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How do I change my VintagestoryData folder location?

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Hey all. I have a unique setup for my computers. I switch back and forth between them with an external hard drive which they share. If I'm at home, I connect the drive, there are all of my belongings. If I'm out and about, or I'm not able to use my computer, then I can plug the drive into my laptop. The issue is that, on both computers, my saves and backups are drawn from C:/Users/Appdata/Roaming/VintagestoryData. Both computers draw from their own data folders, automatically installed on my SSD, as opposed to the external drive. I've already installed the game itself on the drive, but there's nothing I can do about the data folder right now.

Currently, my solution is to update my worlds from the other computer, by moving them from one computer's VintagestoryData folder to the other. What I want is for the data folder to be on the drive, so both computers can use the same data with little more effort than plugging in the drive (which has the rest of the game anyway) and launching the game. The question now is, how do I do that? I already visited other posts to try to discern a solution, and have been unsuccessful. 

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I believe one way would be to define the path within the shortcut. Disclaimer: I'm not tech savvy; someone helped me with this for my own use and I believe you could modify it for what you're trying to accomplish. Personally, I keep my data within the game folder so that I can play different versions which you'll be able to see with my target path:

Target: C:\Games\Vintagestory\VS17-rc\Vintagestory.exe --dataPath=C:\Games\Vintagestory\VS17-rc

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I gave it a go with some other experiments, including in this discussion here. 

Unfortunately, nothing really worked, with what I had. Changing the targeted application didn't help, considering that the game is drawing from a data folder, the location of that is what matters here. The problem is that the executable doesn't launch from the data folder. The game folder and its data folder are two different things, basically one stores assets and the other stores worlds. It's the worlds I need to relocate for the sake of convenience.

It was a good suggestion, though. Thank you for putting it out there.

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2 hours ago, Euri said:

The problem is that the executable doesn't launch from the data folder.

...Wait, what? o_O What does it matter where the executable is located? You're not supposed to change that, nor is it necessary. All you're supposed to do is tell the executable at startup where it should look for its data folder.

The data folder can be located anywhere you like, completely independent of the game's install directory. You could have it inside the install directory (to keep everything in one place), but you don't have to. It can even be located on network drives or external drives, so long as you ensure these drives are mounted when you try to launch the client.

I know this because I've been playing Vintage Story like that since 1.12, and it has always worked reliably.

There is probably something you misunderstood about how to set this up. Let me try to describe it again:

  • Create the directory where you want your data folder to be located in the future, and copy its full, absolute path. Paste the path into a text file or something similar for later reference. You don't need to recreate the folder structure inside the data folder, the game will do that on its own.
  • Go to your VS install directory and create a shortcut to vintagestory.exe. The easiest way to do this in Windows is the select the file, so that it is marked blue. Then, using the right mouse button, click and drag the file to an empty space inside the folder (or some other folder, or even the desktop, wherever you want it). Upon releasing the mouse button, a context menu pops up. Select "create shortcut".
  • Rightclick the shortcut, and select "Properties". A small window pops up, with a few editable fields. The topmost one is called "Target". Inside this field, do not delete anything that's already there. Instead, go to the very end, press spacebar once, and then write --dataPath your:\path\here. That's a double dash at the front. You input the absolute path to your desired future data folder that you set aside during the first step.
  • Finally, pay attention to quotation marks inside that target field. If the absolute path to your game's install directory contained spaces, then the contents of the target field in the shortcut will likely have been encased in quotation marks, so that the operating system understands it. By appending something to the very end of that, you'll have broken it, because you'll now have a quotation mark somewhere in the middle, where it doesn't belong. Find that quotation mark, and move it to the very end again, after everything you have typed.
  • If there were no quotation marks, then add them just to be sure. One at the very start before anything else, and one at the very end. This covers the edge case where your path to your desired future data folder may contain spaces or other weirdness.
  • Press OK to close the properties window. Doubleclick the shortcut in order to launch the game. Pay attention to your desired future data folder; the game should auto-populate it with certain required files and subfolders. If this did not work, I'll need you to describe to me step by step what you did, or better yet, show me your shortcut's properties with screenshots.
  • If this worked correctly, you can now move your savegames and clientsettings.json over from the default data folder to the new one.
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Yes, please follow Streetwind's excellent step-by-step instructions.

Leave the executable alone. You're only defining where you'd like the game to store the data.

In my example, everything is in the install directory. For your example, your game is in the install directory (so leave it alone) and you want your data to be on an external drive (so define that absolute path).

Best of luck! If you follow Streetwind's instructions, you should be golden.

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Instructions followed, and I am happy to announce success! At least for the most part. The important part is that the games now draw their saves from the data folder in my external hard drive. Thank you, both of you, for helping me out. Currently my problem is that I have two different storage drives built in to my PC, where I only have one on the laptop. However, this is something that I am figuring out on my own, and am on the right track to success.

Thank you again! 

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