From Batch File to Excel to LemonUI to GTA5 Menu - less than 5 minutes
Just wanted to display my workflow using Excel and a one line batch file to automate, as much as possible, installing car mods and also adding them to a LemonUI menu in under 5 minutes - to add 16 cars. Actually in the video, I'm taking my time and not using any keyboard shortcuts, so 3 minutes or less is possible.
By automating I not only save time (duplicated efforts) but more importantly I reduce the risk of mistakes as well. Process is not perfect for two important reasons. First I'm using the folder name as the spawn name which unfortunately doesn't always work. So if a car doesn't spawn from the menu, I keep both VS and OpenIV open. I can't make changes to OpenIV while game is running, but I'm only using OpenIV to find the spawn name from vehicles.rpf. Then I can update VS in real time and see the change.
The other issue is that at some point I need to put a proper description in the menu - again I'm using the folder name as the description. And of course, I will selectively add code to some models for colours, modkits, fixes, and other customisations. But this process gives me a nice head start.
Anyway, just thought I would share. In passing, some of the string formulas I use are pretty elaborate. For example to parse out the folder name from the dlclist i use this formula:
=IF('Dlc Item Creator'!D2="","",TRIM(MID('Dlc Item Creator'!D2,FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE('Dlc Item Creator'!D2,"/",CHAR(1),$G$3))+1,FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE('Dlc Item Creator'!D2,"/",CHAR(1),(LEN('Dlc Item Creator'!D2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE('Dlc Item Creator'!D2,"/","")))))-FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE('Dlc Item Creator'!D2,"/",CHAR(1),$G$3))-3)))
Of course I could get it from the batch file, but i had done this step originally, so I just kept it for fun. This is what I call a "throwaway" because I will only use it once to complete a project. Normally I use VBA, here the idea was no VBA, all string functions.
@JohnFromGWN nice, meimeiriver also automated the workflow on redoing update.rpf with own edits after each update (as you've also said iirc). I'm just always all over the place to stop and think about how I do things. So it would make my life easier maybe but I fear that I could not shed the feeling of losing control.
So I fear I'll be doing it manually (importing content that is... ) until I'm leaving the game.
I spend more time thinking on the spawn name and making sure that's not duplicated and then adding it to my Excel than it takes me to import the entries into my dlcpacks (organized by manufacturer with the exception on musclecars, supercars, hotrods and off-road as a category)
@ReNNie Yes I've been using a custom OIV but only because i created a more complex setup with multiple mod folders.
I'm with you with respect to doing things manually, this project is a one timer to manage hundreds of vehicles that i neglected to organize from the onset. Ironically i had no intention to add any car vehicles when i first started, but you know how it is, you add that first 308 GTS and then that 70 Challenger from the movie Vanishing Point and then you keep adding until is out of control.
So going forward i will install incrementally manually.
What disapoints me is when the mod folder name doesn't match the spawn name, folder names which don't even remotely reflect the model name, duplicate folder names, and the worst ofc being duplicate spawn names. I spent hours opening folders like Gates246 (made up name to not embarrass anyone, to identify it as a Lamborghini Aventador.
I had 3 f8spider mods, same folder, same spawn name, different creators. So extract content, setup, vehicles, handling, etc and search and replace to get all 3 installed. PITA.
@ReNNie p.s. I've started an excel car database but not as detailed as the one you had posted. I applied conditional formatting, highlight cell rules, duplicate values, to the column containing the spawn names so they are easily identified.
I know how it is.
I promised myself I wouldn't go the same route as IV where I had 9 different instances of the game with on total 6 different carpacks, back then replacing was the only option (until the newveh came along for an extra 20 or so)
But 6 years later and over 3500 models added to Add-On dlcpacks, here we are...
Biggest PITA is when authors do not name tuning parts identical to the model, image still naming your tuning part bumperf_1 and expect it not to clash. One of the reasons it's good practice to always redo the files while consolidating and in one sweep also the out of bounds Modkit_ID 😬
@ReNNie Good catch, I had that issue hang my game when I forgot the modkit rename an hour ago.
Since we're ranting, as part of my cleanup, I'm taking the folder containing dlc.rpf up as far as it will go. Modders will often make you go through 5 or 6 folders before you get to the addon itself, particularly the ones who make you drill down from update/x64/dclpacks.
But my multiple mod structure was not because of addons, it was because of worlds. I first noticed this when I installed the Nürburgring Nordschleife mod. I was out over the Pacific Ocean and I noticed I had a racetrack in the sky - not pleasing visually. Same with worlds that overlap coordinates and others that are in the air above Los Santos - so much for realism. When I'm at the Santa Monica beach, I don't want to see Dubai in the distance. And I don't want a horrible bridge from Liberty City to Los Santos either.
The other consideration was stability. With this setup I can easily temporarily or selectively enable or disable mods. For example the French Riviera world is the only one where I enable classic French cars from the 50s and 60s. Likewise, I disable my F1 and racing cars/motorcycles, allowing them only for the racetrack worlds like Monaco or Lemans or Nürburgring Nordschleife. All this is customized in individual dlclist.xml files because thankfully addons will not be loaded unless they are specified in that file, which allows me to have 1 shared dlc folder with all vehicles and peds without any duplication of space or effort.
Again with respect to manual control, that's why I love your addon ped template. No crap tools, infinite scaling for as many folders and as many rpf per folder as you want. Allows for descriptive names and really helps organize hundreds of addon peds.
@JohnFromGWN yep exactly what I did, Marvel and such in different dlcs then Mai and the others
Following this logic the 'Replace via Add-On' is also a great way to update vanilla models that were fixed by the community
@ReNNie I think one thing new users don't realize is that they can essentially rename any models, including streaming peds, to whatever they want and they don't need to ever replace a vanilla ped unless they specifically want to. Rather than play with slots I'll often just retexture one model and just rename it to have 2 versions.