View Full Version : .cow .mis .gam files Explained :-)

29th Jun 2002, 06:35
.cow files are ONLY for ease of saving during the production of an FM - they do little good if you expect the FM to be Darkloader ready for others to play (unless you just expect then to play some demo through dromed, in which case a .cow is fine)

If you never use .cow files, then here are your options:

1. You don't do anything custom to the game.sys, so you only need to save your creation as a .mis file. In the end, set up the folders and such to make things darkloader ready, with the .mis file in the main directory.

2. You do make some custom changes to the game.sys, so you'll need to save those changes right when you make them. You'll have to "Save Gamesys" as something like "cool.gam". Of course, you'll also be saving your work as something like "cool.mis" all along. You'll also have to set the game.sys to the custom one you just saved, by entering the command "set_gamesys cool". Whenever you make a new changes to the game.sys you'll have to save it again, but otherwise you don't need to save the game.sys every time you save the .mis file. In the end, you set up the folders to make it darkloader ready and you have the .mis file and the .gam file in the main directory.

Now, the only reason to use .cow files at any point is to make things a little easier on you as the designer when managing your files during the whole time you are making the mission. If you start to make custom stuff and changes to the gamesys, you can just start to save your mission as a .cow file instead of a .mis file, and that way you don't have to bother saving a separate .gam file. It doesn't matter if you've been using a .mis file up to that point. From then on you'll have to always use .cow files until the very end when you're done. At the end you'll have to separate the .mis and the .gam out of the .cow file because to play a mission through darkloader we must use a .mis file (and a .gam file if there have been custom changes) and not a .cow file. The separation process is as follows:

1. Have your .cow file loaded in dromed, as when you are working on it.

2. Go to the menu and select "Save Gamesys" and pick a name (like "cool.gam") and a location. You can choose any location, but if it's not in the main Thief (or Thief 2) directory then later you will have to browse for it, which is okay if you want to.

3. In the command box in the lower right part of Dromed, click and enter "set_gamesys cool" (without quotes), replacing "cool" with whatever you named your gamesys. You don't need to indicate the location of the gamesys here. Press enter.

4. Finally, in the menu select "Save Mission" and make sure you have the correct extension after the name, so that it is something like "cool.mis" and not "cool.cow.mis" or "cool.gam.mis" or something odd.

To test it you'll have to exit dromed and start it up again and then load your .mis (not your .cow). If you saved the "cool.gam" in the main Thief directory it will load up fine. But if you saved the "cool.gam" in some other directory it will say it could not find it and ask if you want to "browse" for it - select browse and go find it and select it and then it will load up fine. Remember though, when preparing things for darkloader, the custom .gam file you are using must be set up to go in the main directory.