Server is important, not hakpaks

This is a guide for server admin, who wants to use hakpaks in his modules. I would first like to share my opinion about game hosting, which has heavily influenced design of Hak Updater. Each server is unique. Ok, you might want to download module from web, put random hakpak and open it to public, but sooner or later, you will want to have your very own server, which is different from every other server out there. This is why I think, that anybody who uses hakpaks, will at some point stop to use ready/prepackaged solutions and start to merge components from different sources. New tileset will appear - instead of downloading 25in1 pak, just grab this new tileset and add it yourself. Then add another model/reskin. Few spells and icons. Etc, etc.

So, with this tool, very one of you will have to create your own hakpak. Please do not worry - if you just want to use ready-to-use hakpak, it will be quite simple to import it. But somewhere behind the scenes, your truly unique hakpak will be prepared.

Prepare contents

  1. Decide what you want to have. Grab some hakpak from the net and see if you like it. This will be a basis for your own hakpak
  2. Name your hakpak. Even if you have grabbed winter.hak, please rename it. In other case, there will be problems with other servers using hakpaks with same names but different contents. Hak Updater WILL handle it at some point, but for now, it can be quite unfriendly for client, as every update overwrites same file there and back.  Just rename file using explorer or other tool, giving it name which has something to do with your server. For example if your server is called Dire Wolf Den, direwolfden.hak is a good name. But if it is called My Server, then you will better name your hakpak like JohnRomeroPak.hak (if you happen to be called John Romero).
  3. Run hak updater and please note where you have created hakpak util temporary directory. There you will play with contents of your hakpak. You can change this location at any point by selecting 'Config/Select storage directory', but remember that in such case you will loose your cache (unless you copy it by hand - it will work if done correctly, but I'm not supporting it...). Let's suppose that this directory is name c:\games\nwn\hakupdater (in other case, substitute your own directory every time I'll write this one).
  4. Select 'Hakpak/Unpack other hakpak'. Then point to your choosen hakpak. After some time (depending on size of hakpak,number of files inside and speed of your computer) unpacking will take from one second to one minute. Now, please look into c:\games\nwn\hakupdater\unpack. You should see a directory name like your unpacked hakpak. Inside, there are files which were inside hakpak.
Now you can play with contents. Delete any files you want, import new ones etc. If you want to merge it with different hakpak, just unpack this other hakpak in same way and then copy files between directories, using Explorer or other tool you like.
If you would like to start from scratch, you can create directory yourself and fill it with contents by hand. It does not have to be in c:\games\nwn\hakupdater\unpack and it does not have to be named like your hakpak - but sticking to it will make your life easier.

Create info file

You need information file. This is most important part. Please put your pakinfo.txt file in your unpacked hakpak directory and edit it's contents. You can download template here [pakinfo.txt].

HakName=Hak Pak Name
Description=First line\nSecond line\nNext line

ServerName=Dire Wolf Den

Please fill it out. You will do it only once. You DO NOT need to update Version every time you edit contents - this field is not used for now, you can put anything you want there, for example data (it is for your information - you can as well delete this field).
Which fields are REALLY important ?
Rest of fields are more or less optional. HakName should describe your hakpak (like John Romero models and textures). Description should be info which will be embedded into hakpak - multiple lines are possible here, \n means newline (but in this file it has to be all in one line). Author/AuthorEmail is obvious. Please put your own email (server admin contact), as for Author, probably also your name, unless you want to also mention original content creator. But there is no way you can place all authors for more complicated hakpaks. If you want to stay fair, just put thanks.txt file in your hakpak with any text you like inside. Version, as I have already said, is not important for tool - put there anything you like. ServerHost and ServerPort should point to your running NWN server - it is used by HakPak to enable direct connection to your server, instead of going through NWN selection system.
UpdateCompressed and LibraryURL are advanced properties. For now, leave UpdateCompressed as false and do not enter LibraryURL. Override and DialogDiff allow you to play with parts of NWN which are not yet supported by Bioware - some of files does not work in hakpaks and have to be placed in override dir and for some extra content, dialog.tlk file has to be modified. For more info, look into advanced section, for now leave it empty.

After you have put pakinfo.txt in your hakpak contents directory (c:\games\nwn\hakupdater\unpack\direwolfden.hak\ for example), you are done with this step. You will never have to modify this file again, unless you will move your web page or server.

Test if everything works

Now please select 'Hakdir/Pack directory to hakpak'. Point program to your pakinfo.txt file and hakpak will be created. It is inside your nwn hak directory - ready to be used by game. Now you can play with toolset and game, and check if everything is ok. It is possible to crash a game with bad contents in hakpak, so please always do a check before giving it to public. You will probably also want to put new content inside your module.

Generate paklist

This is VERY important step. It determines if people will see your updated hakpak or not. Please select 'Hakdir/Generate listing' and once again choose your unpacked directory (program will reuse directory you packed recently, so in most cases it is enough to press OK). 'Generating MD5 sums' dialog will appear and you have to wait a bit. This step creates paklist.txt file in your directory - it contains list of all files together with length and checksum.

Copy contents to web server

You need a place on web server to host your files. What you need is a single directory. Let's suppose it is at Copy all files from your unpacked hakpak directory to this directory on server. pakinfo.txt should be visible as and paklist.txt as Please doublecheck it when you do it for the first time, just for sanity check. All other files also have to be copied there. How do you copy files to your server is up to you - sometimes you need to use ftp, sometimes scp, sometimes you have web server on your computer and you just need to copy files with explorer. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you happen to host your web server on your computer, do not point download directory directly to c:\games\nwn\hakupdater\unpack\direwolfden.hak\  !!! If you will do it, then at the moment you are recreating you hakpak, people could get corrupted contents. Copy it to other, dedicated web directory.

Thats all

Please put '' (however it is called for you server) URL visible somewhere on your webpages, so people could enter it to Hak Updater before play. It would be also good to have packed hakpak available somewhere for people not using this tool, plus link to for clients that want to install it.
You can pretend that you are a client to check if everything works correctly. Choose 'Hakpak/Add hakpak from URL' and enter your info URL - ( for example) and watch in awe. You will probably want to read client info for exact steps for hakpak download. One note - if you are a server admin, please make sure you have autoupdate checked off. In other case, every time you run Hak Updater, you hakpak will be replaced with version available on your web site - which is bad for testing new content :)

You can contact me at

Hosted by: Logo