*.VP

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VP (Volition Package) files are a packaging file format, used to package multiple files into a single file, while maintaining directory structure. They do not use any sort of compression.

Viewers

On Win32, the most popular VP viewer is VPView32. However, almost all the editors can also be used to extract files from VPs.

wxVPView is modeled on VPView32, but with cross platform support (Win/OSX/Linux)

Editors

As of this writing, there are a few different editors.

VPCS

Features an explorer-like interface, and is fairly easy to use to create or modify VPs.

QuickVP

Features a Winzip-like interface, is very easy to use to create, modify, and extract files and directories to/from VPs.

VPMage

Somewhat more difficult to use than VPCS or QuickVP, but also adds the ability to merge VP files, update files already in a VP, and edit files already in a VP.

Maja

The latest VP editor, with the ability to both read and edit VPs. It is possible to place a batch of files anywhere in a VP directory, in contrast to VPMage, which requires you to import either a "Data" folder or another VP.

VPGUI

Based on .NET 4.5 VPGUI is a new editor with nifty features like drag-and-drop & a browser like history.

File structure

VP files are made up of three main components; the header, followed by the individual files, and finally the index for the entries.

The Header

char header[4]; //Always "VPVP"
int version;    //As of this version, still 2.
int diroffset;  //Offset to the file index
int direntries; //Number of entries

The files

Files are simply stored in the VP, one right after the other. No spacing or null termination is necessary.

The index

The index is a series of "direntries"; each directory has the structure, as seen below.

int offset; //Offset of the file data for this entry.
int size; //Size of the file data for this entry
char name[32]; //Null-terminated filename, directory name, or ".." for backdir
int timestamp; //Time the file was last modified, in unix time.

Each direntry may be a directory, a file, or a backdir. A directory entry signifies the start of a directory, and has the name entry set to the name of the directory; a backdir has the name of "..", and represents the end of a directory.

Because there is no type descriptor inherent to the format, directories and backdirs are identified by the "size", and "timestamp" entries being set to 0.

All valid VP files should start with the "data" directory as the toplevel.

Note that it isn't necessary at all to add backdirs at the end of a VP file.

See Also:

FreeSpace 2 directory structure

FS2 Data Structure

Thanks

To Descent Network (archival link), for getting file structure information before anyone else.