Morrowind modding for smarties, part 6: mod testing/packaging

When resources used by your mod start increasing, it is often difficult, time consuming and prone to errors to track and package everything needed by hand.
Luckily, there are tools that can really help with the task.

The one tool I currently recommend is TESFiles 3.1.

Just pay attention to delete/rename the previously used destination folder before exporting your mod else it will crash with a cryptic error message.

Note: if your mod is adding/changing .mp3 dialog voice files, TESFiles fails to detect them, so yu'd better pack them using Overunity

TESFiles is simply the best resource checking/mod releasing tool I have found so far, simple to use and effective (click your mod, press Export button) and it works seamlessly with Mash Installers.

Morrowind TESFiles utility

I suggest you drop your TESFILES.exe in your configured Mash installers directory, so you can build your mod packages using TESFiles, have them organized in a classic my_mod_name/Data Files/ folder structure and use them from Mash Installers tab.

Also, I suggest you follow Mash advice and  put your mod documentation (readme) inside a Data Files\Docs folder, and name it in a meaningful way (remember, it will probably not be the only readme present!) e.g.my_mod_name.txt, my_mod_name_readme.txt or something similar.

The only real problem with TESFiles (and other similar tools) is that it does not scan resources inside .bsa packages, so if your mod uses them you will have to add them by hand as usual, and references to external sounds eventually contained inside animations note tracks (e.g. .kf, .nif file) are not detected, so you will have to add them to your package by hand.

Anyway, before releasing your mod of even adding a mod from someone else to your mod list, I really suggest you try exporting the mod with TESFiles and take a look at reports inside the  generated folder (my_mod_name_error.txt and my_mod_name_log.txt), you will often find unexpected missing resources.

Naturally, before distributing your mod you'd better compress it using a standard packaging file format.
If your mod is very small, you can use the elder .zip format, but usually the best format is .7z , it is more efficient, widely used and open source.

There are a lot of tools to manage packaging formats, personally I like 7zip file manager but there are many.