Converting Windows TA mods to Mac TA mods

Getting your Windows TA conversion, mod, or unit pack working on the Mac.

-General points about Mac TA.

  1. The first and most important thing to do is make sure you aren’t reliant on a custom TA .exe.

A) If your custom .exe changes the standard HPI file extensions you need to change them back. All of your files should end in .hpi, .ufo, .ccx, or be called Rev31.gp3. Although it is possible to hexedit the Mac TA application to accept your new extensions it is not commonly done.

B) If you have changed any of the internal folder or file names in your custom .exe you will need to change those back too. If you have folders like the units or weapons folders with different names then there will be no way for Mac TA to read the information in those nonstandard folders. This goes for any files with non-standard names as well (such as Sidedata.tdf).

  1. The Mac TA folder structure is different from Windows TA. This affects not only where to place the files for installation but also affects the order that the files are loaded in.

A) It is important to remember that Mac TA will not load folders that are not HPI packed. For example, If you place a GAMEDATA folder in the root TA folder, Mac TA will ignore it. If you have unpacked folders place them in a new folder and HPI pack that new folder.

B) The directory structure for a new install of Mac TA with all expansion packs looks like this.

The root Total Annihilation folder will contain:
The Total Annihilation application
A folder named “Internet Maps & Units”
A folder named “Battle Tactics”
A folder named “The Core Contingency”
A file named “TotalA1.hpi”
A file named “Rev31.gp3”

The “The Core Contingency” folder will contain:
A file named “CCData.ccx”
A file named “CCMaps.ccx”
A file named “CCMiss.ccx”

The “Battle Tactics” folder will contain:
A file named “BTData.ccx”
A file named “BTMaps.ccx”
A file named “Tactics1.hpi”
A file named “Tactics2.hpi”
A file named “Tactics3.hpi”
A file named “Tactics4.hpi”
A file named “Tactics5.hpi”
A file named “Tactics6.hpi”
A file named “Tactics7.hpi”
A file named “Tactics8.hpi”

C) If you have more then one packed file with the same name then only one can be loaded by TA. For example, if you have a file called unit.fbi packed in a file named unitfile.ccx it would be loaded instead of a file of the same name packed in a file called unitfile.ufo. The location of the packed file is important too. Mac TA will only load files with certain extensions from certain folders.

Here is a list of the order in which Mac TA loads files: (Highest to lowest)

A file named Rev31.gp3 in the TA folder has the absolute highest priority.

A file with a .ccx extension in the “The Core Contingency” folder.

A file with a .ccx extension in the “Battle Tactics” folder.

A file with a .ufo extension in the “Internet Maps & Units” folder.

A file with a .hpi extension in the “Battle Tactics” folder.

A file with a .hpi extension in the TA folder.

D) Do not have any file names that exceed 31 characters. If you do then they will be truncated and will probably completely lose their extension when they get on the Mac. You can have files that exceed the 31 character limit inside an HPI packed file, but I do not recommend this for mods intended for use on a Mac. Packed files that exceed the 31 character limit can not be extracted using the available Mac tools.

  1. Mac TA can only play 8Bit mono .wav files anything else will sound like screeching static.

A) There is a good program called SoundApp on the Mac that will batch convert soundfiles for you. It is best to leave the Sampling Rate as it is.

  1. If your mod has more then 2 sides then Mac users will need to take extra steps to use it. Although Mac TA can use up to 4 sides it will not display their names correctly on the selection screen. It will only alternate between the first 2 sides names even though side 3 or 4 may have been selected.

There are 5 options that can be used to choose sides 3 and 4 in Mac TA:

A) Counting. If you know what side you have selected you can count up until you have selected the side you want. If you know the first side is selected (Arm) you can push the button twice more to select the 3rd side. Unfortunately it will be impossible to know if you have really selected what you want until the game starts.

B) ResEdit. Open the “Total Annihilation Prefs” file with ResEdit. Open "Reg ". The resources named “PlayerXSide” are the ones that need to be changed to choose new sides. For example, if you want to choose side 3 for player one you open “Player0Side” and change the last number to read “0002”.

C) TA Option Editor (www.tauniverse/macta). TA Option Editor provides an easy to use selection screen to choose sides before starting TA.

D) MacUTATOR’s “Set TA Options” command. You can also use MacUTATOR to choose sides before starting TA.

E) The warpgate mutator. If you are making a MacUTATOR version of your mod you can set it up to work with the warpgate mutator.

-General idea of how to get a mod working on the Mac

  1. Get rid of dependance on custom .exe.
  2. Convert sounds to 8Bit Mono.
  3. HPI Pack all files.