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Game Installer Creator v2.1.1

This is a tool I created to automate the process of creating compressed 7zip archives of PC Games to use with Launchbox or other front ends or by manually running the game launcher shortcut. The tool will work with any storage that can be mapped as a network drive or shows up in file manager as a letter. Once a simple configuration is complete you enter 2 pieces of information and it creates all the files required to easily add PC Games to your Launchbox setup and moves them to thier required locations in your setup.

The tool requires that you already have the game you want to archive installed and working unless you have already compressed the game files to a .7z file and placed them on your external drive, network server, NAS or cloud drive. If you choose to have the tool compress and move your game files once it has finished the process you can uninstall or delete the game. The game files will now be a compressed .7z archive stored in the location you chose for your storage. If you decide to manually compress your files they must be in .7z format and the name must be the name of the game.7z. You must also create your .7z file from within the root of the game directory selecting all the files and folders for the game and compressing those. Do no create your .7z file by just compressing the game folder, it will not work with the tool.

So basically the process goes like this:

1. You run the Game Installer Creator batch file and enter 2 pieces of information about your game and the Creator makes the required files and places them where needed.

2. Add your game to Launchbox or other front end or you can run the game launcher shortcuts by themselves. You can add your games to Launchbox by going to Tools\Import\Manually Add Game or you can drag and drop the created shortcut file located in your game install folder at Batch Files\Game Launcher\Games into Launchbox to import it. If you drag and dropped the file the Launching tab will be prefilled for you, otherwise click on the Launching tab on the left to add your launcher batch file. Browse to your game install folder and navigate to Batch Files\Game Launchers\Games and select the shortcut file for your game. Next to add the uninstaller go to Additional Apps and Add a New Application. I usually name the app Unistall "Name of Game", but you can name this whatever you would like. Browse to your game install folder and navigate to Batch Files\Game Launchers\Uninstallers and select the Delete "Name of Game" shortcut file for your game.

Now you are all set! Double click your game in Launchbox or right click and select Play to run your game. The launcher will check to see if the game folder already exist on your computer and if it does it will run the game, otherwise it will extract the game to your computer and then run the game. If you would like to remove the game from your computer right click on the game in Launchbox and go to additional apps and select Uninstall "Name of Game" or whatever you called the uninstall app.

 

Version 1.1 Update

Change Log: 

Added the ability to have the tool compress your game files and move them to your storage location.

 

Version 1.2 Update

Change Log: 

Removed information regarding your .7z file as it is unnecessary with the tool handling the compression for you. I also formatted the text for better readability.

 

Version 1.3 Update

Change Log: 

Added a main menu.

Added an option to remove all of the files created by the tool and gives you the choice to delete the compressed .7z file for the game.

 

Version 1.3 Update 2

Change Log: 

I found and fixed an error when creating files for games where the .exe file that launches the game is not in the root folder.

 

Version 2.0

Change Log: 

Drag and Drop has been added to make the process easier. In adding the drag and drop feature the entire code has been rewritten and optimized. The config process has been greatly simplified with drag and drop functionality and the need to only add 2 folder paths. I have removed the self extracting archive creation and am now using the tool and batch files to handle the compression and extraction. Switched to using 7zG.exe from 7z.exe to provide a progress gui. This version is no longer compatible with previous versions. The location of the batch files and the compressed files has changed. If you have used a previous version of the tool it is recommended that you remove the old files and recreate new ones using the tool. You can use the old version of the tool to remove the files from the old installation locations. You can then move your compressed files to the game install folder root, the tool no longer requires creating separate game folders for each game in the storage location.

 

Version 2.1

Change Log:

Made a change to the batch files to allow for portability of Launchbox. Previously the batch files included the complete paths to the folders and files, paths are now relative to the Launchbox folder. The Game Install folder is now required to be in your Launchbox folder and is created during the configuration process. Batch file shortcuts have also been moved to the same folder as their batch files due to the change in the batch files. You can delete the Game Launcher folder located in the Batch Files folder. You will need to convert any previously created batch files to the new Game Installer Creator system by adding the games again through the tool and changing your launcher path in Launchbox to the shortcut file in Launchbox\Batch Files\Games and the uninstaller path to Launchbox\Batch Files\Uninstallers. I apologize for the inconvienence of having to do this if you have used a previous version of the tool, but the tool is still in development and changes are going to happen along the way. Being that I intend to make this into a Launchbox Plugin having the game installs contained within the Launchbox folder makes sense.

 

Version 2.1.1

Change Log:

Removed the need to press Enter after inputting a selection in the Main Menu and all Y/N prompts making navigation quicker and cleaner.

Changed the naming of the shortcut files to be only the name of the game, removing the .bat - Shortcut. This makes it easier to add the games to Launchbox as you no longer need to delete the .bat - Shortcut portion when importing games.

Game Installer Creator v2.1.1.7z

Edited by sammaxton
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  • sammaxton changed the title to Game Installer Creator - Launchbox Version v2.0

Added the new version 2.0 with drag and drop functionality. Total rewrite and optimization of the code. This version is not compatible with previous versions as the location of the batch files and compressed files has changed.

I am contemplating adding an option to create profiles for handling different install locations for your games. Although currently you can reset the config files and enter new locations, profiles would make it easier to work with different game platforms so you can have different storage and install locations preconfigured for Steam, Origin, Epic Games or wherever. I will probably wait to add this feature to the GUI version rather than rewriting the batch file version of the tool.

I can't think of anything new besides what I mentioned above to add to the tool at this time. 

So my next step is to recode the tool into a GUI to make it a more professional looking piece of software. The GUI version will be 100% compatible with the current version of the tool. As I am just a hobbyist code tinkerer and not a professional coder it may take a bit of time to put the GUI version together because I will need to decipher a new coding language to accomplish the task. But I have become a bit addicted to creating this tool so I wouldn't expect it will be too long before I get a GUI version slapped together. I am also thinking about adding a standalone interface to the GUI version which will display and launch your PC Games on its own while still having the option to integrate it into Launchbox and other front ends. 

 

If you used the old version of the tool:

Use the old tool to remove the previous files except for your compressed .7z files and then make new files with this version of the tool. You will need to rename your .7z files to include spaces in the names and move them directly to your compressed storage folder. The .7z files are no longer stored in separate folders and the filenames have been changed to reflect the game name including spaces.

Edited by sammaxton
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  • sammaxton changed the title to Game Installer Creator v2.1

If you have tried out the tool and you like it or heck even if you don't like it or you have some suggestions I would love to hear from you.

If you haven't tried out my tool and you are interested in keeping a compressed library of your PC games give it a try, I think you might like it!

The tool is easy to configure and use. You simply tell it where your storage location is for the compressed files and the location where you want the games installed to and it remembers your locations.

Then you enter the name of the game you want to put in storage and the name of the executable file or shortcut that runs the game and it does everything for you.

  • It creates a batch file that checks to see if the game is installed and if it is installed it just runs the game or if it is not installed it extracts the game from storage to your chosen install location and then runs the game.
  • It creates a batch file that "uninstalls" the game by deleting the game folder from the game install location.
  • It creates shortcuts to the 2 batch files so they can be run hidden as it is only possible using a shortcut.
  • It compresses the game to your chosen storage location.

The only thing you need to do after running the tool is delete or uninstall your original installation of the game.

Once you have processed the game through the tool you can then use your collection with any front end by adding the shortcuts that were created in your game install location folder in Batch Files\Game Launchers\Games\. There are also shortcuts to use as uninstallers for the games located in Batch Files\Game Launchers\Uninstallers.

Once added to your front end you can launch the game and it will run the game, uncompressing it from storage if it is not already in the game install folder. With Launchbox you can Add Additional Apps and add the uninstaller shortcut for your game to delete the game from your chosen install location and keeping the compressed file in storage, I'm not sure how to add the uninstaller to other front ends as I use Launchbox.

The tool saves a ton of time from doing the process of setting up your PC games for use in a front end manually. Editing the batch files and creating the silent running shortcuts alone will save you at least 5 minutes per game you process and eliminate errors you could cause in creating those files manually which would add even more time to the manual creation process.

Edited by sammaxton
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  • sammaxton changed the title to Game Installer Creator v2.1
  • sammaxton changed the title to Game Installer Creator v2.1.1

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