VULD is a multifunctional launcher utility for DOS and DOSBox created and maintained by Jading Tsunami. It targets vanilla mods and WADs by design. Normally, when mods contain sprites or flats alongside other assets, they must be merged into the user's IWAD before playing. VULD automates this process.
The inspiration for VULD came from a request to have a program that could automatically apply DeHackEd patches to a new executable and renaming it automatically to the name used by the patch, using DeHackEd's DoomHack option. A first try was attempted on June 3, 2020 in this Doomworld forums , called Filepick. It would find all the DEH files in the directory, prompt the user to choose one, then apply it as a patch and copy DOOMHACK.EXE to the dehacked patch name with a .EXE extension. It required DeHackEd's .INI file to function.
Following feedback, Jading expanded the project and released the first version of VULD on June 6, 2020. Through various updates, VULD removed the need for the .INI file and added several new parameters in separate batch files.
The VULD package makes use of DeHackEd v3.1 and DeuSF 4.40 to automate the parameters that can be given to the main program, VULD.EXE. It can be called by three included batch files. These are VRUN.BAT, VRERUN.BAT and VCREATE.BAT. An additional program is also provided, called DEHPICK.EXE. They need to be placed in the user's game folder.
For each of the three batch files, the following rules apply:
- Only one game per folder! Do not mix game assets from different versions or sequels. Typically, you place DOOM2.EXE and its IWAD in the main folder.
- Place any vanilla mods with flats, sprites, etc. and/or DeHackEd files into subdirectories of your main game folder. Only one mod per subfolder All mods (DEH and WAD files) in a subfolder will be merged at the same time, potentially overwriting one another. In practice, it is recommended to only place one DEH file and a PWAD in the subfolder, if any. If a mod needs more PWADs, then you place these as well.
- Delete or move the DEHACKED.INI file if any exists before starting, or it may interfere with VULD patching.
- While in your main game folder, type VRUN, press enter, select the mod you want to play and it should compile and launch without modifying your game files. It will call the included DeHackEd and DeuSF programs automatically and correctly "merge" any DeHackEd patch and also "append" or "deflate" any graphics contained in a PWAD to a copy of your main Doom executable using DeHackEd's DoomHack feature.
- Warning: If you have a DOOMHACK.EXE, back it up first or it will be overwritten.
- If DeHackEd asks if you want to create a DOOMHACK.EXE, say "yes" to avoid overwriting data in your main game files.
- After the process is finished, VRUN will automatically rename the resulting executable and modified WAD to a default name called VULDMOD.EXE and VULDMOD.WAD. This is the modified executable and WAD that include the DeHackEd patch and/or any graphics from a PWAD. These are stored in a folder called VULD_DIR. VRUN will automatically start the modified executable, ready to play.
- This allows you to "re-run" the most recent modification without rebuilding. This however needs VRUN to be run first.
- This works the same as VRUN, except where VRUN automatically launches the resultant executables, VCREATE allows you to only create these and move them for later use. These local files should not be distributed.
- Unlike VRUN, VCREATE will automatically rename the resulting executable to the name of the DeHackEd patch. So if a folder contains a file called ASTRO.DEH, the resultant executable will be ASTRO.EXE.
- Afterwards, you move this executable and any WAD to a new subfolder (But with the Doom/Doom II IWAD in the main folder) and launch the new executable along with its included WAD. For example, to launch ASTRO.EXE, you will use "astro -file astro.wad".
A separate program is also provided in the VULD package, called DEHPICK.EXE. An evolution of the previous FILEPICK.EXE, DEHPICK requires to be placed in the main game folder, along with any DeHackEd patch. This is unlike the main VULD program, where patches need to be stored in their own subfolders. You can also optionally supply a folder as a command-line argument and DEHPICK will look for DeHackEd patches there, as well as store the patched executable in that folder.
- Warning: If you have a DOOMHACK.EXE, patches can be applied on top of that executable. This will allow you to apply multiple patches by running DEHPICK more than once. Alternatively, DEHPICK will give you the option to start over if it has detected an existing DeHackEd DoomHack executable. The "start over" option will delete your DOOMHACK.EXE and start with a clean game executable.
- DEHPICK is particularly useful for weapon or monster mods that do not require any PWADs or additional graphics.
VULD consists of the following features:
- Automatically "merge" any DeHackEd patch and also "append" or "deflate" any graphics contained in a PWAD to a copy of your main Doom executable using DeHackEd's DoomHack feature
- Create custom named executables containing DeHackEd patches and graphics contained in a PWAD that can be moved for later use
- Ability to "merge" DeHackEd patches only, useful for weapon or monster mods
- VULD originally was going to be an acronym for something like "Vanilla Utility for Launching Doom", or "Vanilla Ultimate Launcher of Doom". The author was however not quite happy with any of the acronym candidates and liked that VULD was short and pronounceable and it also sounded cool, so the name stuck.