Data File Types

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Context: HL KitBasic Concepts and Terminology … The Physical Files 

HL utilizes a variety of different file types for defining all the particulars of a given game system. Each of the various file types is summarized below, with their specific contents being specified in the Kit Reference section.

definition file The definition file provides the basic foundation for a particular game system, defining the fundamental characteristics that are shared across all aspects of that game. Each game system has exactly one definition file. Definition files are only utilized when creating data files for a new game system from scratch. See the Kit Reference section for details.
structural file Structural files enable you to define the underlying structure of the game system, creating the framework on which all of the visual pieces and game mechanics elements will be defined. You can have any number of structural files, allowing you carve up the logic across multiple smaller and more manageable files. See the Kit Reference section for details.
data file Data files are where all of the user-manipulated elements are specified for a game system. This includes both the visual elements (e.g. panels and forms) and the game system elements (e.g. classes, spells, skills, and equipment). Data files build upon the material in the structural files. See the Kit Reference section for details.
configuration file When package files are used, the configuration file contains basic details about the game system, allowing HL to display appropriate entries for the game system for user selection. If packages are not used, then the configuration details always reside within the definition file and no configuration file should be present.
package file Package files are pre-built collections of data files that are distributed by Lone Wolf Development. Packages provide a convenient way to distribute material to users, as well as offering security-restricted access. A package file that your license is not authorized to access will simply be ignored by HL when loading files. If your license grants access to a package, the package is equivalent to having all of the data files present within the game system data directory.

IMPORTANT! Although there is a specific file type of "data file", the general term "data files" is often used to collectively reference ALL of the various files which are created for a particular game system. Therefore, a reference to the "d20 System data files" would be referring to any definition file, structural files, data files, package files, and/or configuration file for the d20 System game system. When a reference is exclusively referring to a data file for a game system, it will either be spelled out within the Kit documentation or be clear from the context of the reference.