So you've found the fscommunity and you've downloaded some third party add-ons. Well, let us tell you, you have started a journey that will bring you endless joy and entertainment! Flight Simulator to us is nothing without add-ons. If you have a file now be it .zip or .exe you need to follow a few steps to get it running in your Simulator. Soon you'll be a pro and it really is easy once you know the steps.
Many Authors place their works in a compressed zip file. This is the most common way you'll see files being distributed. There are self extracting files and .exe files that pretty much do the same thing. The thing to remember is that the .exe files usually don't need intervention by you as they know where to place the scenery once extracted.
|Zip file utility|
You will need a 32 bit unzip utility to de-compress and install files from the net. There are many to choose from. The main function of the "unzipper" is to place chars(data) back into the file where they were taken out by a compression utility. That's all you really need to know except that some programs do have what's called "spyware" you know we like to be honest. If you perform an internet search at http://www.google.com/ or http://download.com with 'zip programs as' the criteria you'll find that there are hundreds to choose from!
We recommend winzip as it is easy in it's functionality and is free. Once you have a Zip utility proceed to the next step.
Where do I put it?
It's important to place the file you downloaded into a temporary directory.
It's a good idea to save your downloaded files into a temp directory. That way you don't loose track of them or the files that have been extracted. So, create a temporary folder and place your .zip or. exe file in it.
Now right click the file and make a choice. Here we choose to have the file make it's own folder.
Now we should have a new folder inside our Temporary folder.
The file structure you will find will be varied from author to author and some will have self-extracting .exe installers. Most come in a zip file with subfolder within.
Some authors wrap the scenery in another folder or put the scenery inside another zip file. Browse through the newly created folder to see if that is the case. If so, you need to remove the wrapper. The folder structure here is broken down into what you will add to the Main FS Directories and the sub directory scenery. A scenery such as this one requires that we would cut and paste all the files from FSmain\scenery and FSmain\texture to their respective directories FS2002\scenery and FS2002\texture. Then we would cut and paste the entire Uudd folder to the FS2002\scenery folder.
Separate main from sub
|Crucial file placement|
Here we cut and paste the tree library and Nova .bgls to the FS 2002 main scenery folder. We will do the same for the files found in the FSmain texture folder shown above. The purpose here is to load these .bgls into FS before the scenery so when the call comes it's ready. A lot of scenery will not require this but it is a designers preference. It also depends on where your scenery sits in the pecking order in the scenery library manager.
|Crucial file placement|
Here we cut and paste the tree library textures to the FS 2002 main texture folder. The purpose here is to load these textures with the .bgls when Flight Simulator boots. Now when a macro calls a tree the Simulator is ready.
Here we cut and paste the entire scenery folder and its subdirectories to the main FS2002 scenery folder. This is the meat of the scenery. The folder structure should remain intact. A good thing to remember as well is to never place a folder named scenery within the main FS2002 scenery folder. Chaos will ensue! Unless the the sceneries readme instructions tell you to do so do not cut or copy any of the scenery "meat" .bgls to the main directory. Textures are different, you can if requested place them into the main folders. Sometimes as with Planesimulations Afghanistan Missions copying all the *.af aircraft textures to the Main Texture folder is a good Idea.
Fight Simulator Scenery
As you can see in the above screenshots the scenery consists of .bgls and texture files which can be .bmp, .oav, .pat, .r8, and for aircraft *.af. Scenery does not use .gif or .jpg format so if you find those files in a scenery folder they are doing nothing but wasting space..
Start Flight Simulator
The scenery if not a self-extractor will have to be registered with Flight Simulator so go ahead and fire it up. Bring up the scenery library manager and click add. Then find the folder we just cut and pasted into scenery and select. The Simulator will take some time to install the new scenery so give it a moment. It'll say Loading new scenery but won't actually take you there. The scenery now should be available to you when you select go to airport.
Garreth Jones - Aircraft and Scenery