BASIC: Which files does Unreal use? Where do I find which? How do I install maps/skins...?
Files, Installing maps and other packages
Files - what kind of files does Unreal use and where do I find which?
Unreal is package orientated. Packages can reference each other in which case one package cannot be used without the other. In Unreal, almost all files are packages. Unreal uses the following types of files (left of the : you will find the directory, right of it the file extension used):
Cache: UXX - can be anything... files in here have been downloaded from game servers Maps: UNR - map files, if you want, you can use (most) Unreal maps in Unreal Tournament too (but not vice versa)... Music: UMX - the Unreal engine uses the so called GALAXY sound system to playback music. GALAXY is very powerful and can playback various formats. Unreal's original music uses different MOD formats (S3M, IT...) but it can also playback completely different formats like mp3. You only need to make a music file into a music package (UMX) for example by using UnrealEd. Save: *** - hands of the savegames... Sounds: UAX - sound effects System: U / INT / INI ... - U files are script/code files or mixtures of all sorts of things (sounds+code+graphics...). INI files are configuration files, INT files package loaders. INT and INI files can usually be viewed/edited in any ASCII editor. Textures: UTX - graphics
The System directory harbors all configuration files. Unreal.ini stores all infos about engine settings (like what 3d driver you use, sound quality etc...) and User.ini stores all info about your player settings - your keyboard settings, your playername etc. There are 2 special config files you should take note of: Default.ini - this file is a backup of Unreal.ini when Unreal was installed first, DefUser.ini is a backup of your User.ini when Unreal was installed. These 2 files contain no real configuration, but should Unreal at one day totally screw up and not let you start (not even in safe mode) you can usually correct the problem by making copies of these 2 files and then naming them Unreal.ini and User.ini. You will lose ALL your settings, but it will clear most problems you may encounter... As a general rule, if resetting your config makes your Unreal run again, only modify those settings you know you need to change and leave all others as they are...
Installing custom maps, skins and other files:
Basically, all the info you need is in the section above! In most cases you will download zip files from somewhere, and after unzipping them all you have to do is copy the files into the directories they belong to. So... *.unr files go into Maps, *.utx go into Textures and so on. Skin packages (UTX files) also have associated int files which need to go into the System directory to become available (CLIENT). A server does not need the int files, but must make Skin packages Serverpackage (read about ServerPackages and ServerActors). If you find you already have files of the same name, keep the "newer" or bigger one. These are usually backward compatible (OFFLINE ONLY) and in case you come to a server running the older version of the file, just rename the file to play online again (see version conflicts and how to resolve them).
UMOD files are a special sort of package, these are Unreal installer files which (should) install everything by themselves simply by double-clicking on them. But this only works if your Unreal is installed properly, also, UMOD files sometimes cause problems in various other fields... If you experience problems with UMOD files, try to download the same package in the "NO UMOD" variant if that is available. If that is not available, you might still be able to install even a UMOD file manually by extracting the UMOD contents using a UMOD EXTACTOR. This tool simply unpacks all files of the UMOD (like WinZip does for zip files) and then you can copy them manually to the directories where they need to go. You can ignore the "manifest" files by the way...