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Author Topic: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc  (Read 12139 times)
warrantyvoider
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GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« on: March 11, 2012, 00:57 »

Hi there,
I'm new to all this Unreal Engine stuff, but as I'm very upset about ME3 ending I thought I'll try to make my own DLC for it with an acceptable ending. Your tool is just what came in handy to explore all the content, so I wrote a little GUI frontend for it so I can extract multiple files at once. I hope you don't mind. But what I noticed it doesn't allow to repack the stuff into a pcc file, so maybe you can enlighten me on that. I'm a obviously a programmer and not new to game programming. I am looking for dokumentation about this. Are these package files custom to every game or is there any standart or so(headers, descriptors etc.)? How did you managed to read and extract stuff in the first place? Did you disassembled the loader of it in the ME3.exe? I guess not. I'm willing to try everything, but I think you are the best one to ask IF this ever can be done. I guess DLCs are just copy and paste installers? dunno yet, maybe you can halp a bit out there, thanks in advance

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PS:if you want to check back on the project its centered here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Creating-new-end-for-Mass-Effect-3/145902408865659
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Gildor
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 08:11 »

But what I noticed it doesn't allow to repack the stuff into a pcc file, so maybe you can enlighten me on that.
I'm thinking about "repacking" as about impossible (or at least extremely complex) task.
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I am looking for dokumentation about this.
There is no documentation, all knowledge were obtained by myself without any help from other information sources.
Quote
Are these package files custom to every game or is there any standart or so(headers, descriptors etc.)?
Most (30-50%) games has "standard" data formats (formats exactly as in Unreal engine provided by Epic Games). Some game titles has hard modifications to data structures (Bioshock, Batman 2 etc). Other games uses variations of standard structures - they have minor changes to data formats.
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How did you managed to read and extract stuff in the first place?
?
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Did you disassembled the loader of it in the ME3.exe? I guess not.
I've disassembled necessary parts of ME3 game executable.
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I guess DLCs are just copy and paste installers?
DLC is a complex system, it could have patches to the scripts and data files (most complexity came from the console restrictions).
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warrantyvoider
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 15:48 »

Hi,
thats was a quick and helpful answer. Thank you. So I really have to go the disassembler way, I've done so before but this will getting interesting and complex. I'll have to find out how it loads the files and how it checks them, this way I can also make better sense of what it what. I don't worry so much about patches, because if you can modify the original file as whole you don't need to apply patches, just replace it with your modified version. Thanks alot

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PS:what IDE did you used? I use IDA Pro and Ollydbg
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Gildor
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 16:00 »

PS:what IDE did you used? I use IDA Pro and Ollydbg
I'm using IDA Pro.
But note: IDE is a "development environment", while IDA is a disassembler+debugger, OllyDbg is just a debugger. None of these tools can be called "IDE".
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warrantyvoider
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 16:26 »

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None of these tools can be called "IDE"

thats actually true, but you know what I mean^^
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 21:19 »

Hi there,
I'm new to all this Unreal Engine stuff, but as I'm very upset about ME3 ending I thought I'll try to make my own DLC for it with an acceptable ending. Your tool is just what came in handy to explore all the content, so I wrote a little GUI frontend for it so I can extract multiple files at once. I hope you don't mind. But what I noticed it doesn't allow to repack the stuff into a pcc file, so maybe you can enlighten me on that. I'm a obviously a programmer and not new to game programming. I am looking for dokumentation about this. Are these package files custom to every game or is there any standart or so(headers, descriptors etc.)? How did you managed to read and extract stuff in the first place? Did you disassembled the loader of it in the ME3.exe? I guess not. I'm willing to try everything, but I think you are the best one to ask IF this ever can be done. I guess DLCs are just copy and paste installers? dunno yet, maybe you can halp a bit out there, thanks in advance

Warranty Voider

PS:if you want to check back on the project its centered here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Creating-new-end-for-Mass-Effect-3/145902408865659

I don't think it will be that easy without even having access to the actual unreal engine editor, what you should research is their exe file first off, most licensees remove the editor code to prevent someone from unlocking it to be used to make new content, however since ME3 is a consolepccook it would not load any of those files as editor support is stripped out from the packages for performance reasons, there might be chance you could work around this but i doubt it will be easy.

What would probably be also possible is taking a ue3 engine build and editing it to load/save into the right formats, this is not possible unless you have the full sourcecode to the actual engine however i am interested if this approach would actually work if done right? ( adding package modifications to the stock engine package code to work with licensee games just like you do for umodel )
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warrantyvoider
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 16:13 »

well, as Gildor has already done, I'm looking through the (disassembled) code to see HOW the file is loaded, (and how it is checked for validity), that itself is already a huge task. Then I try to figure out if I can make a program that can generate such a file (inclusive references) that would be accepted by this loader. For this I would take some extracted files (that are already referenced) and pack them back in a file with the format of the loader (if I ever get it out). This should lead to the same file as the original. THEN I need to figure out how to make an editor that generates files(textures,animations,models) together with their references and then pack them back with the first program. If I ever get that far I can start figuring out, how these files belong to each other (where is plot-tree script, where to add references so it loads my stuff, etc) ... so well, it is a LONG way, but I have time...

tell me if I'm wrong on some points
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warrantyvoider
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 16:02 »

for anyone interested, I made progress so far that I can decompress the chunks inside the pcc file. The source is available too. http://sourceforge.net/projects/me3explorer/
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Renmiri
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 22:06 »

 Shocked so much done in a year! And I thought it was impossible  Grin
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warrantyvoider
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Re: GUI for UE Viewer/extractor ... creating new dlc
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 04:14 »

now its been a while, but today Id say, I got my goal of making my own DLC content too^^


greetz WV
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