Tribes 2 Installer

Before I begin, I have checked for previous topics regarding this and I believe I got a hit at I decided since the thread was "dated", I'd start fresh.

I'm human. I hate losing time. I hate lost disk space. And honestly, I hate having to click more times just to pass an ad or two. So I decided to handle it.

I ran tribes2gsi.exe and let it extract necessary game files to the temp directory on my system, and moved them to a permanent location and closed the installer. I discovered some reasons why the installer is so big:

1. It's older: Yeah, newer technologies have been made in the past 10 years that would fix that issue. Any Joe Schmoe would see that coming.

Here's where it got interesting.

2. It contains all of the CD content bundled into it. It even has autorun.exe, which is honestly worthless if not on a CD. That violates the laws of hard disk efficiency.

So I decided to take the necessary Tribes2 files, isolate them, and copy them. I made the install script and compiled it and already narrowed it down to 463MB. I ran the installer and it worked. I then installed a TribesNext patch over it and ran it. Completely compatible, and played on Snap Crackle Pub for a little bit.

Once everything was checked, I completely removed the entire installation and copied the vanilla Tribes 2 files again. This time, I downloaded the map packs from and added them into the setup. In response to Blakhart in that thread listed above, I added the option of "picking" what to be added. Then, I added a few construction maps as another option. I did the same for TracerECM, Derkyle Stat Tracking, and Debrief Startup. I compiled the script and installed and uninstalled the installer using different combinations, and it worked each time.

If it's absolutely necessary, I can rebundle the installer with DirectX 8.0, but I see no reason with hardware in present day.

From what I understand COMMANDER COOK was doing, an MSI wasn't the best (nor the worst) way to go. Adding AI maps isn't terrible, but I'd need a show of hands for if that's a complete necessity. I don't understand why he needed to change default map storage, base/missions is fine.

I have found the code that limits bot counts and player counts. I did go ahead and up them.

I did read multiple people in the thread say Thyth doesn't want a new Tribes 2 installer distributed through here. However, according to what I read, Thyth's only concern is keeping the TribesNext system completely out of the installer as in no setup, prepatching, or mention, which is what I've done in my test installers. Please correct me if I've missed something.

So now that I have taken "naked" Tribes 2 and compressed it to 463MB, is there anything else that I should add? I do understand that there are few players on Tribes ATM. This could be a potential booster because so many people I know leave just because there is no easy map installation support inside the community (Thyth's not the only one in the community, if you want it so bad, write a program that checks for new maps on a public server before launching the game).

If an entire Tribes 2 installer is overkill, how about a content addon that applies community maps and hud modifications. And to answer a question I got earlier: No, I will not hand out personal installers that patch while the installation runs, no matter how many times you swear that it won't be made public.


  • Modified Tribes 2 installers are grey area. The GSI file itself was put out as freeware with no redistribution restrictions, but is fundamentally still subject to other copyright protections (e.g. with regards to derivative works). Thus, to remove any potential legal ambiguity around the Tribes 2 IP and copyrights, we distribute that verbatim freeware copy under the same terms that it was first released by Vivendi in 2004.

    The TribesNext patch itself contains zero code or other copyrightable material sourced from Tribes 2 (and in fact, could be configured to patch Torque games in general). Only when an end-user combines the patch and the GSI output is a derivative work created. The copyright laws in the US are a bit wonky, so, while the two input components are freely distributable (GSI released as freeware by Vivendi, TribesNext patch released as freeware by the TribesNext team), the combined output is legally ambiguous.

    There was some discussion of doing some greater installer automation with the unmodified GSI run unmodified in a stage (e.g. using input macros to automate clicking "Next" and such in the installer wizard), but, honestly, the installation process doesn't take very long and trying to save 60 MB just isn't worth the hassle, IMO.
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