds, using the script to aim the correct values in the correct files and applying it to the new game file including any new change from the developer.
So everything is perfect ? well, not exactly, there's still one bottleneck : MBINCompiler. To Apply its changes, AMUMSS rely on MBINCompiler capacity to decompile and recompile files. But when a new game update is released, MBINCompiler needs to be updated to reflect the new changes. It's usually only a matter of a few days before MBINCompiler is updated and it's a few day were mods are actually not working for the latest game version. But a few days is nothing, compare to the amount of time it would have taken to update all the mods manually without AMUMSS!
So AMUMSS is not perfect, but it's a great step ahead for mods sustainability. And it also brings a lot of other possibilities. Too much indeed to be listed in this tutorial.
We saw it, AMUMSS uses scripts that will generate final mods. Creating these script is a big topic but what will interest us here is how to use and merge them. That's indeed another plus of using scripts : scripts can regenerate mods and can also be compared and merged a lot more easily than complete modified files.
How to generate a mod from a script
If you downloaded a mod including a .lua script, you can either directly use the .pak in your MODS folder or regenerate the mod itself.
Regenerating the mod will ensure the mod will use the very latest game file installed on your computer. It's usually what the modder has done before you and released along the script, but sometimes, some mods are not maintained anymore and might need to be regenerated.
Here is how to regenerate a mod :
- Place the .lua script in AMUMSS' ModScript folder
- Run BUILDMOD.bat
- AMUMSS wil ask if you want to copy the final mod into your MODS folder : Choose Y(es) or N(o) depending if you want to install the mod immediately.
- Then it will ask if you want to check mods for conflicts : if you answer Y(es), AMUMSS will check all your existing mods (in the game MODS folder) and the one you're about to create and generate a report with the result. If you want to be sure you won't have any conflict, it could be wise to answer Yes. you will then be able to detect conflicts and resolve them.
- Eventually the script is parsed and the mod is generated. You will find it in the CreatedModPAKs folder, ready to use, and in your game MODS folder if you choose so.
Note that once the mod is completed, a report is also generated about this new mod. it will report any error or warning inside this particular script and as for any report, you can read it carefully opening the REPORT.txt file in AMUMSS directory. Here again, if there is some conflict, you will be able to detect them.
Merging .lua scripts
As they only point files, variables and values, AMUMSS' scripts are very easy to compare and merge. Much easier anyway than completely modified files.
AMUMSS still only compare mods at a file level though.
This means that it will warn if two mods alter the same file but it won't compare if variables changed are the same or different.
It's a great feature though, as no player can really be aware of actual files existing in the 10, 20 or 50 mods they installed and just knowing which mods are in conflict could already solve great issues.
Anyway AMUMSS can merge almost any mods, and any number of mods.
All you have to do to merge mods is follow these steps :
- Place all your mods .lua scripts in AMUMSS ModScript folder
- Run BUILDMOD.bat
- 1st Question : Do you want to create a combined or individual mods : this question will either generate a merged mod or create one mod per script. Hit Y for the merged mod.
- 2nd Question : Do you want to use a composite name : this is just for the final name of the mod. When you only merge 2 mods, answering Y(es) will name it mod1+mod2.pak which is fine. But if you merge 5 mods, the name will be too long and it's better answering N(o)
- 3rd question if you answered N to not use a composite name : alternatively to a too long name, AMUMSS propose to add a suffix to the name, either a number or the current date. It's up to your tastes.
- Then it will ask if you want to copy the final mod inside the game MODS folder to be immediately ready for playing. It's up to you.
- And finally it will offer to check for conflicts between all your current mods in the game MODS folder and the merged mod. If you want to be sure you won't have any conflict, answer Y(es)
- Script are now processed and AMUMSS will generate the final mod in ModScripts folder as usual and in your game MODS folder if you choose so.
A report is eventually generated about this new merged mod. it will report any error or warning inside the scripts involved and as for any report, you can read it carefully opening the REPORT.txt file in AMUMSS directory. Here again, if there is some conflict, you will be able to detect them.
Merging one mod and any .lua scripts
As not all the mods have been declined in AMUMSS .lua script, you might sometimes end up with some .lua scripts you could merge and one particular mod without script.
Don't worry, you're not screwed as AMUMSS can also handle this case.
All you have to do is using the exact same steps than for .lua scripts only, but this time, you will also place your mod with no script .pak file in AMUMSS ModScript folder.
You can then follow all the steps as before.
The only difference is at the end. In fact, if you chose to copy the mod into your game MODS folder, it will do the job for you, but if you chose to not do it, you have to be aware you will need 2 files. Indeed in this case, the .pak file generated in the Modscript folder is a patch to the mod .pak you placed in ModScript. So instead of copying one file, you will need to copy either your mod .pak AND the AMUMSS generated .pak file into your MODS folder to be sure effects of both mods will be applied and somewhat merged.