This tutorial is intended for Ghost
Recon Mod Makers. The number one error with mod submissions
we see at GhostRecon.net is faulty installers. Usually
they install to the wrong location, for the end user
this can be a frustrating and bewildering problem.
This report sets out how to correctly
prepare an installer, so that it installs your mod to
the mods folder in Ghost Recon.
One of the most popular application
for making an installer is ClickTeam's
Install maker. There are 3 versions, a freeware,
and 2 pay versions, but they are all the same download.
You specify during the installation if you want to install
the free or pay version. The download page can be found
Understanding Folder Structure
With Ghost Recon mods we want to create
a new folder within the Mods folder of the Ghost Recon
folder. The name of this new folder will reflect the
name of your mod for easy identification. We will require
the installer to create this folder, and extract all
your mod files and folders into the new mod folder -
and here's how you do it.
Create the Directory Structure
Before you begin Install Maker, you
need to prepare your directory structure. We need to
create a fake directory structure that has the same
folder names as your Ghost Recon game directory, but
which contain no files. The reason for this is that
we will be using the registry key for finding Ghost
Recon's install path no matter where any user decided
to put it. That method is very helpful, but causes our
install path stop at the game directory "X:\..\Ghost
Recon", but we need to put our files into "X:\..\Ghost
If we create a fake directory structure,
then each file will have the necessary path info, as
shown in this screenshot:
- Create a new folder and give it
any name you like. I used a folder called "Current"
because I archive every previous version of my mod
for easier patch making.
- Inside the new folder, create another
folder called "Mods".
- Copy your mod folder (e.g.. "Spetsgruppa
Vympel") into the new "Mods" folder.
- You should now have something like:
Using the Install Maker
Using the wizard to complete the
- The first step is to specify the
location of your files. Browse to your root folder
that you just created, (e.g. "Current")
and ensure that you have the "Include Sub-directories"
- Next, choose the language and provide
a name for your product.
- Skip over the next screen. We aren't
installing executables, so we don't need icons or
- Work your way through the Shell,
Information, Window, and Bitmap screens. It should
all be self-explanatory.
- At the Installation Directory screen,
add the default install directory, which should be
"C:\Program Files\Red Storm Entertainment\Ghost
Checking the Ghost Recon Install
- We also want the installer to automatically
check for the actual install directory, since some
people may not be using the default location for Ghost
Recon. Click the "Registry Base" button.
- Use the following settings:
- Root Key:
That's everything you need for
a clean install, but there are still a few sections
of the wizard to work through. You can set uninstall
options, although I prefer not to use any uninstaller
since you can simply delete a mod folder. Also, if you
set uninstall options, the installer will create a folder
group in the start menu, this can be an annoyance to
some users. You can also specify readme.txt files to
open automatically after the install.
Before you submit your mod to GhostRecon.net
or a File Archive, remember to check it fully. This
means removing the mod from your Ghost Recon folder,
then running your new installer. Check the Mod has installed
to the correct location, and that's it!
Vympel for Ghost Recon
I thought I'd put together
some tips and programs on other mod installers. I saw
a couple posts in the Ghost Recon.net Forums about
people having problems with .zip files
and extracting and not knowing how it works and so
This is a great utility that is free
to use that takes .zip files and turns them into executables,
and can be download at disoriented.com
Works great. Very simple to make
executables. You can put in a readme, choose the default
for installation, and even create shortcuts. All through
a wizard interface that is super easy. This will make
your mod easier for people to install.
Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
Now onto the big one. This is for
the uber-installer. Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
(NSIS), available at sourceforge
This one is also free and has
an excellent forum if you have questions. The program
is scriptable which
means that you actually create a script file (think
perl/php/scripting languages) which then creates the
executeable. This means you can do ANYTHING.
to download the latest version off the internet, yep
that's possible. There are tons of plugins available
for you to use. Or you can make your own. Want it to
find the GR directory and automatically install it.
Yep, you can do that as well. There are many good "Wizard" style
programs out there for NSIS as well. They will walk
you through a basic installer and create the nsis script
file for you.
Anyway, I hope this was helpful