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New Project - Forza File Manager


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#1 hwnd

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 10:15 AM

I've started a new project and have had enough success with it that I though I'd share with the community. Before we get to the good stuff I should get out of the way that I don't need testers, binaries/source are not (currently) available, and no, you can't use it to cheat on xbox live.

The reason that i started this is that i wanted the ability to add custom events to the single-player career, which i'm still not sure is possible. But i made enough progress that i'm going to continue regardless.

Basically, this tool lets you open up a Forza CAB, simmilar to Angerwound's CABExtract (thanks for the sample code), it *ALSO* lets you insert (some) files back in to the cab and boot it in Forza.

I still have a *LONG* way to go before it can do anything really cool, but this is what i've been able to accomplish so far.

* Extract Forza .CAB file and browse contents
* Document Forza .CAB file structure, leveraging Angerwound's code heavily
* Extract .DDS files from .XPRs directly in the UI
* Document .XPR file structure
* Insert .DDS file back into .XPR and then back into .CAB. I can re-extract it without any data loss, but Forza give me a dirty-disc, so i've got something wrong.
* Modify car livery file (livery0.livery) and insert it back into the cab. File size differences are accounted for.

So what this means right now is that i can take a car, open it up, fiddle with the RGB values for the car's default colors when you purchase it, and spit them back out to use in the game. Changing the car's color isn't a big deal; you can repaint the car in the game, but this opens up the door for adding custom colors not available in the paint shop by using straight RGB values. Each livery also references a texture from a .XPR archive.

I have a lot of broken pieces and the .CAB files are still a bit of a mystery. But work is progressing and things are coming along nicely.

Here are my short-term feature goals. If these get implemented and work well it opens up the door to lots of other stuff.

* Extract Forza .CAB, .CA2, .XB2 files
* UI-based livery editor (Add, Remove, Modify)
* Replace .XPR textures with modified ones
* Create new Forza .CAB

Check out the screenshot below for a sample. The default VW Beetle color is black, you can tell because the thumbnail at the bottom always shows the default color of the car, since it's a static image. I've changed the color to red in this example.

user posted image
user posted image
user posted image

I'll try to grab some more screenies of different cars and my app tomorrow.

If you have any interest in helping with development, let me know. I need help with .XPR files and Forza .CAB files. Non-programmers need not apply. I'm using VB.NET for those who are curious.

Peace out.

-h

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#2 PedrosPad

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 01:10 PM

Sounds like an interesting project. Congrats on your progress. smile.gif

QUOTE(hwnd @ Aug 24 2005, 11:26 AM)
* Insert .DDS file back into .XPR and then back into .CAB.  I can re-extract it without any data loss, but Forza give me a dirty-disc, so i've got something wrong.

View Post


Could be a checksum somewhere.

#3 punge

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 06:22 PM


Good luck with this, I'll be awaiting updates.



#4 Angerwound

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 08:47 PM

Glad to see my example Cab Extract is helping to further future projects. Be aware, my code isn't pretty. wink.gif

PS: If you have any questions/comments/concerns about the .CAB, .CA2 or .XB2 file structures feel free to contact me.
AIM: Angerwound
EMAIL: Angerwound@gmail.com

and of course through PM here.

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#5 hwnd

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 02:04 AM

Project Update

* Injecting files into car_<filename>.cab files has been nailed down. I've been able change all sorts of stuff, no more Dirty-Disc. Screenies below.

* Implemented basic livery editor; modifies standard car colors available at time of purchase.

* Implemented DDS texture viewer; can view livery0hi.xpr contents, the other textures are a bit wonky, haven't been able to figure them out yet. Repackaging DDS back into an XPR still fails, so editing is not yet possible.

* Added splitting and extracting support for .CA2 archives; can successfully unpack cars.ca2, mega.ca2, and megaxpr.ca2. Some files seem to be compressed using something slightly different, resulting in corrupt data.

Screenshots

user posted image
Porsche 911 GT3 SCCA, nothing too special

user posted image
VW Beetle with modified livery colors and Porsche 911 GT3 SCCA livery mapped. Texture coordinates are different, so it doesn't map correctly (obviously). I've also been able to swap the car.carbin file too, which makes the Beetle look like the 911 GT3. It does work in-game, and looks really weird, the wheels don't line up correctly.

user posted image
Crappy screenshot of the UI, showing the contents of the VW and Porsche CABs, as well as the Porsche's livery0hi.dds texture

That's it for now. *IF* I can sort out creating .CA2 files lots of things become possible, in-car camera, modified performance and physics, and modified career series races.

Stay tuned.

-h

#6 PedrosPad

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 08:34 AM

All looking promising. smile.gif


#7 WBAGAM

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 09:05 AM

WOW this project is awsome
I hope we can edit performance soon
a 19k rpm tach would be awsome
ha ha
anyway keep up the awsome work

#8 hwnd

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:17 AM

These .CA2 files are ticky. I can unpack and repack with identical files and boot that without a dirty-disc, but any changes at all cause an error. It looks like there's a checksum issue.

From what i can gather, Forza looks at the .CA2 files and does some sort of validation on them before unpacking and copying them over to the HDD. ui_NTSC.ca2 is the first one to be checked, which is done during the "Original Music by Junkie XL" screen. If you hear the hard drive start thrashing it validated the file and unpacks the cab to the temp drive, then goes on to the others.

If it does calc a checksum it doesn't take the padding at the end of the file into account since i can fill it with junk, or remove it entirely and nothing changes. So total file size seems to be unimportant, and on the surface a checksum on the .ca2 file seems unlikely. Perhaps a checksum on the internal .CAB file? Unpacking the junk-padded .CA2 file results in an indentical .CAB. Hmm...

Any advise from those of you who have dealt with checksum/CRC issues in the past? THis is a new area for me.

-h



#9 PedrosPad

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 11:42 PM

Just a thought, but make sure you clear out the XBOX HDD cache drives ahead of testing out any edited CA2 files. It's likely that they're unpacked to one of the cache drives, and if it's thinks it's already unpacked it there, it may be left wondering why it's now different to the new (your) CA2 file.


#10 WBAGAM

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 01:49 AM

anything new with this project i cant wait


#11 FSG

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:17 PM


I know this is an old topic but.

Does anyone know if this was ever completed?

#12 hwnd

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE(FSG @ May 3 2006, 03:24 PM) View Post

I know this is an old topic but.

Does anyone know if this was ever completed?


Sadly, no. I got to the point where i could recreate .cab and .ca2 files, but got DDE errors when loading the modified .ca2 files. This'll remain on the shelf until that mystery is unsolved.

-h

#13 FSG

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the reply. I may be able to help you Re-Pack CA2. Thats all I want lol.

#14 punge

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:55 PM

QUOTE(FSG @ May 3 2006, 03:56 PM) View Post

Thanks for the reply. I may be able to help you Re-Pack CA2. Thats all I want lol.


What are you doing to re-pack the files? I've been trying for a while now.

#15 FSG

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:57 PM

No I mean I want to Re-Pack them its the only thing I need. And I said I may be able to help him find a way.




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