ArmA 2 Game Launcher

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It was written in VB.NET, but in the past year or so my language of choice has become C#. Hearing from all of you is making me want to rewrite it in C# myself.

I'm not sure about ArmA3, I haven't given it any thought before now.

If I were to update the launcher, a list of things that aren't working correctly would be very helpful. Do most of the problems have to do with the latest DLC? (All I have is Operation Arrowhead, I never ended up buying BAF or PMC before I quit playing. I didn't even know about ACR until this morning.)

That could have been great! This launcher has almost every needed function. IMHO only dlc support is needed and it will be perfect!)

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I don't understand peoples problem DLC, even after reading prior threads here and doing some research

Yes, the ACR DLC doesn't loading into ArmA2(OA) like PMC and BAF

But it DOES come up on SpiritedMachine's launchers list, so you CAN switch it on like any 3rd party Mod

The difference between the DLC seems to be this;

Current ArmA2OA populates;

Example: E:\Data1\Users\Name.PC\Documents\ArmA 2\ARMA2OA.CFG

like this;

class ModLauncherList
{
class Mod1
{
dir="ca";
name="Arma 2";
};
class Mod2
{
dir="baf";
name="Arma 2: British Armed Forces";
origin="GAME DIR";
fullPath="E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\baf";
};
class Mod3
{
dir="pmc";
name="Arma 2: Private Military Company";
origin="GAME DIR";
fullPath="E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\pmc";
};
class Mod4
{
dir="Expansion";
origin="GAME DIR";
fullPath="E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\Expansion";
};
};


class Mod5
{
dir="ACR";
name="Arma 2: Army of The Czech Republic";
origin="GAME DIR";
fullPath="E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\ACR";
};


and run the ArmA2OA EXE direct, you get get ACR DLC switched on (and ALL other mod folders listed too, but switched off)

BUT, BUT if you you SpiritedMachine's launcher with no mods switch on (which should be same as above), you don't get any mods (except PMC & BAF), and no ARC DLC !

Root Cause

This doesn't work;

E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\arma2oa.exe -mod=Expansion -nosplash

This seems to BLOCK all mods except PMC and BAF

This does work;

E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\arma2oa.exe -nosplash

ARC is on (with above manual CFG change) and all other Mod folders are also list and available to be switched on inside the games own Expansion menu.

EDIT

Weird ArmA2OA EXE behaviour ......... :confused:

PMC and BAF can be moved up and down in the in-game Expansions list, but can't be disabled

ACR acts differently, it can be "Disabled", like all other User mods

After running the exe direct, with -nosplash only and with the above CFG, I get a new CFG afterwards that says just;

class ModLauncherList
{
class Mod1
{
dir="ACR";
name="Arma 2: Army of The Czech Republic";
origin="REGISTRY";
fullPath="E:\Data1\GamesW7\ArmA2\ACR";
};
};


*sigh*

@SpiritedMachine's

I guess I'm not 100% on whats happening here, but I think by removing your mandatory "-mod=Expansion" it may remove the blocking action the launcher seem to have.

Hopefully someone can comment.

I might start a separate thread to get to the bottom of this.

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It was written in VB.NET, but in the past year or so my language of choice has become C#. Hearing from all of you is making me want to rewrite it in C# myself.

I'm not sure about ArmA3, I haven't given it any thought before now.

If I were to update the launcher, a list of things that aren't working correctly would be very helpful. Do most of the problems have to do with the latest DLC? (All I have is Operation Arrowhead, I never ended up buying BAF or PMC before I quit playing. I didn't even know about ACR until this morning.)

SpiritedMachine,

Thank you for creating this AWESOME LAUNCHER, and for replying lately. As you can see from this thread, MANY people still use and love your launcher, and would greatly appreciate any updates. In these posts:

I have mentioned a few minor items that could improve the launcher. Many others have also mentioned some of these items.

1) try "-beta" flag to launch the beta

2) remove CO game launch option (not needed, A2 and OA options are fine, like alpinestars' launcher)

3) optional: detect presence of ACR and load it automatically (like PMC and BAF) so that it doesn't need to be selected as mod to run

We hope that the well-demonstrated community appreciation of your work will inspire you to update the launcher! :)

Best regards,

OMAC

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I have mentioned a few minor items that could improve the launcher. Many others have also mentioned some of these items.

1) try "-beta" flag to launch the beta

2) remove CO game launch option (not needed, A2 and OA options are fine, like alpinestars' launcher)

3) optional: detect presence of ACR and load it automatically (like PMC and BAF) so that it doesn't need to be selected as mod to run

I'm not sure what you mean in item 1. Has the beta functionality changed so that the existing 'Run Beta" checkbox doesn't work anymore? If BI has changed the way the beta exe's are handled, I will have to do research on that. Back when I was still playing, I played the beta and the launcher handled it fine.

I guess number 2 is self explanatory, I can do that. I guess the reason it is not that way now is I seem to remember that it was possible to play 3 different ways. ArmA2 vanilla, OA standalone, or OA with ArmA2 content.

I'm confused by the whole ACR situation. I have no code in the launcher now that detects BAF or PMC. It must have more to do with the way the OA executable detects them. I think that is what Gnat is getting at above.

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Oh yes, the beta works perfectly in the launcher right now, but since about 1.60 BIS introduced the -beta flag to run the beta, in contrast to the old -mod flag for mods. BIS updated beta/mod launching to make better use of the in-game Expansion menu. I don't think any research on your part is required, just use -beta for the beta and -mod for mods.

Here is the shortcut target I usually use (outside of launcher) to start CO + beta:

"C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\Expansion\beta\arma2oa.exe" [b]-beta[/b]=Expansion\beta;Expansion\beta\Expansion

As far as I can tell, to run CO, there is no functional difference between running the OA exe with or without using A2 as a mod to it, as long as CO has been installed properly (meaning A2 installed first, then OA). But using your CO option (OA + A2 as mod) results in A2 being displayed twice in expansion menu.

Unlike PMC and BAF, ACR uses a registry-based system for mod loading (note REGISTRY-based origin; PMC + BAF have "GAME DIR" origin):

class ModLauncherList
{
class Mod1
{
dir="ACR";
name="Arma 2: Army of The Czech Republic";
origin="REGISTRY";
fullPath="C:\Program files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\ACR";
};
};

This is unfortunate in that launchers need to load ACR as a mod for it to run, but PMC and BAF are always loaded by default. Note that even using the in-game Expansion menu, PMC and BAF cannot be disabled, but ACR can, and that ACR is enabled by default by the registry, even with no "class ModLauncherList" section in arma2oa.cfg.

The launcher could detect the presence of the ACR folder under Arma II folder, and then automatically load it using "-mod=acr". Very simple. Future releases (and A3) will most likely use the registry-based DLC system.

Edited by OMAC

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I did some testing with my launcher and Alpinestars'. This testing was to decide whether 3 game modes are necessary. Here is what I found:

If you launch Operation Arrowhead without any "-mod=" parameter and you have ArmA2 vanilla installed (probably 99% of users), it will load the ArmA2 vanilla content. (I checked this by going to the editor and seeing which maps were available)

If, however, you launch Operation Arrowhead with mods and you do not include vanilla ArmA2 as a mod (which is what my "ArmA 2 - CO" option does) it will not load the vanilla content. There was no way for me to use Alpinestars' launcher and play Operation Arrowhead with vanilla ArmA2 content loaded. Am I missing an option somewhere, or a workaround? Was this a complaint from people?

From my testing, it seems to me that it is either worth keeping the Combined Operations option, or have some kind of auto detection to add the "-mod=C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2" command line parameter automatically if vanilla A2 is installed. But, that would prevent the user from playing Operation Arrowhead without vanilla content. Maybe it's a non-issue, but I don't like hard-coding things that could be an option, forcing the user to do things a certain way.

What I did discover, is that I can get rid of "-mod=Expansion" when Operation Arrowhead is selected. It doesn't seem to do anything except tell the executable that mods are being run, and thereby preventing vanilla A2 content from being loaded.

I spent way too much time on this, I hope I at least got my point across. Please let me know what you think..

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What I did discover, is that I can get rid of "-mod=Expansion" when Operation Arrowhead is selected.

As I said, that definitely generates a negative effect for me.

It doesn't seem to do anything except tell the executable that mods are being run, and thereby preventing vanilla A2 content from being loaded.

Not sure why you are getting vanilla ArmA2 content not being loaded. I've never found a mode (using the arma2oa.exe ) that excludes that content.

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Gnat;2241470']Not sure why you are getting vanilla ArmA2 content not being loaded. I've never found a mode (using the arma2oa.exe ) that excludes that content.

Same here. If OA is loaded' date=' A2, PMC, and BAF content is always loaded, using this launcher or alpinestars'. I think it can be assumed that if A2, OA, PMC, BAF, and ACR content is installed, there would never be a situation where a user would NOT want ALL of the content to be loaded. More in a minute...

---------- Post added at 09:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 AM ----------

If, however, you launch Operation Arrowhead with mods and you do not include vanilla ArmA2 as a mod (which is what my "ArmA 2 - CO" option does) it will not load the vanilla content. There was no way for me to use Alpinestars' launcher and play Operation Arrowhead with vanilla ArmA2 content loaded.

I do not find the above to be true. The converse is true, namely that, using either launcher, there is no way to get A2 NOT to load if OA is launched.

I have no idea what is going on about launching OA with "-mod=Expansion". I have never used that, and the default BIS shortcut doesn't either.

Edited by OMAC

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Same here. If OA is loaded, A2, PMC, and BAF content is always loaded, using this launcher or alpinestars'. I think it can be assumed that if A2, OA, PMC, BAF, and ACR content is installed, there would never be a situation where a user would NOT want ALL of the content to be loaded.

PvP seems to have described why they CAN be separated

4 When A2 and OA in the same folder, they are merged automatically

His full post here;

2 A2/BAF/PMC are loaded from the registry when no -mod is specified

3 ACR is missing/broken in registry, therefore -mod=ACR is needed

4 When A2 and OA in the same folder, they are merged automatically

5 Otherwise you need to specify the location of A2 to get CO, like -mod=x:\arma2

use procmon to learn what the game loads and in what way etc (doesn't show registry loading)

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Aha, that is the answer. All of my ArmA 2 purchases were through Steam, so I really don't have much control over how they are installed. How about you guys?

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Non Steam. DLC was via Sprocket. Not controlled after install. Everything of mine was installed in the ArmA2 game folder

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Just FYI I am in the process of re-writing the launcher in C#. I am making improvements to the interface as well as the code behind the scenes. I hope to have something released in the next few days. If you have any suggestions for changes that haven't been mentioned earlier, now is the time to let me know.

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I'm a massive fan of your work so please accept my comments not as insults, but as feedback. :)

At the risk of giving unhelpful feedback, the server browser is rather confusing.

The favourite server pane at the top is nice and simple, although it would be good if it showed the number of players in a column next to the password, rather than having to right click and requesting player list.

BTW, sometimes, requesting number of players gives an unhandled exception. "System.IO.IOException: The process cannot access the file 'C:\Users\Paul\AppData\Roaming\Spirited Machine\ArmA II Launcher\1.4.0.0\Profiles\Default\serverinfo.xml' because it is being used by another process."

The little pane underneath that seems to show the details of the last favourited server. What should it show? Can the server it shows be changed?

Also, further down that tab, the server browser button. Why does it have an IP address, port and password box next to it?

The server browser itself is confusing to use. When would we need to use the refresh button? How does one use the saved filters? Could it have a "hide DayZ" function. :)

Using the search on the server browser gives an unhandled exception too. "System.InvalidCastException: Conversion from type 'DBNull' to type 'String' is not valid."

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Suggestion:

In the right hand side panel of the "Addons" tab ( Addon Groups) show a hint if the mouse pointer hovers over a group. The hint is the directory location (like as happens in the left hand panel)

Why: Because with tools like the "PlayWithSix" you can end up with 2 copies of the same Mod folder, ones in MyDocuments, ones in game directory.

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I enjoy this launcher very mutch, its great! I just have a weird problem, when the armaII launcher i launched, i dont see the content, only the launcher icon at the bottom of windows7. The program worked 2 days ago, and there is no reason why it should stop working. Ive tried several uninstall and reinstall with the same result.

Is this a known bug or anyone have suggestion of how to solve this?

EDIT: Solved in registery! Looking forward to the upgrade :)

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Aha, that is the answer. All of my ArmA 2 purchases were through Steam, so I really don't have much control over how they are installed. How about you guys?

Yes, that's it. My comments were all regarding non-Steam (DVD and Sprocket) installs of A2 and OA into the default location chosen by the installer (C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2). If A2 and OA are installed separately into different locations, then A2 must be loaded as a mod to OA for CO to run. I have no idea how the launcher would work with Steam installs, but I think you've got a handle on that.

See this also:

Edited by OMAC

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I enjoy this launcher very mutch, its great! I just have a weird problem, when the armaII launcher i launched, i dont see the content, only the launcher icon at the bottom of windows7. The program worked 2 days ago, and there is no reason why it should stop working. Ive tried several uninstall and reinstall with the same result.

Is this a known bug or anyone have suggestion of how to solve this?

EDIT: Solved in registery! Looking forward to the upgrade :)

If you right-click on the icon in the taskpane there is an option called 'Reset Window Position'. I added that because this problem is fairly common, but I have never been able to track down what causes it. Hopefully I can eliminate it in the re-write.

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With regards to this registry stuff, is that what's enabled via the in game Expansions menu? I load A2 and all the DLC (except for ACR that is...) via the Expansions, so no matter how I start the game all of that is included.

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Does anyone use the Description/Comments field? I thought it was a good idea at the time I created it since a lot of addons have acronym names, but I personally haven't used it. Should I get rid of it for version 2.0?

Screenshot of current progress:

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The screenshot looks great! :)

I've never used it, but now that you mention it, the field could be nice for entering version #'s, mod name, and other comments. It does take up some room, but what else would go there? I think it adds a nice touch, and it works perfectly, with comments auto-saved.

If you decide to keep the CO launch option for the (rare?) situations where A2 and OA aren't installed in the same default directory, could you disable that option if A2 and OA are detected to be installed in the default location?

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The screenshot looks great! :)

I've never used it, but now that you mention it, the field could be nice for entering version #'s, mod name, and other comments. It does take up some room, but what else would go there? I think it adds a nice touch, and it works perfectly, with comments auto-saved.

If you decide to keep the CO launch option for the (rare?) situations where A2 and OA aren't installed in the same default directory, could you disable that option if A2 and OA are detected to be installed in the default location?

You're right, the comments section will stay.

I have decided to auto-detect whether A2 and OA are in the same directory or not, and adjust the startup parameters automatically. If game mode is set to OA and A2 is installed in a separate location, it will be automatically added as a 'mod'. I will cut it down to only 2 game options this way. I might add another checkbox that overrides that behavior in case someone REALLY doesn't want to load A2 content for some reason.

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I might add another checkbox that overrides that behavior in case someone REALLY doesn't want to load A2 content for some reason.

Yeh, think that would be a really good idea, just incase BI change something too. Hate to have your great tool side-lined because of some future change by BI or others.

No, dont use comments, but as suggested, good to be there.

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You're right, the comments section will stay.

I have decided to auto-detect whether A2 and OA are in the same directory or not, and adjust the startup parameters automatically. If game mode is set to OA and A2 is installed in a separate location, it will be automatically added as a 'mod'. I will cut it down to only 2 game options this way. I might add another checkbox that overrides that behavior in case someone REALLY doesn't want to load A2 content for some reason.

Excellent! :cool:

I especially like the olive green highlights in the new GUI!

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Hi Spirited Machine!!

Great to see you back!! and - an update for my all-time favourite launcher!!??

I've used this launcher exclusively since it first appeared! Brilliant!

Simple, no-nonsense, no frills - actually does the job!!! Tremendous!!

I have one of those "awkward" installs...

DVD Arma 2 - Steam OA - Steam BAF & PMC, Sprocket ACR... "core" mods on the SSD with the game files, a "catchall" bucket on a separate drive with "all the other mods"...

Oh - and just for good measure, I run triplescreen - sometimes - via Kegetys' SoftTH - other times I'd like a singlescreen in windowed mode for quick mod-testing...

This launcher does it all! - Even my seriously "non modder" friends with similar setups can cope..... :)

Absolutely delighted to see you back and working on an update! Thanks very much!!! - and looking great so far too!

B

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The re-write is taking longer than I expected. I'm basically re-writing from scratch, so the code is much cleaner but of course it will take much longer than a copy/paste conversion. I'm going to have to take back my statement about releasing the updated build this weekend.

It's a little hard to keep myself motivated considering I don't play anymore, but your kind words are nudging me along! :D