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   I know that a lot of people have never edited a pak file before. For that reason I have decided to do a few things to make it easier on you all.
   The first thing is that I have decided to implement a standard for all of the files. All optionals will be downloaded as a pak9.pak file for ease of use for anyone who is unfamiliar with pak editing and doesn't want to learn. All you have to do is copy it to your quake2/action/ directory and that is it. I used pak9.pak because the way quake2 works is that it reads them in order so pak9.pak will be loaded after any other pak file and that way your optionals will always work.
   The second thing is pretty much this tutorial. I know that a lot of people are going to want to use more than one optional file so it may get confusing when you try to install two pak9.pak file and realize you overwrote the old one. So here comes an explanation. This may confuse a few people and since it is only necessary if you want to use multiple optionals then skip it if you only want to you one.

Just for an example you could use the Gold Akimbos, crosshairs, and console backgrounds I made all in one pak9.pak and make a Suislide's pak or something. But that is of course just an example and I doubt many will use the crosshairs since they were designed for software at low res and will look funky in GL (which is why I no longer use them).

   Ok, there is a simple way that isn't very efficient but is very easy to do if you only want to use a couple files. Move one pak9.pak into your quake2/action directory like I described above and then take the second one you want to use and put it in a temporary directory. Look in you quake2/action directory and find out which pak files you have there already. Then rename the pak9.pak you have in the temporary directory 1 number higher then the highest one you have already and then copy it into your quake2/action directory. For example (examples are always easier) if you have pak0.pak, pak1.pak, and pak5.pak in you quake2/action directory then rename one of your pak9.pak (optional files) to one number higher than pak5.pak. Then you will have pak0.pak, pak1.pak, pak5.pak, and pak6.pak. Then just copy your other optionals file (the other pak9.pak) into your quake2/action directory along with those and you are done. There are a few drawbacks to this method though. Since the later files load take priority then you could very well run into problems where you want 1 file from one optionals to load and one file from another. So you couldn't install 2 sound packs for example and then pick and choose sounds from each one. You would simply get the later number paks sounds instead since they can only be loaded once and the later number takes priority. It also means that if a map pack or something else comes out later that uses the pak number you used then your pak will be overwritten. This will never happen with pak9.pak since I have already told the map depot guys to reserve that number for the Actor's Guild's optionals. It also means if you use more than a couple optionals then you can run out of numbers real quick since quake2 only supports up to pak9 I believe. Well, there is a way around these problems but it isn't as simple.
   First off you will need a pak editor to follow along nay further. You can get them from here at the actor's guild from the downloads page under utilities OR you can go to these sites and get them from their homepages (you will be assured to get the latest version if you do). I recommend pakexplorer since it is a much smaller download and it is VERY much like windows explorer and so it is easy to understand. But it doesn't support long file names (shouldn't pose any problems but it might) and qped does.
   Now that you have one of these programs you can dive into your pak files and change them. Well, if you have ever made zip files then this should be simple for you since this is even easier. Like a zip file a .pak file is simply a bunch of files and directories stored as one file. The biggest difference is that a pak file isn't compressed at all (or very little). So open up pak explorer or qped and open one of your optionals pak files. You will notice it has a listing of directories and then files on the right very similar to the way windows explorer looks. Well, what you need to do is combine all the files you want into one pak9.pak file. If you are timid then it may sound pretty confusing but it is actually pretty simple. To do this, open one pak9.pak and delete each file out of it that you do not want to use. You will then have to extract the files left from one pak file out of the pak and into a regular directory/file structure. In pak explorer this is VERY simple since it is a one button thing. If you use qped then you can probably figure it out simply in that as well. I don't want to sound like I think you are all a bunch of idiots any more than I may have already by keeping it simple so I won't explain this part. Just read the help files for the program if you get confused. Ok, once you have the files for one pak9.pak extracted then you can delete the pak9.pak itself since you don't need it any more. Then open up the OTHER pak9.pak file that has files you want to use in the final pak9.pak and once again delete each file out of it that you do not want (just select the file and hit the delete key). This time you aren't going to extract the remaining files though because there is no reason to make a brand new pak9 when you can just edit this one. Just drag the directories and files left over from the first pak9.pak file into this one and you are done (make sure you got the directory structure in the pak right or it won't work). pakexplorer saves in real time so if you delete there is no undelete (I believe that is still the way it is for all pak editors). be careful with this and always back up your file if you are editing something you don't want to lose (like pak0.pak). If you want to use file from more than 2 paks then just keep repeating step 1 until you get to the last pak file that has files you want to use and then use step2. Pretty simple. If you want to use files you got from somewhere besides the actor's guild (like one's you made yourself) then that is simple too. Just drag them in like the rest of the files.
   Before you submit any files to us we would appreciate if you could make a pak9.pak so we don't have to. To do this just open pak explorer and chose new pak from the file menu. Then just drag the directories and files into the pak and double check to make sure everything worked right. Then make a readme.txt file for it explaining what your optional is exactly and any other info about it or yourself that you want to include. Then zip it up and send it to unorthadox. His email can be found all over this site. I will make a readme template to make it simple to make a good readme later but for now just make whatever type of readme you want. You will probably want to put your name and contact info and the date in there as well as what the pak includes since that is the important stuff. Please do not compile optionals we already have together and then send them in. Only new files please.