raP File Format - OFP

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Althugh similar in construct and intent, if you are researching the nitty gritty of Elite or ArmA raP encoded files, you should read those topics instead. This document deals, specifically, with raP files encountered in OFP / OFP Resistance only.


raP encoding applies to any humanly readable text file in OFP that contains class statements. Examples of files that are, or should be, raPified, are mission.sqm, config.cpp, description.ext.

In fact, any text file that contains class statements, contains nothing else but class statements. So much so, that entire contents of that file, is considered to be a class !!!


class mission.sqm

The fact of the matter is, if you do not raPify these files, the engine will before using them (and thus causing uneccessary cpu load)

raP encoding simply means that the data inherent in these types of files has been sanitised (stripped of commments and crud) and massaged into a form of indexed lookup table for the engine to use directly. Once done, it is free of the need to check for syntax errors, among other things. Hence, much much faster processing.

These types of files were once known as 'encrypted' or 'binarised' files. They are no such thing. They are simply a cleaner. closer equivalent to what the engine uses internally. For instance, all your savegames are raP encoded (there is no, text equivalent).

A raP encoded file is detected by the magic signature '\0raP' in the first four bytes of the file. Because of the leading 0 byte, no text file can inadvertently have this signature.

Importantly, the filename extension is immaterial.

The engine will work with config.cpp as a raP encoded entity, just as it would work with config.bin.


Various utilities exist which refer to binary <> cpp compression and extraction (or encoding and decoding). Again, these terms are misleading because the file concerned is not executable binary data, just tokenised strings and values.


There is no need here to elaborately define what a mission.sqm file is. But, it is worth understanding the basics of these (types of) files to understand the very small requirements needed to raPify them.

class files only contain 3 types of construct

ClassNames, TokenNames, Arrays

class classname [:inherit] {...};

[:inherit] is optional and simply refers to another classname.

(For your interest the [] are part of a grammar notation technique called Backus–Naur Form and mean optional. Whatever is within the [...] is optional. The [] do not appear in the text file.)

The class body, the {...} contains more, Classnames, TokenNames, Arrays, or nothing at all.

TokenNames come in 3 flavours

aString="A string";
aFloat 1.855;

For more on this subject, see TokenNameValueTypes



an array containing elements including (possibly) more arrays or more TokenNames (but not classes)

 thing[]={ 1.0,  7.67,   "Elephants", fred[]={......} };

raPifying encodes each of these basic types.


all raPified data can be expressed as

class filename
   class FirstEmbeddedClass
      ... tokenames
      class FirstEmbeddedEmbeddedClass
    class LastEmbeddedClass
 [an optional enumerated list]


A raPified file has the first 4 bytes of the file encoded as follows:


For OFP and RESISTANCE the next three bytes are


see elsewhere for Elite and ArmA.

The rest of the file contain Class Body packets of 3 different construct types with the 1st byte defining what 'type' it is.


struct ClassBody
   byte    PacketType; // 0 Classname
                       // 1 TokenName
                       // 2 Array
   ....... depends on packet type
The very first packet encountered is a classname. It is the enclosing class for *everything* 
else in the file. The name of his class is the name of the file. It is *not* recorded in humanly
readable text output.


PacketType0: Classname

class Classname: InheritedClassName {  Packets... };
struct ClassPacket
 byte		PacketType;		// = 0 == class
 #IndexedString 	Classname;
 Asciiz		InheritedClassName;	// optional or zero length string
 #BIS_Integer	nImbeddedPackets;	// Iterates thru embedded Packet(s) can be zero

Having no embedded packets is quite legal.

The embedded packets, eg, the body of this class, immediately follows this packet.

Bare in mind, that the following data (the body of this class) may indeed have further embedded packets, which may have further embedded packets, which may have.... All of which are contiguous in the datastream (OFP Only).

PacketType1: TokenNames

The 2nd byte of this packet defines what type of variable. Thus

struct VarPacket
 byte		PacketType;	        // = 1
 byte		VarType;	        // 0 String
                                       // 1 Float
                                       // 2 Integer
 IndexedString 	SomeName;
 .... depends on VarType

VarType0 String


struct VarTypString 
 byte		PacketType;	// = 1
 byte		VarType;	// = 0
 IndexedString	SomeName;
 IndexedString	SomeOtherName;

VarType1 Float


struct VarTypFloat
 byte		PacketType;	// = 1
 byte		VarType;	// = 1
 IndexedString	SomeName;
 float		value;		// 4 bytes

VarType2 Integer


struct VarTypLongInteger
 byte		PacketType;	// = 1
 byte		VarType;	// = 2
 IndexedString	SomeName;
 int		value;		// 4 bytes

PacketType2: Arrays

Arrays[] contain four possible element types. They are the traditional variables mentioned above with an added tweak of an embedded array type.


SomeName[]={ Element,Element[],"element",....};

struct ArrayPacket
 byte                   PacketType;		// = 2
 #IndexedString     SomeName;
 #CompressedInteger nElements;		// iterate thru ConstTypes, can be 0
 .... a series of ArrayTypes

Similar to classes, the embedded ArrayTypes follow immediately in the data stream (OFP only).

ArrayType0 String


struct ArrayString 
 byte		VarType;	// = 0
 #IndexedString SomeName;

ArrayType1 Float


struct ArrayFloat
 byte		VarType;	// = 1
 float		value;		// 4 bytes

ArrayType2 Integer


struct ArrayInteger
 byte		VarType;	// = 2
 int		value;		// 4 bytes

ArrayType3 Embedded_Array


struct EmbeddedArray
 byte		VarType;	// = 3
 #CompressedInteger	nElements;	// iterate thru 
... series of array elememts in this embedded array 

with the above construct (embedded array) each embedded array can contain any ArrayType, including, another embedded array. The difference of course is these embedded arrays have no individual name associated with them (unlike the packet array).

Added Wrinkles


Optionally, a raPified file can contain an enum table at the end of the filename class definitions.

The location of this list, if present, is known by the fact that

class mission.sqm
 int nEmbeddedClasses;

encloses all data before it, and the number of embededd classes is known.

The next four bytes after the primary class body declare the number of entries in the enumerated list.

Long NumberOfEntries;

This value might not be present (EOF) reached, or, equaully, it is value is zero.

Struct EnumTable
   Asciiz String;
   Long    value; // an integer

In OFP, this enum construct is rarely encountered. Most often #defines are used, which are pre-processed and expanded by whatever tool (and modeller) is creating the raPified file.

Type definitions


An integer to the engine is a four byte value. A long.

To conserve space, a mild form of compression is used, mostly, to scrunch short values in the range 1 to 65k and use 1, or 2 bytes instead of four.

Bit 7 of the byte is the indicator that this is an extension byte, as opposed to a simple value.

When encountered as set, it means the next byte, *also* contributes to making up the real value, and so on.

up to five bytes, _could_ in theory be used to represent the true value. In practice, i have only ever seen a maximum of two.

The following code is a poetic example only of handling a possible two byte pair. In truth, a while loop should be used.

int val;
 if ((val = GetByte())==EOF) return EOF;
 if (val & 0x80)
 int extra;

  if ((extra = GetByte())==EOF) return EOF;
  val += (extra - 1) * 0x80;
 return val;


   Bis_Short    index;
   Asciiz       String;

A table of strings is accumalated according to it is index number when that specific index number is first encountered.

Although the values appear to be ordinal (0,1,2,3,4,5) you should not assume so.

0 ="Peter"

These are defined index strings and appear, individually, and uniquely, within the mission.sqm as and when they are first encountered. From then on you will only see an index string as


because 1 has been defined earlier on.

Note that this is unlike a postscript dictionary in that strings are defined on an add-hoc basis, not at beginning, only when encountered, thus