AOPS (Advanced Online Patching System) is the built-in advanced patching system for your games, it comes as part of the Game Launcher Creator software.

AOPS allows your users to patch their current game installation to the latest version. It also allows you to use it as a file repair system, in case any of the users files become corrupt, modified or deleted. AOPS can sound and look daunting, but it’s actually, really, very easy to use. You just need to take 30 minutes out of your time to get to grips with the initial setup. Patching after the initial setup is a breeze (literally).

Here in this tutorial, we aim to teach you how the AOPS system built into GLC V2 actually works. We have split this tutorial up into separate parts so you can work through it, or skip to whichever part you need to brush up on.

Preparing Your Launcher

The first thing to do is, prepare your game launcher. Design and build it as you normally would, AOPS should be the last thing you concentrate on before building.

Once you have prepared your game launcher, to setup the game patching system (AOPS) we first need to include an update button inside your launcher. So go ahead and pop in a button, in that button properties, select ‘Check for Updates’. This is the button the user will click to launch AOPS and start updating/patching their game.

The way the patching system will work for this tutorial is this, these are the steps:

  1. Prepare your game files
  2. Configure your launcher settings
  3. Scan over your game files
  4. Rename your game files
  5. Upload your game files
  6. Configure the version information

This is literally it, for the initial setup. So let’s take a look at these steps in greater detail. Again, this may seem like a long-winded process but it really isn’t once you know what you are doing.

Prepare your game files

Firstly, you need to prepare your game files. So, build your full game out to a folder. In our example, we are using a folder in our G:\ drive called G:\TestGame\1.0\ – this is the first version of our game. You can see, we have built our entire game out to this folder…

AOPS preparing game files

As you can see, I have also built the launcher out already to the game install, as I want to be able to patch the launcher too, should I ever update the launcher. If you wish to do this, build your launch and copy the launcher executable and the data folder over to your game folder, like I did above.

Configure Game Launcher Settings

Now it’s time to get into GLC V2 and configure your game launcher settings. Once you are in GLC V2 with your game launcher project open, open up the launcher settings dialog, click ‘Enable Patcher’

Enable AOPS

Now, click on AOPS configuration. Here I will go through and describe each setting. Then we shall continue the tutorial…

AOPS Configuration

Online Configuration

Patch URL File – This is the location of your game files on your webserver (ie: https://mysite.com/mygame/files/)
Patch File URL – This is the location of the patch file on your webserver (ie: https://mysite.com/mygame/patch.gcl)
Hash Salt – Your secret hash key (can be any length – min. 5 chars)
Remote Version File – The location of your version text file on your webserver (ie: https://mysite.com/mygame/version.txt)

Force Patch Update – On/Off – Will force the update and not ask the user
Auto Patcher – Automatically check for update without waiting for the user

Registry

Retrieve Install Path from Registry – Check this box and fill out the following fields, if you want the patcher to locate the game installation. This is useful if your launcher is not installed to the game directory.

Root Key – The root key in the registry to locate your game installation
Current Key – The full path under the root key to the registry key (do not start or end with trails – ie: Software/ByteBox Media/Test Game)
String – The registry string to look for under the Current Key (ie: InstallDir)

Customization

Preloader – Choose a preloader to display whilst patching files

Update Configuration

This section allows you to update the version information AFTER patching.

Update via Registry – Update a registry key to the latest version number after patching
Update via INI – Update the version information via an INI file after patching
Update via Local File – Update the version information via a Local File after patching