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July 11th 2021, 08:57 AM
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
After a lively discussion in the new Libera IRC channel, everyone concluded that a barrier to developing Dink stuff at the moment is that the main audience is this rapidly dwindling forum of about 3 people. Imagine, however, if that were not the case and instead your game could be released independently on or sent directly to your friends and family to play. You may remember my "Dmod auto packager" I released in 2013 which does something like this, however it is no longer maintained and I suggest you don't use it. This guide will inform you how to do the same thing manually and tailor things to your liking. You can perform this packing on any system however the target audience must be using Windows in order to run it. Much like modding of the main game, standalone packaging isn't a topic I ever see discussed despite the overt obviousness of it, so if this is common knowledge then don't bother reading further.

First of all, you'll need to download Freedink.exe, as well as have a Dink data collection on hand (either original game or Freedink-data) as well as your d-mod of choice. Once you have located these, create a new location in which to place them all. For example if you were Sharp and wanting to package up Milderr you might ctrl+shift+n and create a folder called "The Story of Milder Flatstomp Part One". Inside this you would need to extract your Freedink.exe and related files it comes with, as well as placing your D-mod directory (in this case "milderr") as well as your Dink data. When it's done it should look like this:

The Story of Milder Flatstomp Part One

If you attempt to open freedink.exe at this point, it should play the main game in full-screen mode. If it complains that it can't, check your paths again. Now you'll need to create your actual launcher which in this case will be a batch file. Alongside your existing files create a Windows batch file named something like "Start Game.bat" or whatever you feel like. Open it up in your text editor of choice and fill it in like so:

freedink.exe --refdir . -game milderr -w

The refdir tells Freedink where to look for Dink data which is in this case alongside the bat file, and the -game parameter tells it which mod to load. The -w switch tells it to run in windowed mode. You could create a second bat file that lacks this switch if you wanted to give users a choice. After saving it, run it and make sure it runs as expected. If it runs original Dink or does something else weird, check your specified paths and try again. If you're a rather prolific author and want to bundle more than one of your D-mods together, you can simply drop it alongside the existing one and create another bat file that opens that instead. For example Sharp could add Milderr 2 and Forest of Dangers and have a batch file for each one.

Once this is working, you may use an archiver such as WinRAR or 7zip to compress your standalone game ready for release. Due to the bulkiness that is Dink's data, you'll get a file that's around 20MB in size at minimum. If you really want to trim this down, you may go into your Dink data collection and perhaps attempt to delete unnecessary files such as MAP.DAT and other stuff like that you know won't be used. Be careful with this however, as many missing files will just cause the engine to give up, especially graphics. Happy packing!